By Tobin Perry
The goal of this year’s Crossover is to “Engage Phoenix with the gospel” through a partnership with Harvest America.
North American Mission Board and Arizona Southern Baptist Convention leaders are praying for more than 5,000 salvation decisions through this summer’s Crossover activities prior to the 2017 SBC annual meeting in Phoenix.
But for that to happen, they need Southern Baptists to serve as volunteers, according to Eddy Pearson, evangelism/discipleship facilitator for the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention.
This year’s Crossover efforts will center on a June 11 Harvest Crusade at University of Phoenix Stadium. Prior to that, organizers need volunteers to help local churches conduct door-to-door visitation across Phoenix, engaging residents in gospel conversations and extending personal invitations to attend the crusade.
“We can’t do this if Southern Baptists don’t show up,” Pearson said. “We are not having the typical 50 or more block parties [for Crossover] but we are focusing on inviting the community to Harvest America and sharing the gospel as the Lord provides opportunities.”
Pearson said they need 4,000 to 6,000 volunteers to fully staff the evangelistic outreach event. Many of those volunteers will need to come from Arizona churches — both Southern Baptist and other churches.
In addition to Friday night training and Saturday outreach, volunteers will participate in a variety of roles at the Harvest Crusade on Sunday evening, including decision follow-up workers, prayer support, security, and ushers. Volunteers must sign up through the Harvest Crusade online portal. Once they sign up, they will receive instructions for training in preparation for the crusade.
Organizers hope more than 50,000 attendees will participate in the crusade. Pearson says Harvest Crusades typically see 8 to 10 percent of attendees make professions of faith.
The crusade will be simulcast online and include a gospel message by Greg Laurie, senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif., and music by top-name Christian artists, including Needtobreathe, Trip Lee, and Phil Wickham. According to the event’s website, the crusade will focus on “bringing the cross over into people’s lives.”
Those who come to faith through this summer’s crusade will be connected to local churches for follow up. Each participating local church will have a follow-up coordinator who will lead the congregation’s follow-up efforts. Arizona Southern Baptist churches can sign up to participate at harvestamerica.com/register-your-church.
North Phoenix Baptist Church will host a “Day of Evangelism” on June 9 at 7 p.m. to train Christians in evangelism and prepare them for the June 10 evangelistic blitz of the city.
Pearson asks that Southern Baptists would pray that “God’s Spirit would permeate the city of Phoenix.”
“Pray that we have boldness,” Pearson added. “Pray that we share about this where we live, work and play.”
For more information about Crossover and how you and your church can be involved, visit harvestamerica.com/crossover-events. (BP)