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CNLP 268: Luis Palau on His Friendship With Billy Graham, How Evangelism Has Changed, And How to Be More Alive at Age 84 than Most 24 year olds

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 podcastListen 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.

Guest Links

Luis Palau | Facebook | InstagramTwitter | Palau: A Life on Fire

Episode Links

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BillyGraham.org

Revival in Our Time – Billy Graham

CNLP 109: Chuck Swindoll on How He Interprets the Scripture and Stays Fresh in Leadership

CNLP 152: Eugene Peterson on Why He Wrote The Message, the Rhythms of a Reflective Life + Mark Batterson and Adam Weber on Peterson’s Legacy

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

Billy Graham showed me that you can speak to the world boldly and respectfully, but not be one of them. @LuisPalauLive Click To Tweet

When you're speaking for the Lord, you're not taking sides. @LuisPalauLive Click To Tweet

We must not confuse methods with message. @LuisPalauLive Click To Tweet

You learn to pray by praying. @LuisPalauLive Click To Tweet

Whoever is faithful in little is faithful also in much. Whoever is faithless in very little is faithless in much. @LuisPalauLive Click To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 268

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Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.

Get Your Church Growing (Again…or for the First Time)

Getting a stuck church growing, or helping a church that’s reaching new people grow even further can seem daunting.

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Whether you’re a church that isn’t growing, has plateaued, or whether you wish your church was growing faster than it is, I’d love to help you break through. That’s why I created the Church Growth Masterclass.

The Church Growth Masterclass is everything I wish I knew about church growth when I got into ministry more than 20 years ago.

Naturally, I can’t make a church grow. You can’t make a church grow. Only God can do that.

But I believe you can position your church to grow.

You can knock down the barriers that keep you from growing. You can eliminate the things that keep your church from growing and implement some strategies that will help you reach far more people. That’s what I’d love to help you do in the Church Growth Masterclass.

In the Church Growth Masterclass I’ll show you:

  • The 10 reasons your church isn’t growing
  • Why even committed church-goers aren’t attending as often as before
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  • The 5 keys to your church better impacting millennials.
  • What to do when a church wants to grow … but not change
  • 5 essentials for church growth
  • 5 disruptive church trends to watch—and how to respond
  • How to increase church attendance by increasing engagement.

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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.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 269.

4 Comments

  1. Lesbia Candelaria on June 4, 2019 at 11:27 am

    Awesome Awesome Awesome!! This has been if not the most one of the most inspiring, encouraging and humbling interview I have listened on your podcast, Carey. I know about Luis Palau since I was a teenager (and that is long time now!) and he always fascinated me. I’m from Puerto Rico (Spanish speaker) and I remember when Luis came to the island to preach. He moved tons of people to his campaigns! And listening to him now, the way you handled the interview and the honesty of his words, makes my heart pursue the call of the Holy Spirit even stronger. I’m not a pastor, I function as one of the counselors and member of the Board in my local church. Your podcast has helped me sooo much in this journey that you would never imagine. Thank you for bringing to this wonderful platform (which I think is the best in leadership) an iconic figure in Christianity as Luis Palau. This interview will be marked as a legacy to your listeners and followers. My respects and love in Christ to you. God bless you. We love you…

    • Carey Nieuwhof on June 4, 2019 at 12:40 pm

      Lesbia…thank you so much for this! It was completely humbling to do this interview. Thanks for your encouragement and for all you do!

  2. Norris Landry on June 4, 2019 at 10:50 am

    A Classic! Thanks for airing. I’ve been a pastor for over 40 years and have never been encouraged by anyone as much as by this podcast. So glad to hear this from Luis Palau. Praying for God’s blessing for Him and ultimately his complete healing when that time comes.
    Thanks
    Norris Landry
    Louisiana USA

    • Carey Nieuwhof on June 4, 2019 at 12:40 pm

      Norris…thanks and thanks for your faithfulness. It was such a privilege and so powerful.

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