Who would deny that Billy Graham is a great preacher? While he obviously possesses unique communicative gifts, Dr. Graham readily admits that his freedom in the pulpit, liberty in articulation, and the power to retain the attention of his audience come through careful discipline and hard work.
Recently, he affirmed that his communicative skills are related to two major concerns: material saturation and commitment to illustrations. For the first five or six years of his ministry he wrote his sermons in full, and often preached each one up to twenty-five times before facing an audience. "I would find an empty church or building," he said, "and preach that sermon until I knew my outline, where my stories fit, and exactly what I was going to say." Even today, despite the verbal skills that have come with maturity, he still writes out a potential sermon word for word. But now, as then, he carries as little paper into the pulpit as possible.
Can you imagine standing in ...1