harvest america, ministry highlight

Interview with Dr. Shane Pruitt of the SBTC


Harvest America is excited to share a new addition to our blog page. Each month we will highlight a Ministry Partner from around the country to share a brief Harvest America moment and more about what their ministry is doing in the area of evangelism. We hope you enjoy this!

On January 15, 2019, Harvest America Director, Mark Arenas interviewed Dr. Shane Pruitt, Director of Evangelism for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC). The SBTC was a lead supporter of the 2016 and 2018 Harvest America outreaches we hosted at AT&T Stadium.


Harvest America:

In 2018, Harvest America was live from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas

and SBTC was a leading partner in that event. Can you share your

prospective on the outreach and the impact it has had on the community?


Dr. Shane Pruitt:

First of all, let me say what a joy it is to serve alongside Greg Laurie

and the Harvest America team. I completely trust them. They’re the best of

the best at crusade evangelism.


Secondly, to see local expressions of the church come together as the

church in a collective effort to reach people with the gospel—it’s one

of the most beautiful pictures in the world to see. The image of seeing

thousands of people walking down the stairs in 2018 at AT&T Stadium, and

filling up the football field surrendering their lives to Jesus is still

burned in my mind. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that image, and I pray

to God that I don’t.


Lastly, it’s impacted the community in the most effective and lasting way

possible, because the crusade helped feed new believers into local

churches that are ministering to their neighborhoods. Sometimes people

will ask, “How do you know if people who make a decision at Harvest

America are getting plugged into the local church?” I can tell you first

hand that some do. Not too long ago, I was preaching at a local church

where I saw two college students holding the Bibles that you receive at

Harvest America when you make a decision to surrender to Jesus for



Harvest America:

On February 25–26, the SBTC is hosting Empower, their annual evangelism

conference. More information at sbtexas.com/empower.


You are quoted as saying, “With 18 million lost people calling Texas home,

it is imperative that we return to what is closest to the heart of God—

Him being glorified, lost people being found, and disciples being made.”

How have you planned this conference to achieve this for those that attend?


Dr. Shane Pruitt:

There are a lot of great Conferences out there, but what sets the Empower

Conference apart from the others is that it’s the only true evangelism

conference in the State of Texas. I’ve asked every speaker and breakout

leader to speak on something under the umbrella of evangelism and making

disciples. In 2018, there were over 2,800 people who were a part of it. We

can’t wait to see what the Lord does this upcoming February.


I like to keep things simple, so the vision for Empower is that the main

stage speakers and large sessions would inspire and challenge us towards

evangelism, missional living, and disciple making. Then, the over

twenty-five breakouts are designed to give us practical tools, trainings,

and next steps on creative ways to reach your communities with the

gospel. So, plain and simple—the main stage is for inspiration, and the

breakouts are for information.


This year at the Irving Convention Center, there are over thirty speakers

coming, including Trip Lee, Lee Strobel, Jim Cymbala, D.A. Horton, Lisa

Harper, Jonathan Pokluda, Ronnie Floyd, Junior Hill, Noe Garcia, and many

more. Worship will be led by Jimmy McNeal and Austin Stone Worship. There is

no cost to attend, but we are asking everyone to register now at

sbtexas.com/empower to guarantee their spot and to get a free gift bag

upon arrival.


Harvest America:

So you have some pretty exciting news—the release of a new book

9 Common Lies Christians Believe.” Tell us a little about the book and

what we can expect from it?


Dr. Shane Pruitt:

Yes! I am very excited about this upcoming book. I’ve partnered with the

great publishers, Waterbrook & Multnomah and Penguin Random House, to write

a book that guides readers in identifying the Christian clichés we’ve all

heard that are actually unbiblical lies. For example, all too popular

one-liners, such as, “God won’t give you more than you can handle,” “Follow

your heart,” “Believe in yourself,” “If a loved one dies God gains another angel,”

“God just wants you to be happy,” etc.


Each chapter in the book will deal with one of these unbiblical lies that

keep far too many believers stuck in spiritual immaturity, then will show

what the Word of God actually has to say about each one of these

particular topics. The goal of the book is to remind us, challenge us, and

encourage us that God’s truth is always infinitely better than cultural

clichés that are actually lies than can be harmful to our faith.


It’s been overwhelming to see the response to this work already. It

officially launches on February 19th. However, every major bookstore has

already picked it up, and it’s available for pre-orders on their websites.

Many churches and ministries are using it as a sermon series and/or small

group Bible study. My prayer is that God would be glorified, and lives

impacted for the kingdom through this book.


You can find out more about it, and what other national leaders are saying

by visiting shanepruitt.com/9commonlies.


Harvest America:

Any other topic you’d like to comment on. Maybe something about the

need for evangelism on a nation scale? A call for revival in the church?



Dr. Shane Pruitt:

As the SBTC and the Evangelism Department, we’re excited to be on board

with Who’s Your One? Our SBC President, J.D. Greear, has challenged all

Southern Baptists to identify one person they could pray for and seek to

bring to Christ over the year. I am praising God for the national

challenge on personal evangelism, and the collaboration taking place to

put a continual focus on it. We are always better together than we are apart

when it comes to proclaiming the gospel!


Is this initiative new? Is this something we’ve never seen before? No, not

at all. We saw great examples of Who’s Your One?  strategies two thousand

years ago in the Gospels. My favorite one is when Jesus calls Philip to

follow Him (John 1:43), then immediately Philip goes after Nathaniel and

invites him to “come and see” (John 1:46). Nathaniel was Philip’s “one.”

Then, they both went and found other “ones.” That is how the kingdom is

expanded. I love it.



"Greg Laurie is not only a personal friend, but is one of the great communicators of the gospel of Jesus Christ in our generation. They have written him up to be the evangelist of the future and he is. I highly recommend him."
Billy Graham

Billy Graham, Evangelist and Author

"Greg Laurie is a dynamic pastor, gifted evangelist, and trusted friend. Prestonwood is thrilled to be an anchor church in Harvest America. I hope you will be a part of this amazing opportunity too."
Dr. Jack Graham

Dr. Jack Graham, Senior Pastor, Prestonwood Baptist Church

"When it comes to reaching the lost, I’m grateful that every generation has a Billy Graham, and Greg Laurie is a Billy Graham to our generation. Gateway Church wholeheartedly supports Harvest America, and I would encourage every pastor and church to partner with them to reach their cities for Christ."
Robert Morris

Robert Morris, Founding Senior Pastor, Gateway Church

"God has mightily used Greg in so many different ways and at many different venues. Because of him, many people are in the kingdom through Harvest America, the crusades, a dynamic church, a great testimony, a great man. I pray that you will join me and partner in this years Harvest America outreach."
Dr. Tony Evans

Dr. Tony Evans, Senior Pastor, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship

"I couldn't be more excited about the upcoming Harvest event and love the Harvest model. You can bring your neighbor or family member, listen to the gospel of Jesus Christ be preached and proclaimed faithfully, and then you can follow up with them. I couldn't encourage you more to come sit in and listen to the gospel message being proclaimed here in Dallas, Texas."
Matt Chandler

Matt Chandler, Lead Pastor, The Village Church

"Greg Laurie has been my friend for many years, and in that time I've seen God work through Greg's evangelistic preaching to reach thousands upon thousands of lives for Jesus Christ. Hosting Harvest America in your church is a unique and powerful way for the gospel to reach people in your community too."
James MacDonald

James MacDonald, Senior Pastor, Harvest Bible Chapel

"There is no questions that Greg Laurie is making a huge impact for Christ and that lives are being changed by the thousands through Harvest America. If you are a follower of Jesus, this is the perfect opportunity to invite someone who doesn't know Christ to hear about the life transforming power of the Gospel."
Craig Groeschel

Craig Groeschel, Senior Pastor, Life Church

"Greg Laurie’s focus on the Gospel is why so many Southern Baptist churches and pastors have been involved with Harvest over the past 25 years . . . I strongly encourage you to get involved as well."
Kevin Ezell

Kevin Ezell, SBC North American Mission Board President

"Greg Laurie has been serving the Lord evangelistically since the early 1970s, when God changed his life during the Jesus Movement in Southern California. God has gifted Greg to give a clear, passionate, biblical presentation of the gospel. God uses him to call people to faith in Christ. I hope that you will invite your lost friends to this event, so that they can be saved."
Steve Gaines

Steve Gaines, Senior Pastor, Bellevue Baptist Church, Current President of the Southern Baptist Convention

"Harvest Crusades really helped renew in our church a passion to reach our city. We are still benefiting from the vision for evangelism and empowerment in disciple-making they helped lead us into! I don't know any other way of saying it besides, 'This strategy still works!'"
JD Greear

JD Greear, Senior Pastor, The Summit Church

See All Endorsements