For weeks now, our news feeds have been full of stories, pictures, and treasured videos of the late Billy Graham. His death in February at 99 years of age, has sparked a new surge of interest in his life as America’s Pastor. (Many of our CBA stores have been inundated with inquiries about his books. See a complete list at cbaonline.org/BillyGraham.)
Like many of you, in these past few weeks, I’ve enjoyed listening again to a number of his messages. His wise words that helped lead millions to Christ encouraged everyone from world leaders to convicted felons—words that will forever stand the test of time.
In the montage of photos we’ve seen in recent days from Graham’s life and ministry, I was particularly struck by one image: the picture of Dr. Don Wilton, Billy Grahams’ pastor, standing Bible-in-hand at the foot of his casket.
Billy Graham had a pastor —a man who faithfully poured the Word and encouragement into his life; someone who prayed with him, for him, and in his death shared what so many of us already knew. Billy Graham touched the lives of millions because he lived the truth of his faith. He understood better than most the power of a simple message of hope to a hurting world.
Throughout his life, Billy Graham always had a pastor. At the age of 99, Graham had outlived many of them, but still recognized his need for a pastor. America’s Pastor needed a pastor.
We’re not intended to walk this journey alone. We all need someone who knows us personally, is grounded in the Word, and can be there for us in all the twists and turns that life brings.
As your trade organization, we know how tough the past few years have been. And some of us have had some missteps throughout this process. But on behalf of all of us at CBA, know that it’s a new day. We’ve refocused ourselves to be of greater help to each of you. We’re not your pastor, but we are in this fight with you. We’re developing alliances and programs to bring you unprecedented value. We’ll keep doing many of the same things you’ve found helpful, and we’re doing more. We’ve taken huge steps to provide you with the tools (free with your membership) that you need to turn your business around.
We know you’re not just in business; you’re in ministry. Many of you and your staff are pastors to the unchurched. As an industry we represent the only proclamation of faith that many will ever know. Our knowledge of Bibles and faith-based materials cannot be replicated to customers on the internet or in big box stores. But change is required to succeed in an ever-changing marketplace.
As your trade organization, CBA is rolling out more ways to help you than ever before. (Check out the UNITE article on Inventory Solutions and Marketing on page 16 of the April 2018 issue.)
We’ve all lost enough ground. It’s time to turn this industry around and CBA is doing more than standing with you, we’re leading the way.