From August 18 to 20, 2017, Pastor Greg Laurie held his 28th annual Southern California Harvest (SoCal Harvest) Crusade outreach at Angel Statium in Anaheim, California — and people showed up in droves to hear a positive message.
Scores of faithful Christians were encouraged as they heard about the hope that comes through having a relationship with Jesus. Attendance reached more than 92,000 in person at the event, and an additional 46,972 people from all 50 states and 49 countries watched the event online. In addition, more than 200,000 watched via Facebook live. More people are continuing to experience the event through online replays.
But what exactly convinced hundreds of thousands of people to put their earthly lives on hold? Let’s take a look.
A Message of Hope and Peace
Each action-packed night of the event included an inspiring message from Laurie about a personal relationship with Christ, and the hope and strength that it brings. Laurie’s message on Friday evening, August 18, was titled “A Second Chance for America,” and addressed some of the events that have been occurring in the country lately.
He talked about turmoil surrounding political and racial issues, and referred to the conflicts of the 1960s. He also mentioned his own personal story of challenges that he experienced before he came to faith in Christ, and how unifying this message can be.
“When you become a Christian, those barriers come down,” he explained. “Racial barriers come down, prejudice comes down…Our country is divided. For a follower of Jesus Christ, there is no place for racism, bigotry or prejudice of any kind… There is no superior race. We are all part of the human race.”
Laurie, the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship with locations in California and Hawaii, turned crusade attendees to the solutions for the problems both external and internal.
“Deep down inside you’re longing for God, you’re longing for peace, for the forgiveness of sin,” he said. “God holds the missing peace for you tonight, but you must come to Him and believe. You’re a sinner, but the Good News is that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins and paid the price for you.”
Receptive Minds and Hearts
Not only did large numbers of people attend the crusade in person and online, but a sizeable number of those responded to Laurie’s message to put their faith in Christ. In fact, 10,071 people accepted Christ at the massive event in person and while watching online. Let’s hope that those people will go out in their everyday lives and make a positive impact for Christ in our country and world.
Along with the gospel message, crusade attendees were encouraged by wonderful music of prominent Christian musicians such as David Crowder, Jeremy Camp, Lecrae, worship leader Phil Wickham, American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, American Idol finalist Danny Gokey, NBC’s The Voice finalist Brennley Brown and Andy Mineo.
On Sunday evening, Brennley Brown sang the powerful and much-loved “God Bless America.” There was also a prayer for the United States, as well as a fireworks show.
Lecrae had an especially poignant message to share with crusade attendees.
“There are people from all over the map here, but you are all beautiful to me … you’re a picture of God’s creation. If somebody sees you as invisible, it’s only because their vision is limited, not your own.”
During this time of many challenges in the United States, whether that is coming from racial conflict, violence, national security issues or natural disasters, it is heartening to hear this good news of lives being changed as people turn to Christ. Indeed, Christ is still changing hearts and minds and bringing a calm to life’s storms.
You can watch the recordings of 2017 SoCal Harvest at www.harvest.org.
~ 1776 Christian