Kristy Ethridge • Charisma News • July 25, 2013
In this digital world, there are more ways than ever to find Jesus. Lives are changed each day with the click of a mouse, the changing of a channel, the swipe of a thumb across an iPhone.
Still, Kari Jobe believes there’s nothing that compares with looking a friend in the eye and sharing the hope of Christ within the context of a loving relationship.
That’s why the Grammy-nominated, Dove award-winning artist is so excited about My Hope America With Billy Graham. The project is all about building authentic relationships.
“It’s way more effective, I believe, than just a random time of trying to tell someone about Christ,” Jobe says. “Those times work too, but I find that it’s more effective if you know them and you’re walking through life with them. Out of relationship, you’re telling them about Jesus.”
All over the United States and Canada, believers are building relationships with friends, neighbors and relatives who don’t know Christ. As part of a massive in-home outreach, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) is working with churches to teach believers how to share the gospel effectively.
The My Hope project will culminate in November, as believers invite their unchurched friends to their homes for a time of fellowship and conversation. Several videos created by the BGEA will be available via TV, DVD and streaming Internet. The half-hour videos will weave together real-life stories of people who found Christ with classic and brand-new messages from Billy Graham.
As part of the My Hope project, Jobe and an eclectic group of artists are creating an album called My Hope: Songs Inspired by the Message and Mission of Billy Graham. The musical project, which will be released in October, will feature 12 new songs from artists including Matthew West, Nicole Nordeman, Newsboys, Lacey Sturm, TobyMac, Michael W. Smith, Israel Houghton and Amy Grant and Vince Gill. Jobe co-wrote a song for the album with Matt Maher. Inspired by an old prayer, the song is called "The Cross Is My Confession."
“What an amazing opportunity to sit and write for this project, just wrapping our minds around the message and the story of Dr. Billy Graham,” Jobe says. “Just his heart for salvation, his heart for people to receive Christ and to know the power of the cross.”
In conjunction with the album, Graham is releasing a new book this October called The Reason for My Hope: Salvation. Jobe hopes both projects will inspire believers to get involved with My Hope, which has grown to include more than 17,000 churches.
“Everyone is just excited about what God’s doing in the kingdom and in the church these days,” she says.
Jobe may have an extra reason to be excited. For her, this isn't just another project—it's personal. The Texas worship leader/songwriter is hosting her own My Hope event at her house this November.
“This is very much geared to my heart, because I still have family members that aren’t living for the Lord,” Jobe says. “And it seems way more personal to do it like that, instead of trying to get them to an arena or another church service.”
The ultimate goal of My Hope is not only to lead people to decisions for Christ but to get them into churches to be discipled. In the meantime, the project aims to reach unbelievers right where they are, through people they already know and trust.
“Some people feel like salvation or telling people about Jesus could be like cramming something down their throat,” Jobe says. “But it’s not that way if you know somebody and you can relate to what they’re going through.”
Through My Hope, Jobe is praying God will move in the hearts of thousands, including her own friends and family.
“People are broken, and they’re hurting, and the answer for them to have hope is Jesus."