The roar of the crowd. No stadium or seats. No ceilings or concession. No screens or mega-buildings. Something we have never seen in America. A crowd of almost 1.5 million people gathered in a field in Africa to hear the gospel from one of our generations great preachers.
Every fall in Michigan there will be 100 thousand people at an NCAA football game in Michigan Stadium. In Texas, there will be 100 thousand people at Texas Stadium for a Dallas Cowboys football game in the NFL. Once in a while we might see crowds approaching 1 million people gathered on the Mall in Washington, DC for a political rally or a justice cause.
But, one thing we have never seen in America is a gathering of 1.5 million people to hear the gospel in one place at one time. You could argue that each Sunday morning in America there are about 50 million people gathered to hear the gospel in church. Or, you could say that every fall there will be 7 million students praying around their flag poles the third Wednesday in September for See You At The Pole, an annual prayer meeting held at middle schools and high schools. What about the fact that millions of Americans can view a gospel television show from the comfort of their homes. It might even be argued that American Christianity is not about the mega-gathering crusades we see in Africa, South America, or even Asia. Our method of Christianity is more like silos and small groups.
The real point of this video and blog is not about mere numbers or crowds. Watching the video this week drew me to a thought I want to challenge America with. This thought may not even be culturally relevant. This thought is probably not contextually relevant. But, let me pose a few questions.
WOULD you travel hours by foot to hear one of the world's great preachers? WOULD you come to a place for several days with no concessions or t-shirt sales? WOULD you stand for hours (or sit on the ground) where there is no roof over your head or air conditioning? WOULD you remain at a service or meeting where you could not even see (and barely hear) the preacher?
What I am talking about is hunger. Please do not critique this video or this blog and make excuses about why today we don't need to gather in mega crowds or why we don't need to travel for hours or stand for hours and listen to the gospel. I get that. The question is not that I need to. But, WOULD I. It is a hunger question.