Eyes Fixed on God’s Purposes
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 11:3-4
The church fellowship that Greg Laurie started in Riverside, California, in 1972 would eventually become one of the largest churches in America. No one was more surprised than Greg that something like this would occur.
When Greg first walked through the dilapidated building where his new church would be, he found himself thinking about the fledgling congregation of new believers who just wanted to hear the Word of God. He was twenty years old. He’d been a Christian for three years. He knew God was calling him to preach and teach. But was this how churches started?
Still, Greg had read the book of Acts. He’d seen how the original Jesus Movement moved. His faith was in God, not in a marketing or branding campaign, not in a media platform, not in church growth techniques. He was ready to do what God called him to do, whatever it was.
More than 500 people came to his first service.
Greg was but one of a crop of young men who met Christ during the Jesus Movement in Southern California and then went on to start growing, vital churches. This was before the boom of casual worship, seeker-friendly churches, and many of the outreach innovations that are common today. Back then contemporary Christian music was in its infancy, and casual dress was still a new development in many sanctuaries.
But even though these new churches were contemporary in style, their pastors didn’t try to make the gospel more relevant by modifying its message. The young preachers stuck to the basic proclamation of the Bible that had evangelized and discipled them. They didn’t pursue trendy topics; they taught, verse by verse, through entire books of the Bible.
So for Greg and his fellow hippie preachers, the decades that followed the excitement of the Jesus Movement were in fact a season of joyful but hard work: planting, cultivating, and shepherding new groups of Christians. Throughout the ’90s and into the new millennium, Greg pressed on with Harvest Christian Fellowship, its evangelistic crusades, a daily radio program, television opportunities, and a growing internet presence as social media exploded and technology allowed for powerful new ways to spread the gospel.
God has different plans for all of us. Write a prayer asking God to reveal His specific purpose for you, right now. What do you need to do to revitalize your faith in God so you can follow His lead?