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Laurie overflowing with faith

As pastor gears up for Harvest Crusade, he reflects on his busy life and constant ministering.

August 14, 2013|By Alicia Lopez
  • Pastor Greg Laurie will speak at his annual large-stadium Harvest Crusade event Aug. 23-25 at Angels Stadium of Anaheim.
Pastor Greg Laurie will speak at his annual large-stadium… (Trever Hoehne for…)

The answer is, he loves it — it probably helps that people seem to think he's pretty good at it — and wants to share the peace he's found in his faith with those who will listen.

But in the end, Pastor Greg Laurie said he shares his time among the Harvest Crusade, his home ministries in Riverside and Irvine, his duties as a police chaplain for Newport Beach and Costa Mesa, and the pretty-much-always-on-call nature of his work because he loves it.

So the question, of course, is why do so much?

"It's juggling a lot of balls," he said. "Every now and then, I drop one. I'm learning to this day to say no to things. I'm overcommitted at times, but I love what I'm doing more than any time in my life."

Though it all can be overwhelming, he still finds himself returning from a vacation with five more projects in his head.

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The project taking up most of his attention right now is the 2013 SoCal Harvest at Angel Stadium of Anaheim set for Aug. 23 to 25. Once again, Laurie will be the star speaker amid several Christian musicians and, this time around, a new A&E reality star.

"People are really excited to hear Phil Robertson from 'Duck Dynasty,'" he said of one of the stars of the TV show about an entrepreneurial Southern family that manufactures duck calls.

Laurie's love of his work is why the 60-year-old evangelical Christian has been speaking at and helping to organize the traveling tent revival — albeit it one in large stadiums — for 24 years. And it is his manner of preaching that keeps his growing audience coming back.

Laurie is known to relay personal stories to connect with his congregation. Though his world has changed much since he started preaching at 19, he said he leads a normal life.

"I take and find joy in the simple things in life," he said. "I hang out with my grandkids and play. I like to be with friends, have something good to eat. I surf once a year when I'm in the mood and the water is warm. Sometimes, I get on my Harley.

"And there's a lot of fun in the ministry — a lot of laughter. It's serious stuff we deal with, and we try to find the joy and fun when we can."

Laurie uses this blend of real-life anecdotes, biblical references and comedic timing to allow the audience to feel entertained as it receives his spiritual message.

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