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.
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
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
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.
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.