The days after a crusade are always a fog. Days of rushing around, talking endlessly, meeting, planning, and working the plans, all push the adrenaline levels and leave the crusade team and Pastor Greg somewhat numb.

But for me, as now the dust settles and the fog begins to lift, there is one abiding sentiment that keeps coming to the forefront of my thinking. Cathe Laurie mentioned it briefly from the stage Sunday night when she alluded to the fact that when Harvest Crusades began in 1990, our children were, well, just children. Now many are adults and serving in the crusade ministry or in their own church. She said it was a blessing!

That brought to mind the equation, or formula, that stands at the top of my list when I attempt to summarize our 25th anniversary weekend, where 116,000 people crowded into a stadium to hear the gospel, and where some 12,791 made professions of faith:

FAITHFULNESS + TIME = BLESSING

It may seem a bit trite, but it’s as true as God’s Word and as certain as the morning sun.

When we first began, 25 years ago, convincing people that a stadium event was worth the effort, and worth the investment of time and money, frequently fell on deaf ears. Time has proven that large-scale evangelistic efforts are worth the sweat equity and worth the investment of dollars into building God’s kingdom.

In those early years, we had to ignore the naysayers and limp along on meager budgets, being faithful to what we believed God had called us to do. And our faithfulness was buoyed by God’s faithfulness as the bills were paid.

After 25 years, we are still dependent on God to move the hearts of His people to support the SoCal Harvest, but because over time God’s people have seen the effectiveness of publicly proclaiming the gospel, the task of bringing in the necessary revenue has gotten easier.

FAITHFULNESS + TIME = BLESSING

The same could be said when it comes to convincing people to volunteer and help as counselors, ushers, stage and concession helpers, all of whom are necessary to pull off a stadium-sized event.

This year we saw record numbers of counselors (nearly 3,000) and ushers and hundreds of others who came out to help. All totaled, we need some 5,000 volunteers.

And it takes the commitment of churches in Southern California to offer their churches as a centers of promotion and follow-up. This year 110 churches offered to hold follow-up classes for those who were making professions of faith in Christ.

Why? Why do they engage now? Because, over time, the benefits of a public proclamation of the gospel are undeniable. How else can we turn the tide of secularism? How else can we battle the downward spiral of immorality and the godless mindset of our culture? How else can we post a banner in the midst of the rush and busyness that says: “Wait! Jesus has made another way to live!”

Because we’ve been faithful to the message, believers are faithful to help the messenger.

FAITHFULNESS + TIME = BLESSING

It’s an equation that transcends ministry as well. I’ve found it to be true in my personal life. After 38 years of marriage, I now have four grown sons that have all found their place in the church. I now have four beautiful, godly daughters-in-law that have brought to our family six glorious little grandchildren.

As I pass the 60-year-old marker I can without hesitation say these are the most blessed years of my life. But no marriage is ever easy. The give and take of becoming one in Christ doesn’t occur without bumps and bruises. Nor does rearing four rambunctious boys.

Looking forward 30 years ago, I could not have known the bends in the road. Looking back, I know them all—and all the bridges and potholes, laughs and tears, pushes and pulls.

Thirty years ago, I set my hand to the plow of ministry. I left a good job and good income to labor among God’s sheep and to sow seeds in His Harvest field. I’ve never known want, never lacked for stimulating challenges; I’ve met and rubbed shoulders with godly and famous men and women. And I’ve never looked back wishing I’d done something else.

Today, I sit in the afterglow of an amazing weekend where lives were changed and God was glorified. Today I have a full heart, a grateful heart, because I have experienced that FAITHFULNESS + TIME = BLESSING!