What is a Billy Graham Evangelistic Crusade?

It is a concerted effort by Christians in a specified community or area to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the attention of every person in that community or area.

For business and tax reasons, each crusade is incorporated under the laws of the appropriate state as a non-profit corporation.

What is the usual length of a crusade and how is it determined?

Currently, most crusades are a maximum of five days in length and are sometimes less. This decision also is made by Mr. Graham, after consultation and consideration of many factors, primarily his personal schedule. Shorter crusades enable him to schedule more appearances and thereby ultimately reach more parts of the world.

What is the difference between a crusade and a rally?

They are identical in purpose--to persuade individuals to accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord--and the fundamental principles of their procedures are the same. A crusade may be described as a more massive effort which has greater preparation, is longer in duration and has a broader potential impact on a community than does a rally. A "rally" usually includes public meetings on only one day.

Who invites Mr. Graham to conduct a crusade in a specified community?

The invitation usually originates with a ministerial association or a similar organization cooperating with other groups including many churches and denominations. It is normally accepted 18 to 24 months prior to a crusade taking place.

Who decides whether to accept or reject a crusade in a specified community?

The decision is always preceded by much prayer and consultation. The situation is discussed thoroughly by Mr. Graham, members of his team, and other trusted advisors. The final decision, however, is made by Mr. Graham himself, seeking to act under the guidance of God's Holy Spirit.

How do churches share in a crusade?

In some cases, through the addition of new members, but apart from this numerical benefit, they share through the participation of their members in many ways:

  1. Counselors are trained and motivated to help inquirers at the meetings and as they gain experience in spiritual counseling.
  2. Singers rehearse and sing with a great volunteer choir recruited from participating churches.
  3. Ushers, several hundred of whom are required for each service, work with those from other congregations.
These and other opportunities for participation have made the rekindling of spiritual fervor in the hearts of church members one of the major accomplishments of the crusades. The backbone of a successful crusade is the gift of the evangelist joined with the gifts of local pastors and their pastors.

Are crusade meetings open to all who wish to attend?

Yes. There are no restrictions. All seats are available free of charge or on a first-come, first-served basis. Special provisions are frequently made for other language groups and for persons with disabilities.

How is the administration of a crusade organized?

The actual administration is in the hands of the local Executive Committee of Christian laity and clergy. Members of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association work closely with the Executive Community, giving it the benefit of their experience.

This Executive Committee is the policy-making body for the entire crusade. (Details may be modified from time to time, but the procedure is basically the same.) It selects the chair and members of the general Crusade Committee and chairpersons of the several working committees and subcommittees for the crusade.

What does a crusade cost?

The amount varies with location and circumstances, but the total operations budget in each case is determined by the Executive Committee, in close cooperation with members of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. The budget covers actual operation costs during the preparation period, the week of the crusade meetings, and the follow-up.

Does the Billy Graham team make any requirements with respect to the budget?

The team always asks an Executive Committee to accept these requirements in drafting its budget:

  1. The budget is to be determined by the local Crusade Committee.
  2. All money to meet budget requirements is to be raised by the local Crusade Committee and disbursed by it.
  3. Not one penny of crusade funds is to go to Mr. Graham or members of his team as salary, honorarium, or gift.
  4. At the conclusion of the crusade, a certified public accountant is to audit the books and the result of the audit is to be published in local newspapers; a copy of the audit is to be provided for every participating clergy.
How is the money raised to meet budget requirements?

The largest single source of crusade income is the offerings taken at the meetings. It is anticipated that approximately one-half of the budgeted amount will be received from offerings, while the other half usually comes from individuals and organizations supportive of the crusade.