What Oral Roberts Taught Me About Spirit-Infused Leadership

'Praying Hands' at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma (Flickr/J. Stephen Conn)

The other day, I found a file of more than 30 handwritten letters that I had received from Oral Roberts, who was my spiritual father.

We were dear friends and partners, beginning when I came to Oral Roberts University from Kentucky, in 1972, and became one of his favorite chapel singers while a student in the early days of ORU.

Oral Roberts was a healing evangelist who was called to bring God's healing power to his generation. He did so through tent meetings, crusades, radio, television, books and magazines. He was later called to "build a university founded upon the Holy Spirit", which of course, he did.

With regard to television, no one had the ability to connect with the viewer in a more profound way, than Oral Roberts. He would look into the camera with great compassion, realizing on the other end of the camera, 'everyone is hurting in some way,' and he would minister God's word and pray powerfully for the viewer. Sometimes he would ask the viewer to reach towards the television as a 'point of contact' for their faith. Millions were touched, saved and healed as evidenced by the truckloads of letters that poured into Tulsa as a result of Oral's on-air appeal: "If you write me, I promise to pray for you and write you back!" He kept his promise.

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Oral Roberts had such a gift to connect with people through media that, while running for president, Richard Nixon called him and asked, "How do you do it?"

One of the handwritten letters that I found, encouraged me in the 'law of seed faith.' He told me that whenever I sow a seed, that Jesus is the Lord of the seed and also the Lord of the harvest. Get your eyes on the Lord of the harvest as soon as you sow your seed. And expect a miracle. This will preach today!

Be encouraged by this amazing man of God, who knew the power of touching people through the media and understood that the anointing of the Holy Spirit can indeed be transmitted through television, radio, print and so on. What would he have done with the internet? Wow!

Ben Ferrell is a minister with the heart of an evangelist. Ben has led people into the presence of the Lord through song, six albums, television programs and journeys around the world speaking and singing for years before joining BMC Advertising in 1989. He has a passion to win souls and see lives changed. You can reach Ben at bmcferrell.com.

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