Thursday, September 09, 2010

Who do they have today?

Last night was my turn to teach the youth group at church.  I love to use examples or things that the kids can relate to that make things of the Bible make more sense in today's world....

A lot of times, I can see the "generation gap" coming through though...

I mean, I'm in my ... (cough) late 30's ... & every year, these kids are just so young & the difference in our ages gets bigger & bigger...

Believe me, in my mind, I'm still 18 so I can "get all crazy up in that youth trailer" (see?  Told you I was cool)... but I try to stay "current" to stay up with these kids... Paramore, Miley Cyrus, Kesha, Silly Bandz, Twilight...(Yeah, I'll confess, the youth turned me onto Twilight & I never turned back)

And I know that things of pagers, or record albums - even cassettes, or cameras with actual FILM are things these kids of today will never really understand...

Last night though - I was knocked off my feet surprised...I gave a name of someone as an example of a family that has "generational blessings" - the name I used was Billy Graham...

Blank faces...

crickets chirping...

I asked, "Do you know who Billy Graham is?" .... there were probably 2 out of 20 kids that knew who he was... & we were in church, mind you... its not like I asked a random bunch of kids who Billy Graham is.

One boy said, "Is that the one with the cheesy smile?"... someone said, "No, that's Joel Olsteen"

I was amazed. I mean, growing up, I may not have listened to him as a child, but I KNEW who Billy Graham was.  He would have specials on TV, & while they would usually make me mad because they took off a great show, like "Cheers" or "Night Court", I knew Billy Graham would have "TV Specials".

Growing up, I started reading his book & actually WATCHING his TV specials & listening to the messages this incredible man delivered.  I read his autobiography (that is the thickest book!!!) & loved seeing the paths God has led Mr. Graham, his wife & family on...

I saw this man many times in political rings... with Presidents, offering prayers for our country...

About 10 years ago, I even had the honor of seeing him twice at a Billy Graham Gathering that came to town.  Being in that arena, with him speaking & seeing thousands beyond thousands of people listen to his every word on God was chilling...

And now, to this next generation... they dont even know who he is...

I know things come & go in this world... but I couldnt help but think... Who do they have now for "spiritual guidance" on a bigger sense?  Who is the person that everyone knows they can listen to to hear about God?  If someone is out in this world & never walked into a church but knew they were searching for something more, who would they "google"?

I guess we have the Joyce Meyers & Rick Warrens & Craig Goeshel's of the world... but to me, none of them have the presence of Billy Graham... I would think these people would even agree to that...

For some reason, it just made me sad for this next generation....

Did you grow up knowing who Billy Graham was? 
Do you think the next generation is "missing out" without a "country spirital leader"? 
Or do you think we have one?  Who would you say that is in today's world? 


  1. I definitely am aware of who Billy Graham is, but I have never heard him speak at a conference or read any of his books.

    For me the speakers that really affect me are ladies like Beth Moore, Christin Caine, Priscilla Shrirer.

    The speaker that I googled as a non-christian was Paul Washer. His words helped me know I NEEDED to be in church. After visiting the very first Sunday, I lady offered me a Paul washer just so happened it was the ONLY speaker I knew, so I talked to her for a few minutes about him and she was so surprised I knew him...that lady is now a very good friend of mine :)

    I know ALOT of youth groups have been affected by Paul's ministry, and the urgency in his words!

    but I don't think he is the "country's spiritual leader"

    that is a tough question!

  2. Well, I grew up in NC about 50 miles from his home - we considered him OUR evangelist LOL. I even had a friend work for his foundation about 15 years ago - and my SIL's BIL (confused?) was (still is?) Franklin Graham's personal pilot.

    It's sad to me that kids today won't know who he is. He was such a foundation for our faith back in the day.

  3. Oh my gosh, that is so scary and makes me feel so old!! I can't believe they didn't know the name!!

    Last year I was talking to my small group girls (9th graders) and mentioned something about Columbine and they looked at me like I'd lost it. Never heard of it. I felt ancient! And I'm only 24!!!

  4. I grew up knowing who Billy Graham was. Of course, I attended a small, Baptist church. We had revivals every year.

    Therein is the issue, I think.

    You don't see a lot of churches having revivals. That is the type of preaching he did. Open-air preaching. Old-school stuff.

    Gone are the days of George Whitfield and John Wesley...preachers who braved the crowds to spread the Word.

    Oh, and a few years ago, I had the privilege of hearing Billy's son, Franklin, preach.

    He was as dynamic as his father.

  5. Wow, that is really sad that we don't really have a national spiritual leader. I certainly knew all about Billy Graham growing up and we would watch all of the crusades and television specials. You just don't see that anymore.

    I guess the only way to keep him alive is to do just what you're doing, make sure the next generation is aware of who he is!

    God bless you Rebecca Jo!

  6. I of course know who Billy Graham IS, but I have had no exposure to him, really. He was greatly used by God, but he spoke to a (now) older generation.

  7. As a resident of Minnesota EVERYONE knows who Billy Graham is! :)

    Are we missing out? I don't think we are. I was taught as a child that your relationship with God is just that--yours. If you go to a big church, small church, home church or a tent doesn't matter. What really matters is that YOU are stretching and growing in your relationship with God.

  8. I have never heard Billy Graham personally, but definitely KNOW of him. And know enough about him to know that he has made a HUGE impact that will always be around!!!! Don't think anyone can quite compare to his legacy!!!

  9. I think that you are absolutely right. And, I don't think that there is a spiritual leader today.

  10. When Paul Newman died my husband was talking to a bunch of college guys and mentioned it and none of them knew who he was. (well, one of them eventually remembered the salad dressing, but really. Paul Newman!?)

    That was a weird moment.

    Not knowing Billy Graham....much more sad. I can't imagine that. I honestly don't think that we have any evangelist today that would measure up to him in reach and stature-not across the whole country (and beyond) the way that Billy Graham did.

    I wonder if they would have known Franklin Graham or Anne Graham Lotz?

  11. Okay, now I feel old. I definitely know who Billy Graham is. Wow.


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