Mass Evangelism

“Is Mass Evangelism Dead?” Christianity Today asks. And lets its editors answer, providing a very nice balance and interesting perspectives.

With Billy Graham not too much longer for this world, and certainly his ministry behind him, this is a very good question. Of course, as is noted in the article, mass evangelism rallies are still huge in much of the world, just not the parts most of us are familiar with.

Indeed, the Promisekeepers rallies of a few years back suggest the market is there but there’s just not a big name to fill the seats these days. If I remember my Billy Graham museum lore correctly, BG was born the same year that Billy Sunday died, and Billy Sunday was born the year an earlier major evangelist died. So, maybe there’s someone waiting in the womb.

My guess is that mass evangelism rallies certainly aren’t dead, but my guess also is there’s going to be a significant stream of evangelism developing that works alongside such meetings. People have been empowered, as they should be, and I don’t think there’s going to be as much a tendency to insist on bringing a person to an impressive speaker. With the breakdown of denominations and church structures in general, there will be a larger emphasis on evangelism where a person is at. Some people very much respond to rallies and mass evangelism. That’s always been the case. A huge amount of people won’t go or won’t respond to such things.

Some people are, I think, really called to lead those kinds of events. Some are called to avoid them. So mass evangelism isn’t dead, but it’s dead as we’ve known them in the states as they take on a more participatory role with other ventures. Never, I think, will they be the primary expression of an evangelistic organization. But, we’ve not passed the day when a Christian group will hire out a stadium.

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