PHOENIX, Ariz. (BP)—The North American Mission Board’s (NAMB) Crossover Arizona and Greg Laurie’s Harvest America joined forces to host a three-day evangelistic outreach across Phoenix involving training, street evangelism and service projects before culminating in Harvest America’s Sunday night crusade.
By the end of that evening, Harvest reported 2,904 salvation decisions at the event with another 494 indicating decisions online.
The events were in conjunction with the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) annual meeting in Phoenix.
“Welcome to Crossover,” said Jason Powell, pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship, during Crossover’s Friday-evening gathering. “This is for you to learn tips and tactics to tell someone else about Jesus. While we’re excited about the opportunity for 35,000 people to hear the Gospel at the crusade, it’s very important we learn how to share and get out there every day.”
Powell was one of three key speakers at Crossover’s opening night of worship along with Levi Lusko, pastor of Fresh Life Church and Laurie, senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship.
“You were brought to Phoenix; you were brought to Arizona; you were brought here for such a time as this,” Lusko said. “So get ready to go forth from this moment different, ready for something to happen.”
Fifty Crossover volunteers gathered Sat., June 10 to fix up Arizona homes. They repaired plumbing, cleaned houses, painted walls and landscaped yards during the “Love in Action” service project at several transitional houses owned by Dream City Church and its affiliate, Dream Center.
But the day wasn’t over for Crossover participants. As the sun set, the streets of Phoenix, Glendale, Scottsdale and Ave Mesa filled with groups sharing the Gospel during the “Tell Someone” evangelism portion of Crossover.
Steve Gaines, president of the SBC and pastor of Memphis-area Cordova, Tenn., Bellevue served alongside his wife Donna and Southwestern Seminary (SWBTS) students and alumni Saturday night in Glendale.
“With our group, we visited over 1,000 homes,” Gaines said. “We had well over 200 Gospel conversations and were out for about three to four hours. We had a great time!”
Frank S. Page, CEO of the SBC Executive Committee, also participated in door-to-door evangelism Saturday with Sahuaro Ranch Park, Ariz., First Southern and SWBTS students.
“I did not get to lead anyone to Christ,” Page said, “but I did have several great Gospel conversations. I have participated in Crossover for many years and love the privilege.”
The weekend’s events came to a crescendo Sunday night as approximately 38,000 gathered to hear the good news of Jesus live at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. Another 3,000 host sites joined the crusade event online.
“The goal of Harvest America is to impact a nation,” Lusko said as he introduced the Sunday night event. “Everyone wants hope and is longing to have the hole inside them filled up. Everyone is clutching for meaning, and we have the answer!”
The event started with prayer for the nation and then attendees experienced a night of worship with musical artists NEEDTOBREATHE, Trip Lee, MercyMe, Jordin Sparks, Phil Wickham and Brennley Brown and heard a Gospel presentation from Laurie.
Many attendees had been invited to the crusade by friends, neighbors, coworkers, family members or even strangers.
“I came to the crusade because my friend started asking me about Jesus, and Harvest America was the perfect opportunity to have her hear the Gospel,” Tammi Gauthier, an Arizona native, said. “I’d been to a few crusades before but nothing this big. I was so happy to bring her and have her be completely immersed in worship and the Word.”
In his message, Laurie shared about the anxieties and fears most Americans live with.
“People are scared, worried, in anxiety. But let’s have theology without apology. People are hungry for that; they’re hungry to have an honest and hopeful conversation. The last thing that God wants is any man or woman created in His own image to go to Hell. Heaven is His place for all forgiven people and all people can be forgiven at any time if they believe and receive Him into their lives. That’s the message we aimed to share during Crossover Arizona and at Harvest America—a message of hope to the nation.”
Laurie ended the evening by inviting people to the stadium floor if they wanted to begin a relationship with Christ.