HarvestFEST (Revival) 2009: A Look Back

Free resource for youth pastors: Zach Gryder Evangelistic Sermon (mp3)

Yeah, so this blog is pretty stankin late since our HarvestFEST revival was back in October 2009.  I’m finally just getting/taking a little time to look back at it.

 HarvestFEST is our “revival” of the year.  We use it to strategically invite the lost, unbelieving, unsaved, and unchurched to our church to hear the gospel.  I hate admitting this, but I used to think this kind of thing was epically lame. Now I know I had just never been a part of such an amazing style of revival before.

 What made the revival so great was the speaker that we had.  We brought in RONNIE HILL, a seriously hilarious comedian who is full of integrity and a love for Jesus Christ.  He really sticks to the basics with a simple gospel presentation and very engaging illustrations.  I used to think revival preachers needed to go way deeper, but he really was perfect to reach the lost at the point they were at and bring them to Jesus.  

 Our HarvestFEST week was set-up like this: Sunday – revival in the church, Monday – revival for children and parents, Tuesday – revival for teenagers, and Wednesday – revival for families.  Sunday night was incredibly special because one of our biggest prayer requests (a college student in the church), radically gave his life to Christ!  Tuesday was also a huge hit because we had the most students we’ve ever had at any event before…over 800!  Wednesday was crazy because we baptized 62 people that night.  What a week!

 If I were a youth pastor, I’d be dying to hear how we got 800 students when we only average about 100 usually.  We hit up the schools HARD!  Ronnie is a comedian and master school assembly speaker.  We took him into 4 or 5 different schools where he spoke to around 4,000 – 5,000 students in 2 days.  Then after the assemblies, we hit up the school lunches and passed out TONS of tickets for free pizza and grand prize drawings for a free iPod Touch.  Hint: the students LOVED the idea of free pizza and free prizes.  That night, over 800 students came for the free pizza, grand prize drawing, and they heard the gospel.  Many were saved that evening and then baptized the next night.

 True revival and reaching the lost is hard work.  Ronnie has been doing it for 20 years…and is a jedi level master at it.  He had an intern, Zach Gryder, who was helping him…and he was a natural at reaching kids as well.  Zach preached for our kids that Sunday morning, and 4 kids were saved.  I put his sermon link at the top of this article so that you can listen to it.  Our student ministry was in the 80’s and 90’s before the revival and had really never hit 100 on a regular Wednesday night.  Since the revival, we have not been under 100.  God has used it greatly to reach so many teens for Christ in His church!

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