Luis Palau has been leading crusades for over 53 years. In this powerful interview, he talks about his friendship with Billy Graham, why crusades were so effective a generation ago, and how he and his team changed the methods to keep the mission alive.
Luis is now 84 and has stage 4 cancer, but you’d never know it. He has more energy and passion than most 24 year olds, and shares how he has kept his vitality so strong over eight decades.
Welcome to Episode 268 of the podcast. Listen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.
CNLP 263: Horst Schulze with Lessons from the Ritz-Carlton on Coaching the Best from a Team when You Can’t Pay Top Wages, What Guests Really Want, How to Satisfy a Customer and What to do with Customer Complaints
3 Insights from Luis
1. When preaching the Gospel, stay politically neutral
The Kingdom of God is above the kingdoms of this world. We are not here to promote one party. Luis has learned that if you a take side, you close off the other side. We evangelists and pastors don’t know who we have in our audiences on Sunday morning. There’s bound to be democrats, republicans and all sorts of other descriptions of individuals. We are supposed to be above all that.
When we are speaking for the Lord, we cannot be taking sides. As ambassadors of the Gospel, we want all people, left, right and center, whatever else, to be brought into the Kingdom of God. We need to be very careful, in the days when the political heat is heavy, that we don’t allow ourselves to be buttonholed as this or that side. If we want to change the political landscape, we must start by winning people to Christ.
2. Even though the methods have changed, the message never does
Evangelistic crusades in stadiums and arenas were a huge part of Luis’ ministry in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Now he has shifted to a more festival style approach. When explaining why he does this, Luis stated – We must not confuse methods with message… To get non-believers into a stadium is getting harder and harder. Whereas if you’re on the street, or the beach, or a park, it’s a place everybody shows up.
To continue to preach the message to more and more unbelievers, Luis’ method of delivery had to change. This is why he shifted to the festival approach. As the church, this same insight can be applied to how we are reaching our cities with the Gospel. Our methods should always be changing, but our message never should.
3. Prayer is not a button to be pushed, but a relationship to be pursued
Growing up, Luis’ mother was a critical part of his learning to pray. She lead their family in deep prayer when they had very little and were relying on God for provision daily, In looking back on that time, he sees that he learned how to pray by praying.
Luis has had that insight for many years. Since his cancer diagnosis, he has also learned that you learn to pray with understanding, not only with your spirit as Paul says, but with your understanding. As you pray and delight yourself in the Lord your understanding becomes more like God’s understanding, and then, you are praying in alignment with His will.
Quotes from Episode 268
Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?
Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.
Get Your Church Growing (Again…or for the First Time)
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Next Episode: Dave & Ann Wilson
Dave and Ann Wilson fell in love and were married young. 9 months later, they were fighting every day. Their struggles continued on and off for years and at one point Dave told Ann he’d rather be dead than married to her. All through this, they were leading in ministry and even planting what would go on to become a large and influential church. 39 years into it, they are very much in love and learned how to get healthy. In this interview, they share the truth about love, sex, conflict and marriage.
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