Three times this weekend, Billy Graham, the 86-year-old veteran Crusader, will take the microphone in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens, New York, and deliver the message that he committed himself to as a teenager seventy years ago. No longer does he deliver that message with the rapid-fire cadences and the energetic gestures that characterized his preaching when he first caught the attention of New Yorkers during his Madison Square Garden meetings in 1957. But his message has lost none of its power.
After more than sixty years of preaching, that's remarkable. Preaching in outdoor settings is not exactly like preaching in a church. It's more demanding.
I've done just enough outdoor speaking to admire those who can pull it off. But not near enough to do it well. Trying to deliver a sermon, a testimony, or even an announcement in a public park or on a beach or street corner is not for the timid or easily distracted.
Speaking in a church, you enjoy "home field advantage"—an ...1