Evangelism has gone through many stages to reach the place we are today.Up until the late 60′s, evangelists were mainly preachers of the Word. In the Protestant camp, Billy Graham shone the brightest while for Catholics,the first name that pops into my head as an example is Bishop Fulton Sheen and his radio program.These men focused on an evangelism of the word, a preached sermon or talk with the purpose of convincing people to repent, change and commit their lives to God.
The primary way the Holy Spirit touched people in large crowds in the 70′s, 80′ and 90′s was through power evangelism. Rather than preaching long sermons, the evangelists who drew the largest crowds were prophets and healers. The Spirit fell in a tangible way.This was not restricted to the Protestants. The Catholics experienced their own Charismatic Renewal with crowds of 30,000 gathering in Rome in the mid 70′s. I remember one Catholic Charismatic Conference in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where 10,000 people sang gently, harmoniously in tongues like angels and I am sure with angels. Organizers allowed the Holy Spirit to move gently among the crowd, healing physically and emotionally.