Greg Laurie Hails 'Epic' Year at Harvest Ministries With 25,000 People Deciding to Follow Christ
Megachurch Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship in California has said that as many as 25,000 people decided to follow Jesus Christ with the help of his ministry, calling 2017 an "epic" year.
"2017 was an epic year for Harvest Ministries. With all of the outreaches combined, we have seen 25,000 people make professions of faith to follow Christ. Glory to God!" Laurie wrote in a Facebook message on Wednesday.
He added in a short video that the "New Beginning" radio broadcast, TV programs, online outreach, and the Steve McQueen movie and book earlier this year were all instrumental in this success.
"The Bible says Heaven breaks out in applause over one sinner who comes to repentance; so that's a lot to rejoice about," Laurie pointed out, asking people to consider a year-end gift so that Harvest can finish strongly financially and prepare for "great opportunities" in the coming year.
Laurie's events have drawn big crowds this year, with the 28th annual SoCal Harvest revival crusade held at Angel Stadium in Anaheim seeing over 10,000 decisions for Christ in August.
The combined crowd of the three-day event at the time hit 92,000; while another 47,000 people watched online.
Pastor Richard Garcia, Harvest's director of follow-up, told The Christian Post that the ministry takes its numbers from decision for Jesus cards it receives.
"We count every card because everyone matters," Garcia told CP at the time.
"We see, on average, 10 percent of the attendance every year here at Harvest. We had 92,000 people attend over the weekend. That is pretty typical and it was pretty awesome this weekend," he added.
"We go into it with the expectation that we will mostly see 10 people make a profession of faith."
Laurie's book and movie on American icon McQueen, known as Hollywood's "King of Cool," was instrumental in revealing to Americans that the movie star found his way to salvation through the Gospel messages of Billy Graham, even as he was suffering with cancer.
"When McQueen died on an operating table in Mexico trying one last time to beat back his cancer. He died clutching the Billy Graham Bible," the pastor wrote in a column that appeared in CP in September.
"He nearly missed it but eventually he found what so many others need today, especially at the heights of fame and fortune. He needed faith in God, again."
Laurie has warned that no Christian is "off the hook" when it comes to evangelizing and leading people to Jesus.
In a Facebook video in October he pointed to Jesus' Words in Matthew 28, where He said: "Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you, and lo I am with you even to the end of the age."
Laurie explained that the passage "means [to] go out, [and] to the best of your ability, lead people to Christ, get them on their feet spiritually, and go and repeat the process again, and again, and again."
He added: "It's sort of like, wash, rinse, repeat — evangelize, discipleship, do it again. We're all called to do this, no one gets off the hook."