Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, has shared his hope for Harvest America 2017 and said he prays thousands across the U.S. will approach the evangelistic event the same way they do the Super Bowl.
"Harvest America 2017 an evangelistic event, and we don't see a lot of these events anymore," Laurie told The Gospel Herald in an exclusive interview. "Harvest America is very similar to a Billy Graham crusade, but we're using the latest media platforms, the best music, the best of everything we can find. And, when it's all said and done, I'm going to give a very straightforward presentation of the gospel."
He added, "We all know people who aren't believers, and we'd all like to take them to a church service or event where they are given an opportunity to believe in Christ. That's what this is."
At 5 p.m. on June 11, Laurie will deliver the gospel message via live satellite from the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Artist joining him for the free, one-day event include "The Voice" sensation Brennley Brown, "American Idol" winner Jordin Sparks, and CCM artists NEEDTOBREATHE, MercyMe, Trip Lee, and Phil Wickham.
Harvest America will be broadcast live on the internet at www.HarvestAmerica.com, and Laurie is encouraging individuals to host an event in their homes.
"We call it the 'Super Bowl of Evangelism'", he said. "By that I mean, on Super Bowl Sunday in America, people across the country watch the game at the same time, they may have a little meal before and after. We encourage people to do just that. Have a Harvest America Sunday in your home; feed them and make it a festive atmosphere, but then sit with them and watch the event. And then when it's done, as I'm calling people to Christ, you can pray with them right there, wherever you are."
The process is free, simple - and effective. Last year, Harvest America live-streamed to more than 7,200 remote host locations and drew a combined 357,000 participants, making it the largest one-day live evangelistic event in American history.
"Everyone can participate wherever they are, you don't have to be in Arizona," Laurie said. "We know this works because last year we did it, and we had 350,000 people watching it in person somewhere. I'm not talking about the internet or TV - I'm talking about people that were in venues, in churches, in front rooms. We know 25,000 people made a profession of faith. People will respond, and that's because God's word does not return void."
Churches, organizations, and individuals interested in hosting the Harvest America outreach in their community can find more information at www.HarvestAmerica.com/host-the-simulcast.
"Harvest America is current for any climate because the gospel is a timeless message and it's always relevant," Laurie said. "The basic questions of humanity never change, and the truths found in the gospel never change. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever."
He added, "Everybody needs Jesus. If they're old, young, rich poor, if they're in America, Europe, Africa, China, Japan - everybody needs Jesus. No one is beyond the reach of God."
Harvest America 2017 will be broadcast live on the Internet at www.HarvestAmerica.com, and "behind the scenes" updates about Harvest America 2017 will be posted on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (or search #HarvestAmerica).