Preach Like Billy Graham: 10 Ways To Live Out A Sermon At Work

A couple of great friends of mine visited the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove for a Corporate Chaplains training conference. One of them told me about the various displays at the center and the interesting facts about Graham’s ministry. As he talked, I thought about how I would love to have the impact that Billy Graham has had for eternity.

Preach like Billy Graham

Billy Graham Is Special

The more I thought about that, the more I realized that folks like Billy Graham are special. It is not that they are so much more gifted or even holier than many of us. The truth is that God placed Billy Graham in a specific time and place with a specific set of talents and resources. Billy Graham added his own submission and commitment to God and the results speak for themselves.

We Are Special, Too!

So, if that is the case, what does that mean for us? Well, as Christian business owners, God has done the same thing for us. We are in a specific time and place with a specific set of talents and resources.

Granted, we are not in the same position as Billy Graham…at least not yet! So what do we do? Do we sit back and wait for national fame before we start preaching like he did? Or, maybe, we could go ahead and start preaching right now. Right where we are. In our own way.

So that you and I are on the same page, I though I would remind you of the quote from St. Francis of Assisi…

Preach the Gospel at all times; when necessary, use words.

How To Preach Like Billy Graham

In light of that, I came up with a list of 10 ways we can all preach just like Billy Graham. Okay, maybe not JUST like he did, but close.

1. Give credit and take blame. – When good things are achieved by your team, give them the credit for it. When bad things happen, take the blame.

2. Show humility when unexpected. – You have just made a gutsy call and it paid off. Everyone knows you beat the odds. Don’t crow about it. Accept the congratulations and point to God as the true source of the idea.

3. Exercise grace when others would not. – You were wronged in the past and the violator is now in a position of need. Give to them and show the same grace you have been given.

4. Tell the truth even when it hurts. – Telling the truth, in this case, means you will face a loss. Regardless of the size of the loss, remember that God has your back if you will honor Him.

5. Prove your values are more important than money. – If you only maintain your silence about the minor defect, the customer will never know and the sale will go through. Make the decision to come clean and people will notice.

6. Forgive your debtors. – One of your employees makes a poor decision in a time of severe need and steals from you. You most likely have to terminate them. Is it really necessary to carry the grudge around with you from now on? Let it go and let it be known.

7. Put others first in everything. – Serve others at company meal times. Take the back seat in the car when carpooling to a meeting. Pass the last coconut-fried shrimp appetizer to someone else at the dinner celebration…coconut is not that good anyway!

8. Show that Love = Time. – Taking the time to ask and hear about an employee’s sick family member will mean the world to them. In many cases, you are the most important person they know. Giving of your time to them will show them you love them.

9. Do what you say will do. – You made a commitment to do something, but conditions changed at the last minute. Now the commitment is not as easy to fulfill. Do it anyway. No one will expect it, but neither will they forget it.

10. Trust God during tough times. – The difference between Christians and everyone else is not whether we go through tough times or not. The difference is in how we handle those times. Show them you trust your God to carry you. They will want to know how to get the same peace.

I am sure you can come up with other items to place on this list. If so, tell me about them in the comments section. I would love to hear your thoughts and examples.

What would you add to the list?

Can you give examples of something you have done or seen?

Which of these do you struggle with the most?

Photo by Tijana87 / iStock

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  • Chris, been there and read all the books on him and stood with my wife and 30 teens at a revival in Tampa years ago at the feet of Billy Graham. He admits he was not perfect in all he did, but from our perspective he came close. Billy says he would have spent time home if he had the chance to do it again. As for ministry I took from reading about his philosophy that accountability was key to everyone who worked with him in the BGEA. Two is good but three are better for keeping each other accountable.

    Your points are spot on, but I still see our weakness in Christian decision making in business when it comes to money. When is it right to sell a customer when you know they really cannot afford it, and are likely to face ongoing financial hardships? Can we justify it by saying that if we don’t someone else will? In a Christian business saying no to ourselves and the customer can be the right thing to do. I believe Billy G. would agree and proved it in his ministry decisions. (Just thinking our loud.)

    • Coach, good points as always and thoughts I have had as well. The problem comes when you try to determine for the customer what they can and cannot afford. That gets really sticky.

      I know our dealership has called family when someone who is mentally unable to make a decision on a vehicle purchase tries to do so. I have seen that happen frequently and it is usually well-received by the family.

      We also eliminated the commissions that led most salespeople to push customers above their budget in the hopes of higher commission pay on a more expensive unit. This does not exactly address your concern, but I am not sure it is even possible. It is certainly something to think about.

      • I appreciate your feedback and would believe you have shared the same dilemma of thought. I agree with your points and there certainly are a lot of black and white times, but there are those gray times that cause us to question our motives and actions. Those times when we have to choose to say no or advise others to go slow…even though we cannot be responsible for the choices of others. Thanks Chris… I know your heart.

  • Rajeev

    Thanks You bro Chris For Sharing This Awesome … Amen

  • Steve Simpson

    Chris, This is another of your many exceptional posts. Thank you for these “10 Commandments” that capture succinctly the importance of transparency and vulnerabilty. I printing them so they are within sight to hold me in-line as I navigate with His grace in a challenging situation. Many Blessings!

  • Teresa Laratta Cook

    Great article, thank you! I plan to share it with my Christian Connect Group, many of whom, myself included, are business owners and entrepreneurs. God bless!