Best-selling author, latest, The Cross, (2013)
Founder/Pastor, World Harvest Church –more than 10,000 people in attendance each week
Founded Bridge of Hope missions organization, Valor Christian College, World Harvest Ministerial Alliance, Harvest Prepatory School, and the Center for Moral Clarity
Hosts TV show, Breakthrough
Received BA, from Ohio Christian University
Received Doctorate from Liberty University
Married to Joni, two college-age children, Ashton and Austin
Experience the Power of the Cross
The 700 Club
A CROSS-LESS GENERATION
“The cross is disappearing from our cityscapes and church platforms. But in a broader, profounder and more troubling sense, we’ve been voluntarily removing it from our hearts and minds. Silently, steadily, stealthily – without fanfare or debate – we have slipped the cross out of our preaching, from our singing and from our daily living. As a result, the cross is fading from our collective consciousness,” shares Rod. Our culture seems to be content with Jesus the prophet and Jesus the teacher, but takes offense to Jesus the Lamb of God who was slain for the sins of the world. The scene at Calvary is just too ugly for some to look at with its implications of sin. They don’t want to look at a Jesus that was spat upon, mocked, and nailed to a cross. Instead of a broken Jesus on the cross, they prefer more pleasant images of Jesus such as the Sunday school illustration version with children on His lap.
Rod says, “It’s amazing to realize that Paul’s words about the cross being a stumbling block to the Jews and an absurdity to the Greeks are absolutely relevant almost 2,000 years later.” Liberal theologians and the militant atheist movement are little different than the naysayers of Paul’s day. The cross still has the power to offend. As a result, many of today’s Christian leaders have downplayed the cross both inside and outside the church. Rod says, “The cross is a window into the heart of God. Some look and are offended. Some look and cry, ‘foolishness’ but some see love on display.” The message of the cross continues to be “the exclamation point of God’s greatest statement of love for wayward humanity,” shares Rod.
“As a boy,” he says, “I learned the truth of Calvary at an early age at the feet of some tremendous men of God. That was a time when there were no self-imposed taboos about the preaching of the cross – it was truth to be shared. As long as I have the privilege to preach the gospel, the cross has been at the center of my message. But the more I travel, the more I realize that isn’t the case at many churches in America.” Rod has committed to building a permanent replica of Calvary on the campus of World Harvest Church which he founded in 1979. The familiar three crosses on a hill will be built on the flat terrain of central Ohio making it highly visible to travelers. He hopes the message of the cross will inspire others to make the cross central to the way they live their lives as Christians.
BEAUTY OF THE CROSS
Rod says there is an unspeakable loveliness to be seen at the cross – if only we have eyes to see it.
- Calvary’s cross is where the furious love of God Almighty encounters our broken and shattered hearts.
- Calvary’s cross is the place where God’s ultimate triumph intersects with Lucifer’s consummate demise. It represents Gods’ victory over Satan.
- Calvary’s cross is where the crucified Lamb and the bankrupt culture of a fallen race encounters the transformative power of sacrificial servant hood.
When Rod was just a boy he surrendered his heart and life to the Lord. “The cross was and is central to my faith and to my life,” shares Rod. In 1977, he began a Bible study in his back yard; 17 people attended the first meeting. Today, the ministry’s headquarters and Columbus church campus encompasses half a million square feet and more than 200 acres of land. The ministry of World Harvest Church has more than 10,000 people each week in attendance through its worship services at three physical locations in central Ohio.
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