Dr. Billy Graham is probably best remembered for unashamedly proclaiming the gospel of new life in Christ. At his memorial service I found myself reflecting with gratitude that evangelism is at the heart of the Covenant.
I sat next to good friends Lon and Marie Allison. Lon, an ordained Covenant pastor, recently published a new biography of Dr. Graham. Lon used to serve as director of evangelism for the Covenant and mobilized Bringing My World to Christ, a relational approach that encouraged Covenanters to pray for those they longed to see come to Christ, extend care to them, and have the eyes to see God-given opportunities to share the good news. This simple “prayer-care-share” rubric was borrowed and replicated throughout the world. It continues to resonate throughout ECC ministry.
We now call our relational evangelism emphasis BLESS, and this spring hundreds of churches are presenting tens of thousands of names we are praying will come to faith in Jesus. Encourage your church to participate if they are not already.
While the Covenant’s evangelism initiative has adapted through the years, our heart for evangelism has not. Central to the heart of the Covenant is to see people introduced to Jesus. I myself was introduced to Jesus in a Covenant church as a high school student.
Your personal partnership with the Covenant through your generous gifts helps make these types of ministries available. Our heart is that children, youth, and adults alike will know God’s love, grow in God’s love, and unleash that love to the world.
As I prepare to retire this summer, my deep hope is that the temperature for evangelism will remain unequivocally strong in our midst. Will you join Nancy and me in making an open-hearted gift to that end? I thank you on behalf of those who do not yet know Christ but who will as a result of faithful Covenant people and your partnership.
May we continue to be faithful to proclaim the lavish love of God,
Gary Walter President, Evangelical Covenant Church
PS: And would you pray for the Allisons? Lon has been diagnosed with serious liver cancer. He will be blessed knowing of your prayers and your support for evangelism.