Baptist Press

170407crossoverPHOENIX — 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 the help of Southern Baptists to come and serve as volunteers, according to Eddy Pearson, evangelism director for the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention.

This year’s Crossover efforts will center on a June 11 Harvest Crusade led by Greg Laurie. 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 come from Arizona churches — both Southern Baptist and other churches — but not all of them will.

The crusade marks one of the most significant shifts in the history of the Crossover outreach efforts. Crossover began with an SBC resolution in 1983 that urged Southern Baptists to plan an evangelistic outreach to coincide with the 1989 annual meeting in Las Vegas. Since that year Southern Baptists have annually led city-wide evangelistic celebrations in the host cities of the SBC annual meeting. Co-sponsored by the North American Mission Board and the local SBC association, the event has typically included local church outreaches like block parties and service projects. June 2017 will mark the 29th consecutive year Southern Baptists have hosted Crossover events.

“I think people see the great potential of this crusade,” said Joel Southerland, NAMB’s executive director of evangelism. “In years past we’d have 300, 400, or 500 people come to faith in Christ. With this crusade, we could have 4,000, 5,000, or 6,000 people come to faith in Christ.”

Greg Laurie, who serves as senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif., has been leading Harvest Crusades since 1990. More than 5.7 million people have attended Harvest Crusades since that time.

For information about volunteering for the Sunday crusade, visit harvestamerica.com/serve. For information about outreach opportunities on Friday and Saturday, visit harvestamerica.com/pre-events.

For more information about Crossover and how you and your church can be involved, visit harvestamerica.com/crossover-events.