This past weekend, the Harvest Crusade happened for the 27th year at Angels Stadium in Anaheim, California. Pastor Greg Laurie and Harvest Community Church have been the driving force behind this movement, with 200 other churches partnering with them this year. In our short time being headquartered in Southern California, Gateway has become connected to this movement in healthy ways. We have enrolled students from these churches and supported the crusade with prayer and volunteers.
Each night of the crusade, Pentecost happened. That’s right – more than 3,000 people professed faith in Jesus each night. On Saturday night, people streamed down the aisles for 20 minutes – filling up the outfield grass and prompting Pastor Laurie to appeal for all trained counselors (not just those assigned to Saturday night) to come and help the inquirers. While the planning for the event was superb, the overwhelming response exceeded expectations.
While many people today are praying for “revival” and lamenting the loss of interest many seem to have in the gospel, some churches are foregoing the handwringing and simply pressing ahead. They are sharing the gospel, asking people to publicly respond with repentance and faith, and watching God accomplish supernatural life-change. Sure, it’s harder to do this in some places than others. There’s also widely varying response to the gospel in different settings. But, let’s not let those difficulties overshadow this consistent reality – the gospel will advance when Christians share it. And, sometimes, it advances dramatically!
We need less fretting about how bad things are, less lamenting about how spiritually antagonistic people may seem, far less rhetoric about national politics and its implications for Christians, and much more forthright, simple, passionate, and personal gospel-sharing. Thank God for the Harvest Crusade movement and its encouraging example of sharing the gospel.
Photos courtesy of Samuel Deuth and Deena Carter.