A life lived well
by Janice Ross
Suitable for Whole School (Pri) - Church Schools
To look at Billy Graham’s life’s work.
Preparation and materials
- None required
1. Ask the children to think about their parents or grandparents or those who look after them. How many jobs have they done in their lives?
Identify that many people change jobs in the course of their lives. Then ask, ‘At what age do people retire?’
2. Today we are going to celebrate the life of a man called Billy Graham.
All his adult life, Billy Graham has been doing the same job – one that he has done since he was ordained in 1939, so, for over 70 years. His job has been to pass on what he believes to be such an important message to everyone that even as he became very old he continued to make live broadcasts about it from his home.
3. Billy Graham grew up on a dairy farm in North Carolina in the USA. When he was 15 he heard a message that was to shape the rest of his life. That message was the Christian message of God’s love for everyone. As a result of hearing and understanding that good news, Billy Graham went to study in Florida and Illinois to become a pastor.
4. Billy was so passionate about his job that, in his twenties, he would preach in stadiums, parks, streets so that he could reach as many people as possible. He would tell people about God’s love for them. Hundreds and thousands of people used to listen and then respond by going forward at the end of the meetings to receive prayer.
5. In his lifetime, Billy Graham has spoken to live audiences of nearly 215 million people in more than 185 countries. His message has been heard by an estimated 2.2 billion people. These have been ordinary people like you and me, presidents, criminals, wealthy people and poor people and the message has always been the same: God loves you.
Time for reflection
Think for a few moments about the message that God loves you.
Thank you for giving Billy Graham the message of your love.
Thank you for helping him to share this good news with so many people worldwide.
Thank you that this news has brought hope to so many lives.
The journey of life’ (Come and Praise, 45)