How Does a Crusade Work?
From organizing to counseling to follow-up, all the steps for staging a crusade.
Every evangelistic crusade conducted by Mr. Graham is the result of a cooperative effort involving the evangelist, his team, and many local Christians and churches. He is invited by clergy and laity who have banded together because of the common desire to reach their community with the Christian message.
The invitations are evaluated by Mr. Graham with his team. Each one is considered on the basis of community needs, time element, local interest, available meeting facilities, weather factors (especially in the case of outdoor meetings), and other criteria. Even though there is wide consultation with the team and friends, the final decision to accept, reject or postpone action on an invitation is made by Mr. Graham. He decides only after much prayer-seeking God's leadership in the matter.
After the place and dates are confirmed, a BGEA staff member is assigned to the city as Crusade Director. He opens an office, assists local committees and generally gives leadership in organizing the crusade. The size of the in-city staff varies with each crusade as does the period of preparation, which is usually between eight and twelve months.
Volunteer workers make up the vast majority of personnel required to organize and prepare for a crusade. Only a very small number of crusade staff are salaried. All committee members donate their time and talents to the crusade. It has been estimated that if volunteers were not available, it would require thousands of staff persons to conduct a Graham crusades.
In every crusade, an Executive Committee composed of local clergy and laity is the incorporated policy-making body. It is responsible for determining the budget and raising and disbursing the necessary funds to meet that budget. Members of the Graham team act as consultants to the Executive Committee and its several operational committees including: Prayer (to enlist the prayer support of Christians throughout the area, individually and in groups); Counseling and Follow-up (to enlist counselors and other personnel to deal with inquirers who come forward in response to the evangelist's invitation); "Operation Andrew" (to encourage Christians to bring the unchurched to crusade meetings); Finance (to assist in raising funds); Music; Ushers; etc.