Popular evangelist Greg Laurie to join forces with the Southern Baptist Convention
By Kyle Patterson
As the Southern Baptist Convention gathers for their annual meeting in Phoenix, popular evangelist Greg Laurie has announced his church in Southern California is joining forces with the denomination to bring the gospel to more people in more places.
Laurie's mission and vision will stay the same, as will the church's vision, according to Laurie. He may end up gathering more support for his evangelistic rallies as well, events that draw in thousands of people in stadiums around the country.
This week the Southern Baptist Convention is meeting in Phoenix where they announced lower than expected growth, though it remains the world's largest Baptist denomination and the largest Protestant body in the United States. Laurie believes this new partnership will assist Laurie in his single minded vision to teach God's word and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“Long ago, I came to realize I am called by God to simply do two primary things: to teach God’s word and to preach the gospel. This is the calling of the Lord on my life. Other than my personal walk with the Lord, and loving my wife and family, this is my only focus," stated Laurie in a statement on his website.
Laurie continued, "My passion is to reach as many people as possible with the Good News of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ until my final breath. One of the reasons why we proclaimed 2017 ‘The Year of Good News’ is because I intend on even further amplifying my focus on gospel proclamation. It’s also why Harvest Crusades, with the assistance of the Southern Baptist Convention, organized the Harvest America 2017 crusade on June 11 at the University of Phoenix Stadium. It’s why we’ll do it all again next year in Dallas on June 10, 2018."
Laurie's recent rally in Phoenix attracted over 30,000 people in person, over 40,000 online and resulted in over 3,000 people committing their lives to Christ, making it one of the largest evangelistic rallies of the year in the United States. Laurie believes God's work in the United States though is far from over.
“We need a national revival as much as at any time in our nation’s history. We must pray for it, work toward it and do everything possible to prepare the ground for it. We must preach and pray until it comes. This is why we’ve chosen to extend a hand of fellowship to the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest protestant denomination of churches. We’ve chosen to partner in total, unrelenting pursuit of our nation’s next great awakening."
Laurie also called for an increase of partnership and unity in the body of Christ as a whole stating, “I believe that the time is right to reach across the church and to lock hands in total support of the rapid advance of the gospel in our nation and in our world. I believe this decision is a powerful step in that direction. I appreciate the SBC’s focus on evangelism as well as their outreach in missions and relief ministries that touch our world every day in a significant way.