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DEAR REV. GRAHAM: Our church has a new pastor, and he wants us to spend more money on advertising and social media, so we'll attract more people. I'm not sure I approve, because it seems like it's not a very spiritual approach to things. After all, it's not a company trying to sell something. Am I wrong?

-- F.P.

DEAR F.P.: I'm thankful for your pastor's vision to reach people in your community who may not yet know Christ; I hope you'll have the same vision. The Bible says, "How can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?" (Romans 10:14).

Is it unspiritual to use advertising and social media to tell about your church, and encourage people to become part of it? No, not necessarily -- not if it's done in the right way. In our own ministry, we use every means we can to tell people about the Gospel and inform them of our evangelistic activities. The Bible records that the first Christians used every way they could to tell others about Christ -- from personal witness and house-to-house visitation, to literature and public preaching.

At the same time, never forget that God's work must be done in God's way -- and God's way includes our prayers, and our total dependence on God the Holy Spirit. Unless we pray and trust God to work, our efforts (including our advertising) will be fruitless. The Bible says, "'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the Lord" (Zechariah 4:6).

Pray for your pastor, that God will guide him and give him great wisdom as he leads your congregation. Pray also for your church, that God will use it to reach out in love to those who do not yet know Christ.

Write to Billy Graham in care of Billy Graham Evangenlistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201 or visit the website at

billygraham.org

Style on 11/14/2017

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