Originally published in Assist News
One of the largest evangelical events ever in the United States
It was a full house and overflowing at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, last Sunday (March 6, 2016) as Pastor Greg Laurie brought a message of hope for 82 000 individuals gathered locally as well as hundreds of thousands more across the nation, tuning in via radio, television, Internet stream or remote broadcast at over 7 200 host locations in 123 countries.
According to a news release, more than 750 local churches cooperated to bring Harvest America to Texas.
At a time when the nation is searching and anxious, Laurie addressed the loneliness and emptiness that exists in every heart, encouraging audiences that true peace and fulfillment can only be found in Christ.
“Not a woman, not a man, not a drug, not an experience, not a possession will fill the emptiness inside you,” Laurie said.
Referencing research on the top three late-night Internet searches – porn, loneliness and suicide – he said, “You don’t need to go to Google for your answers; God has an answer for your loneliness and it is Jesus Christ his son.
“Your religious beliefs are not enough, either; you’re not good enough on your own,” Laurie continued. “Jesus alone is uniquely qualified to bridge the gap between a holy God and sinful humanity.”
Sparking a revival
More than 6 000 of those gathered responded to the evangelist’s invitation to make a faith commitment. Harvest America organisers hope this event will spark a revival that will spread across the nation, as many attended from out of state, and with remote venues participating from all 50 states.
In a first for Harvest America, a 2 500-voice choir composed of local church members performed with artists Chris Tomlin and MercyMe, helping to lead the crowd in worship. They followed the stellar musical line-up of Switchfoot and Lecrae, providing a variety of musical styles for everyone in attendance.
Another 3 400 volunteer counsellors, 1 500 ushers and 350 individuals manning the prayer room made this the largest volunteer effort ever for Harvest Crusades, which has been hosting such events since 1990. More than 5.3 million individuals have attended, with over 450 000 having made a faith decision. In addition, Harvest Crusades have been webcast online since 1997, and have seen 1.7 million individuals tune in via live stream. Another 90 000 viewed the most recent webcast live online Sunday evening.
Local pastors providing leadership for the effort included Dr Jack Graham of Prestonwood Baptist Church, Dr Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Dallas, Dr Tony Evans of Fellowship Bible Church, Matt Chandler of The Village and Dr Robert Morris of Gateway. All agreed on the potential impact of the event.
“I am hoping this is a catalyst – not just in the DFW Metroplex, but for churches across the country to rally in a renewed commitment to evangelism,” Graham said.
Jeffress echoed the sentiment, remarking that “it was a tremendous outpouring of the Holy Spirit of God; I believe every Christian and church will be re-energized in sharing the Gospel of Christ with as many people as possible.”
About Harvest Crusades
Besides conducting evangelistic outreaches, Harvest Ministries produces “A New Beginning,” an international radio program with messages by Laurie. In addition, television specials featuring past Harvest Ministries events air internationally on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), and a weekly television program greglaurie.tv is available online at www.harvest.org, and airing on both TBN and the Church Channel, as well as on ROKU and the Harvest app.
Laurie serves as senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, with campuses in Riverside and Irvine, California, which oversees Harvest Ministries. The ministry exists for the sole purpose of presenting the life-changing message of Jesus Christ to as many people as possible, and to help believers mature in their faith. More information is available at www.harvest.org.