Skip to main content

Ephesians 5:15 (NKJV) See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,

With all the tragic news of pastors and spiritual leaders falling due to gross and immoral sin, I wanted to encourage you in Jesus to place your faith firmly in Him, and Him alone. Men will fail us and they do. Churches will crumble, and it’s always sad to watch. Sin can take down even the strongest of men (& women), and it has. But our hope and our trust is not in man, but in Jesus Christ who has never, ever, never let us down.

Here at Calvary Church, we have willingly adopted what has been called the “Modesto Manifesto”. I was introduced to these principles by my pastor Jeff Johnson when I served in leadership at my home church, Calvary Chapel in Downey California. Early on in the days of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association a set of safeguards were developed to help retain and maintain the integrity of the ministry. Specific measures were freely and willingly agreed upon to help keep a strict level of accountability among the leadership as to maximize the effectiveness of their outreach. Those ingredients came to be known as the Modesto Manifesto and it’s something we use here as well. Although it isn’t a formal document, the principles contained within are valuable and useful even if you are not serving Jesus is some form of spiritual leadership.

1 Timothy 3:1–2 (NKJV) This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach;

Billy Graham and his team resolved:

  1. To never exaggerate attendance figures at their meetings. (A guard against lying & Deceit.)
  2. To take only a fixed salary from their organization. (A guard against financial thievery.)
  3. To never be alone with a woman other than their wives or daughters (The opposite would apply for women). (A guard against sexual sin temptation.)
  4. To never criticize fellow members of the clergy. (A guard against pride.)

I know they seem and sound simple enough, but these few precautions and guards have helped to maintain the integrity of Billy Graham’s ministry, even until today!  As we’ve modified and adopted these principles here, we explain that we want to have a life and ministry above reproach. We are not looking for sin. We are looking for health and stability and strength.  Our desire to serve, and to serve well. While these are not hard and fast rules, they are helpful guidelines that have served us well in the 22 years of ministry in Aurora, Colorado.

Please place guards in your life against deceit, thievery, sexual sins, and pride. You’ll see tremendous fruit right away!

If you want to read a great book about Billy Graham’s leadership style, pick up the book, “The Leadership Secrets of Billy Graham by Myra & Shelley”. It’s a keeper and the source for the in-depth descriptions in this blog.

Leave a Reply