From duck calls to Southern rock, the 2013 SoCal Harvest with Greg Laurie provided a little something for everyone this past weekend, including an introduction to God.
Author Max Lucado opened the first night of the 24th annual Harvest outreach with a simple prayer: “Lord Jesus, this is Your hour and Your moment.”
Indeed it was, as more than 105,000 people poured into Angel Stadium of Anaheim over three nights to hear a life-changing message of redemption and God’s love presented by Southern California pastor and evangelist Greg Laurie. By the end of the weekend, some 9,263 people walked onto the outfield of Angel Stadium to indicate decisions of faith.
Laurie spoke during all three nights of the 2013 SoCal Harvest and was joined onstage by special guest Duck Commander Phil Robertson of A&E’s Duck Dynasty, as well as top Christian recording artists, including six-time Grammy Award-winner TobyMac, American Idol finalist Colton Dixon, rock band Flyleaf, Australian group For King & Country, multiplatinum-selling rock band Third Day and singer/songwriter Phil Wickham. As crowds danced and sang along to the music on Friday night, Dixon prayed, “Lord, I pray that everyone here and everyone watching at home would see You tonight.”
The overarching message presented by Laurie throughout the weekend focused on the hope available to all of us through a relationship with Jesus Christ. In an interview with The Orange County Register, Laurie said, “I’m a hurting person talking to other hurting people about a God who can heal them.”
Laurie offered that hope to the crowds gathered at Angel Stadium, asking them, “Are you in pain tonight? Pain is God’s megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
Laurie continued, “God loves you. No matter what sin you’ve committed, He loves you. But you need to turn from that sin and put your trust in Him.”
Talking with Laurie on Sunday evening, Robertson echoed that message of salvation to the audience of 43,000 gathered in the stands. Robertson told Laurie that making a decision to put his faith in Christ was the “best thing that ever happened to [him].” The duck commander went on to tell the crowd, “The only way you’re going to get off Planet Earth is through Jesus. Period. You need to move on that tonight.”
All nights of the 2013 SoCal Harvest were broadcast on the Internet, where 78,377 people from all 50 states and 92 countries around the world watched the outreach. The event is archived and available for viewing at harvest.org.
Laurie, who founded the evangelistic Harvest Crusade events in 1990, also serves as senior pastor of one of the largest churches in the U.S., Harvest Christian Fellowship, which has campuses in Riverside and Irvine, Calif. During the past 24 years, the Harvest Crusades have drawn some 4.8 million people to events in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Laurie also serves on the board of directors for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
Harvest will hold its next outreach at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Sept. 28-29. The Philadelphia Harvest will be simulcast to thousands of locations for a coast-to-coast evangelistic outreach called Harvest America. The inaugural Harvest America program was simulcast from Angel Stadium in 2012 and drew 367,849 participants, making it one of the largest evangelistic outreaches in U.S. history.