Greg's Blog

Why We Do Mass Evangelism

by Greg Laurie on Apr 6, 2022

How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? —Romans 10:14

Some people may be questioning the purpose of events like the SoCal and Boise Harvest. There are critics of mass evangelism, or crusade evangelism, who say it is not effective. They say it is much better to share the gospel one on one, because trying to gather people in large groups is not an effective way to reach people.

I would have to disagree. First of all, we find two forms of evangelism in the Book of Acts. We see what we might term as mass evangelism at work, and we also see examples of personal evangelism.

Second, we have found that some 85 percent of the people who make a decision for Christ at these events were brought by a friend. So, essentially, one on one evangelism—that is, personal evangelism—was coupled with large-scale evangelism.

A Neutral Place

An outreach event can be a catalyst for a believer to utilize in his or her evangelistic efforts. After all, there are a lot of unbelievers who won’t go to church when Christians invite them, perhaps intimidated by a typical church setting out of fear of feeling out of place.

The apostle Paul was a master communicator who said he became all things to all men so that he might bring some to Christ. Paul wanted to find common ground with his listeners, to arrest their attention.

I, too, wish to build the bridge with listeners rather than burn it. Paul was willing to go into another’s world, check out their views, philosophies, and false ideas. He made an effort to understand others so he could bring an appropriate message to those who desperately needed it. The goal was always to spread the Good News.

Harvest events similarly bridge the gap by allowing an unbeliever to attend church without feeling entirely out of their world. In other words, they’re more likely to come and hear the gospel when invited to a stadium, an arena, or a local theater.

It’s vital that we share our faith one on one with people. But it’s also important that we throw out the seeds of the gospel to as many people as we can.

One question people might ask about a Harvest event is, “How is this event any different than a typical livestream?” After all, we reached millions of people in 2020 when we pivoted to an online ministry. But I would say that the answer lies in the personal touch.

You see, when a person comes to a live crusade, they have probably been brought by a friend. They have probably been prayed for. So there has been some prep work. And when the invitation is given, and that person goes forward on the field, there are counselors there to talk with them, answer questions, and walk them through the basics. So there is a lot of personal connection, both before and after the event.

How a Stadium Event Becomes Personal

With mass evangelism, we are bringing people together.

Think about the Ethiopian official in Acts chapter 8, who was sitting in his chariot reading a scroll that had the words of Isaiah written on it. He could have just as well been watching a livestream on his iPad, if you bring it into today’s language. All the answers were there, but he didn’t quite get it. He had questions. He needed a personal touch. And that’s why God sent Philip. God loves to use people to reach other people.

With events like the Boise Harvest, we are training people ahead of time to be the Philips, if you will, for these people—to pray for those they are inviting, to bring them personally to the event in their community, to guide them through the basics of what it means to be a Christian, and to follow up and disciple them afterwards. That’s why I find these mass evangelistic events to be significant, but that’s not to say personal evangelism is not as important.

God can use both large-scale evangelism and personal evangelism to get the gospel out. Both serve a purpose. 

Thanks in advance for praying for our events, and I hope to see you soon at the Boise Harvest.

Learn more about Pastor Greg Laurie

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This is a revised version of an article originally published at Crosswalk

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