Flash Mob Evangelism

flash-mob-oneIn a post by Alan Knox, he asks the question, “Was there  A Megachurch in Jerusalem?”  He also states:

“There is an assumption that the followers of Jesus gathered together as a large group in the temple for “preaching and worship” (think Sunday morning worship service) while they gathered in their homes for fellowship (think Sunday School or Bible study). However, the grammar of this verse does not lend to this kind of distinction.”

I agree with Alan that these passages can not be used to support a  regularly scheduled meeting for the purposes of preaching and worship.  But, it did get me thinking about something else:

What caused the 3000 and then subsequent 5000 to gather in the first place?  Let’s look at the text:

“When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language.  Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans?”  Acts 2:6,7  

Let’s remember that they were in the upper room.  There is no indication that this upper room was near the temple where there might have been numerous people.  It was a flash mob!  It was spontaneous.  A commotion occurred, and people came to see what it was.  That must have been some loud sound.  It was quite a ruckus.  It was after the crowd gathered that Peter began to preach and 3000 souls were added to the Kingdom.

Let’s move on the 5000.  

“Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.”  Acts 3:9,10

This scene depicts the healing of a lame man and his entrance into the temple gate with Apostles Peter and John.  Again we see a commotion and a flash mob.  Of course this time the mob was comprised of those near the Temple gate.  And again, once the crowd was formed Peter preached his infamous “Second Sermon,” which saw 5000 souls added to the Kingdom.

With these things in mind, here are a few questions:

1.  Is it ok for Christians to cause a commotion so that mass evangelism can happen? What about evangelistic campaigns? 

2.  In both cases, miracles brought the crowds.  Should we demonstrate the Gospel and the Lord’s power before preaching?

3.  In reality, what can we apply concerning preaching to crowds from these two examples?

Bonus Question:  Isn’t social media dependent on the flash mob mentality?  The bigger the crowd, the larger the commotion, the more of an impact you can make.  Right?  


 

Be Sociable, Share!

    1. And in both cases those who evangelized the crowds were beforehand submitted to the Lord and waiting for Him to show them what to do. Just an observation, not really an answer to any of your questions. Then I think of Philip with the Ethiopian…not a crowd, just one on one. But evangelism took place! Now, a thought in answer to your 2nd question, I will answer with a question: what better way to demonstrate the Gospel and the Lord’s power than to live an authentic life of love and responsiveness to what He shows us He is doing, whether it concerns a crowd or just one other person? Every believer can do that if he or she “abides in the Vine”. Great post, Miguel!


    2. I’ve heard this text used to justify a regular worship service too. I personally don’t buy it, although I see no Biblical command telling us that we can’t meet publicly for evangelistic purposes or to have a larger “citywide” gathering of the church. I believe that the power of God should be demonstrated in the daily life of the church and definitely following preaching. This can take the form of praying for the sick or seeing people set free from demonic bondage and oppression through prayer.


    3. I only would like to comment, if that’s okay. It took the extraordinary sign to get their attention, then they came, and they listened as Peter then began to speak. But, both events were unplanned and orchestrated by humans, they just happened. The healing of the man happened and I don’t think there was a deliberate intent to create a huge disturbance or happening at that moment, but look what Father did.

    Join The Conversation!