Billy Graham’s Formula for Evangelism and Its Impact on the Global Spread of Evangelicalism

This paper investigates the evangelism strategy of Billy Graham and how he shaped the state of evangelicalism across the globe. More than 90% of all people who make a “decision” for Christ never join a local church. This is largely the result of flawed evangelistic methods. However, world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham developed a three-part approach to evangelism that was far more successful, and especially more impactful in cross cultural contexts. In the 1980s and 1990s, apx. 3% of those who made decisions for Christ stuck with the Christian faith, however, of those individuals who experienced Graham’s three part formula, nearly 25% stuck with the faith long-term.

The primary questions answered in this paper will be: (1) How did Graham’s approach differ from others of the twentieth century? (2) How did Graham’s approach inform or shape his response to the key doctrinal issues in the twentieth century? (3) Why was Graham’s approach more impactful in cross cultural contexts than in the USA? (4) How did Graham’s ministry shape and inform the spread of evangelical theology around the world?