"Throughout his ministry, Mr. Graham has been very progressive to useevery means possible to reach as many people as possible," Ross said, notingthat at one time he used horses on stage at Youth for Christ rallies in the1940s and moved on to using satellite technology in recent years.

Graham "youth nights" began as a "one-time deal initially in Clevelandin 1994" and continue today, said Ross.

Local Christian and civic leaders decide whether to invite Graham totown. Volunteers from a coalition of congregations spread the word, sing ina mass choir and counsel those who answer yes to Graham's call toconversion. They also agree to mentor the newly converted in the weeks andmonths following the big event.

In truth, Palau festivals are rooted in an approach that builds onGraham's legacy. After all, Palau got his start in U.S. evangelism in the1960s when he worked with Graham in California. A decade later, the BillyGraham Evangelistic Association helped Palau start his own organization.

"Everything we do is based squarely on the Billy Graham model," saidKevin Palau. "And that means, too, that we're always looking for new andinteresting ways to present the message of the Good News."

Palau's organization is now packaging its Christian message with asports-themed DVD, "Livin' It." Released in March, the disc has its ownnational tour, which began May 5. Actor-turned-evangelist Stephen Baldwinstars in the film, but skateboarders Lance Mountain, Christian Hosoi and RayBarbee are taking the message to mini-festivals in 25 cities across theU.S., including Atlanta, Chicago, Little Rock, Dallas, Omaha and Los Vegas.

All of this innovation makes sense within the history of Christianoutreach in America, according to Bill J. Leonard, dean of the divinityschool at Wake Forest University. He's an expert on American evangelism.

Palau is doing what preachers did in this country from the late 18thcentury well into the early 20th century, he said. "They're bringing theChristian message out of the church and into the culture."

Leonard is talking about George Whitefield, Charles Finney, D.L. Moodyand Billy Sunday as well as Graham -- evangelists that spanned threecenturies, preaching in camp grounds and town squares. They invited peoplewho were unable to attend church or uninterested in congregational life tobecome Christian.

"They all had a kind of ecumenism, where the boundaries of denominationsthat were once so strong just didn't matter to them, just as they don'tmatter to Graham and Palau," Leonard said.

"And as with these preachers today, there was a willingness to usepopular media, including music, and in particular the drinking songs of theday that were transformed with Christian lyrics."

In a sense, Leonard contends, Palau's new-concept festivals are at theircore rooted in 200 years of revival history in America. The trappings aredifferent -- sports, Christian pop music as outreach, and the streetfestival approach.

But because of Palau's willingness to change and embrace new ways tospread his faith beyond sanctuaries, he, like his mentor Graham, is in factspreading a kind of old-time religion.

According to Lundholm, the teenager from the Twin Cities, it stillworks.

"It didn't feel like church and I liked that," she said.

"It felt more relaxed, and the music and sports stuff, it was relevant,which it has to be. You have to find ways to bring people in or no one isgoing to hear the message."

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