The pictures that came out of Washington D.C. this weekend showed huge crowds passionately protestingdc tea party against their government’s direction. The motivation to show up at a public rally comes from a desire to change things. If one agrees with the current conditions, no need to make a sign or start a chant. The bottom line is we can’t sit still when we disagree with the way things are. 

I think there were well-meaning people making up the crowd. I’m sure there were followers of Jesus who were in the crowd. As good citizens, we have a privilege and responsibility to voice our views. I just hope those who know Christ don’t come away from a Tea Party thinking they have finished their task to impact their culture.

Jesus knew about crowds. Just take a cursory glance through the gospels and you will see how popular He was once word got out that He could heal diseases and cast out demons. Sometimes He and the disciples could barely move or have time to eat because they were so busy with the multitudes. Sometimes, at the last minute, Jesus even had to cater dinner for several thousand.

But the big event wasn’t the main vehicle Jesus used to get his message out. The excitement of the masses didn’t drive His strategy to turn the world upside-down. As a matter of fact, for someone who only had three years to spread His global message, He seemed to systematically avoid filling arenas or promoting the huge gathering. Instead, He poured Himself into small groups of people and many times, individuals.

Whether teaching His twelve disciples, His inner circle of three, a rich young ruler, a tax collector in a tree, a Samaritan woman at a well in the middle of the day or a religious leader who sought Him out in the middle of the night, Christ masterfully showed that conversations allowed for questions and answers better than big crowds.

Can our world be reached the same way? Is the Church more comfortable with large groups rather than one-on-one encounters? If we follow Jesus’ example, we will focus on opportunities to share our faith individually with those He has purposed us to know.

Political involvement only satisfies a small fraction of Christianity’s effectiveness in the world. The gospel is our message and relationships are the context in which we share it.

Concerned about our country? Good. We should be.

Convinced the Church is the solution? Great. We can be.

Committed to making disciples? Super. We have to be.