The following core values have guided My Hope and every ministry and project, from global and national evangelistic outreaches, to single church campaigns:
1. Principles of Evangelism
Evangelism is the work of the Holy Spirit
• No person or organisation can convert anyone – only the Spirit of God can give new life (John 6:63). This emphasises the primary importance of prayer as God’s Spirit moves in response to the prayers of His people.
Effective evangelism is built on relationships
• All effective evangelism is personal evangelism (John 1:42; Luke 5:27-29). Although BGEA’s methods are often described as “mass evangelism”, they are in fact personal evangelism conducted on a massive scale. Many Christians are mobilised and trained to invite their friends to hear and respond to a presentation of the Gospel.
Reaping requires sowing.
• Effective evangelism requires adequate preparation just as the size of a harvest is determined largely by the farmer’s work in sowing the seed and cultivating the crop. Preparation for evangelism is hard work. Sacrifice and commitment are required in order to experience a harvest. (Psalm 126:5)
Involvement produces commitment
• Involving church members in the preparation and execution of the project develops in them a sense of commitment and ownership and they in turn will involve others. The project will become theirs, rooted in the culture and strengthening their faith.
Organise for effectiveness
• Every project requires a clearly understood structure to effectively make use of the human, financial, and material resources which are needed in its implementation. God is a God of order as shown by His creation (Genesis 1-3). Nehemiah rebuilt the city of Jerusalem in record time because he organized the people with clear responsibilities and led them wisely.
Train for responsibilities
• Workers must be trained in order to be effective in their responsibilities. Time must be taken to make sure each worker understands his or her assignments and has the abilities, skills, and training to accomplish the tasks which he or she is given (Titus 1:5).
• Mr. Graham’s personal temperament is non-confrontational, and so for BGEA. We are not fighters—even to “defend” ourselves—not because we are gutless, but because we desire to “live peaceably with all men” for “as much as you can.”
2. To Honour the Local Church
Non-competitive with the local church
• We always begin from the perspective of the local congregation as a source of the force for evangelism and end with the benefit being incorporated into the local body of believers. BGEA does nothing that denigrates or minimizes the local church, but rather honours her place as God’s institution without being dominated by any single congregation.
Non-critical of other servants or institutions
• Our policy is that we do not comment on other organizations or other Christian workers. Especially, we avoid criticism of them, their methods, and their ministries. We seek to never speak negatively of others.
Single-minded focus on evangelism
• Determined and dogged pursuit of one calling of God: to evangelize has not wavered. Biblical evangelism of telling the story, urging a response in the context of the Church has been a constant. Every attempt to discredit, distract and/or divert into other “good” things has been sacrificed for the “best” of God’s calling to evangelism.
Total concept of evangelism through discipleship and follow-up
• Decisions alone are not the objective…rather, fulfillment of the Great Commission in its broader and fuller implications. Disciples are the goal—believers incorporated into the life of the Church and making a wholesome contribution to the development of His Body. We have believed that evangelism is not complete until the evangelism become evangelistic. Care is taken to see that appropriate follow-up and “linking” activity takes place so that evangelism is integrated into mainstream church life. It is irresponsible to win ’em and leave ’em.
3. Financial Integrity
Full disclosure on finances
• Openness to discuss and reveal financial matters has added to the respect for Mr. Graham. Willingness to disclose his own personal situation of salary, organizational accountability and public reporting, even beyond what is legally required, has resulted in the aura of financial integrity.
Be generous in giving to others
• BGEA has shown generosity from the outset in providing (sharing) funding for other organizations’ benefit. Whatever we have, personnel, funds, expertise, information, has been shared most freely. It has been “give and it shall be given unto you.” Like Mr. Graham, the organization has never been stingy, though often restrained by necessity.
4. Moral Purity
Avoid the appearance of evil in morals/sexual matters
• Constant watchfulness and careful attention to appearances are daily alerts for all BGEA. Care is taken to eliminate situations where persons could be suspected of any impropriety between the sexes. Avoiding the situations by which rumours and suspicions could be spawned has been a regular watchword for BGEA.
Pursue righteousness; be intolerant of evil
• It is our corporate intent to follow not only the letter of the law but also the spirit of that law. We want to be as close as we can to righteousness and pro-actively seek ways to be conformed to His ways. While avoiding the showy patterns in order to be seen by men, we know we are accountable to God and to one another. When evil exists, we purpose to repent, to correct, and to purge out the leaven of wickedness, to cleanse ourselves of all unrighteousness of the soul and spirit, perfecting holiness in the sight of God. Rigid watchfulness in little things, keeps us from being scandalized in major matters.
Be careful/conservative in reporting statistics
• We choose to err on the down side whenever numbers are reported. Recognizing that bigness is not the same as godliness, BGEA would report numbers on the conservative side, especially as regards crowd sizes and estimated results.
5. Sincere Spirituality
Prayer is the priority
• Prayer has received more than lip-service attention. It has been given prominence in what is said about ministry activities, but more than that it has pervaded offices, committees, boards, conferences, consultations, etc., as well as constantly utilized individually, in groups, and in every conceivable method.
“Team” effort instead of individual stars
• Billy Graham is the acknowledged personality of the ministry—there is no other rivalling his stature. But, it is his desire and deference that supporting all BGEA activities the whole “team” effort of cooperation should be acknowledged and acclaimed. Much positive testimony has been born to a watching world by the positive, affirming, and loving relationship of being “team” players together in the Lord’s harvest.
A sense of urgency—imminence of the return of Christ
• In the beginning, the imminent return of Christ had high profile. Mr. Graham’s preaching over the years on the coming of Christ holds the concern for the immediate possibility that He will come today. Urgency to bring others to the Saviour is motivated by the sense that we are at the end of times—the night cometh when no man can work. Mr. Graham once commented about a struggling evangelist, “he may not have a sense of urgency” (thought to be a qualifying necessity for an evangelist).
6. Performance Quality of Excellence
• Recognising the spiritual gifts to God’s servants, the business of the BGEA has been guided by common sense and normal, wise practices of the commercial world. Refusing to allow slip-shod or spiritualized excuses for sloppiness has resulted in crisp, clear, clean operations that achieve with professionalism and excellence. Business, as well as programs, is part of the ministry of pleasing our Lord.
Commit to personnel and to trust them to operate
• Beginning with Mr. Graham himself and throughout the company, workers are given responsibility and then, without undue interference, allowed to operate in a highly trusted, though accountable, fashion. It is a satisfying relationship for the employee and an effective pattern for achievement.
Theological inclusiveness yet true to fundamentals
• Broad acceptance of God’s people and a willingness to work practically with people who were willing to work with us…that is part of the Graham movement. Not insisting on a theological consensus but rather maintaining the personal privilege to speak the truth as Mr. Graham understood it…without apology, but also without rancor. Maintaining his own belief in the fundamental truths of Scripture and declaring the Gospel authoritatively was the evangelist’s job. Not squeezing all others in the same mold and allowing the Holy Spirit to work in His time— this permitted the inclusion of many and the hostility of few.
We also look for team members who demonstrate:
• Faith in Jesus Christ: Evangelism and discipleship are at the heart of My Hope. Therefore the commitment of the individuals with a personal growing relationship with Christ is a must. As Christians the Lord requires us to be part of a local body of believers for spiritual growth, encouragement, worship and accountability. Serving the Lord through My Hope should be part of a balanced Christian lifestyle.
• Belief in the Word of God: we agree with and embrace the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Statement of Faith, sharing the privilege to serve the Lord in and through this ministry.
• Teamwork: As a group of people dedicated to encourage and equip the local church to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, individuals must function in a team setting. It is vital for all to respect the ministry leadership in place.
• Empowering others: Individuals should possess strong interpersonal skills, be able to enjoy and rejoice in the success of others, as well as inspire and motivate others to serve the Lord together through My Hope UK.
• Spiritual Care: The gift of caring for others who participate in My Hope UK is essential to the success of this ministry. Team members and leaders should remain open and sensitive to the spiritual needs of other volunteers and participants, praying with and building up the Body of Christ as they serve the Lord.