Staff Editorial: Harvest Crusades offer temporary momentum for serving Christ

Harvest Crusades are beneficial for leading people to Christ, but the momentum doesn’t last forever.

Chimes Staff, Writer

On Saturday, Sept. 10, Dodger Stadium was filled with the sights and sounds of Greg Laurie’s Harvest Crusade. Following the tradition of evangelists such as Billy Graham, Harvest lures crowds with contemporary acts, hooks them with a heaven-or-hell altar-ultimatum, and leads them in a prayer to change their destiny. Over the 20-plus-year Harvest history, tens of thousands of lives have been turned toward the gospel, but does the crusade offer a good direction on their spiritual journey or just a mountain-top emotional high?

The energy present at Harvest Crusades is infectious. The lively bands and charismatic speaker build momentum in all who respond to the message of the night. But the momentum doesn’t last forever, and our everyday walk with Christ isn’t like that. It is far too easy to fall on your knees Saturday night and return to your old life by Monday morning. A Christian’s life goal is to live and walk like Jesus did, but it’s far too easy to sway to the motion of the moment, and exit thinking a fire insurance policy was purchased and life can continue in the status quo.

Undoubtedly, plenty of good can come from the crusades. The extremely emotional nights can impact a lot of people. Harvest Crusades also equip volunteer leaders with training prior to the events on how to lead those responding to the message to Christ and help get them information about local churches. Despite their best efforts, however, does the emotionalism of the night provide lasting impression on people?

The biggest concern these impassioned crusades raise is the lack of connection to continued opportunity for growth in their relationship with Christ. If future Harvest Crusades were to lead new believers to churches, direct them along their spiritual journey and form personal relationships with those who seek transformation, perhaps then the altar calls would become a truly life-altering experience.

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