Seattle Harvest Crusade
June 22, 2010 by Pastor Jeremiah
Earlier this week, Corbett Stubbert and I, along with a few hundred other pastors from the Seattle area, had the opportunity to hear from Greg Lauri of Harvest ministries. Coming to Seattle Nov 5-7, Greg Lauri will be holding a Harvest crusade at the Key Arena that will potentially draw 36,000 people to hear the message of the gospel. Greg Lauri is an incredible evangelist with a very inspiring story and a passion for reaching people for Jesus Christ (more about Greg Lauri here). While I was instantly drawn to Greg and inspired by his story, I have some reservations about reaching people through giant crusades in mass quantities. I’ve had to ask myself the question, is this something we should get on board with and support as a church? Here’s a few reasons why I believe the answer to that question is, “Yes!”
Personal or impersonal
I personally believe that relational evangelism is most effective in leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. One off events like giant crusades that come through town, “wow” people with the gospel, then take off like the circus have always bothered me. However, bringing my unbelieving friends to a power packed, faith-filled presentation of the gospel is hardly an impersonal event if I am there alongside them to support them through their potential profession of faith in Jesus Christ. I am viewing the upcoming Harvest crusade as a tool that I can utilize to help reach my friends for Christ. If I’m there with them, it’s personal.
A neutral site
It’s no secret that the Seattle area is one of the most un-churched regions in the nation. Seattleites are unfamiliar with Christianity, which creates apprehension and skepticism towards the church. The bottom line is there are a lot of people who would never step foot into a church because it would be too uncomfortable an experience for them, or at least, that’s their perception. The Key Arena is a place they know. They used to watch the Sonics there. They’ve seen Disney on ice in the Key Arena. It’s a neutral site where they will be comfortable. Best of all, with over 12,000 people in attendance, they will be completely anonymous.
The Unity Factor
In the Garden of Gethsemane, the night before Jesus gave up his life on the cross, he prayed that the church would be unified. In Psalm 133, the scriptures tell us that when the people of God come together in unity, God is compelled to bless them. It’s no wonder that Jesus wanted us to be unified as believers in Christ. If we are living under God’s blessing, we will be more effective in fulfilling the mission that Jesus has commanded us to fulfill – “Go into all the world and make disciples.” I want my friends, who don’t know Christ, to be able to experience God in that kind of an environment, a place where God’s spirit is alive in people who have come together to make his name great. Ultimately, it’s not the big show, the awesome bands, or the incredible testimony of Greg Lauri that will convince the people of our city to believe in Jesus. That can only happen through the power of God’s grace at work in their lives.
We’ll be releasing more info about the upcoming Harvest festival Nov 4-6 in the coming months. In the meantime, check out the website here: seattle.harvest.org