Have you ever done something for, say, 30 years, and all of a sudden, without warning, you are forced to stop doing it? Well, that is precisely what happened in 2020 with the ongoing pandemic. For the first time in three decades, SoCal Harvest was canceled. One of the staples of late summer in Orange County—and specifically Angel Stadium—this joyous occasion, where, through the years, thousands upon thousands of people have given their lives to Jesus, couldn’t happen. Small gatherings were prohibited, so imagine a stadium full of people.
Our ministry needed to pivot quickly, and out of rather bleak circumstances, A Rush of Hope, the beautiful, cinematic feature film, narrated and hosted by Pastor Greg Laurie and featuring music by for KING & COUNTRY, Jeremy Camp, and others, became our creative response to a year that was anything but ordinary.
As much as the film filled a space in the hearts of believers and brought non-believers to faith, we also became acutely aware of how important the annual crusades were and their impact on all of us. From their inception in 1990 at the Pacific Amphitheater in Costa Mesa to the large-scale events held at Anaheim Stadium and other venues across the world, the Harvest Crusades have witnessed more than 6 million people attending in person with over 600,000 professions of faith overall.
Although technology has allowed Harvest to stage events with a significant impact on social platforms and other viewing channels, Pastor Greg believes that its message of hope is non-negotiable and still resonates: “Technology has changed, culture has changed, but the basic need of people has not changed.”
He continues: “Finding fundamentally what happens after we die, how we can be happy, how to find meaning and purpose in this life—these things, I don’t think have ever changed.”
The goal remained the same throughout the years, providing a life-changing event for anyone who would come—skeptics, doubters, hurting people. Ultimately, everyone in attendance would hear how to come into a personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. Pastor Greg speaks understandably to the essential person drawing on current events, people, and culture that they are familiar with. At the same time, there can be no doubt that this message of hope comes from the Bible, our “user’s manual of life.”
Why do large-scale, evangelistic crusades still matter after all these years? It’s pretty simple: in a time of division, disharmony, social unrest, and fractional politics, we, now more than ever, need to be together—physically, mentally, emotionally, and yes, spiritually. We need the presence of God in our lives, the only one with a plan, a road map for all of us.
We need to see each other’s smiles, get a hug from the people whom we have missed, give comfort to those who are weary, and bring hope to those who need it the most. It can be your neighbor, your friend, your spouse, your co-worker, anyone.
So October 3, make the trip to Anaheim Stadium, join 50,000 of your closest friends, and share a night of truth-telling with Pastor Greg as he presents the gospel in an experience unlike any other.
The 2021 SoCal Harvest starts 7:00 PM on October 3 at Angel Stadium. Admission is free. Let us know you’re coming.
Did you pray with Pastor Greg?
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