Having a gathering of thousands of young adults in one place doesn’t necessarily mean much in the eyes of God. If 25,000 bodies do somehow make their way to Bartle Hall this year, that will only equal just under 2% of the population of the Kansas City Metro area on any given day. While the numbers may not be that impressive to the God who knows all the hairs on the heads of all 7 billion souls alive on the earth right now, what will happen over the next four days is exceedingly special to Him. The reason, of course, is that there are very few days when so many people gather to do the most important thing a human being will ever do. We will worship the One, true, living God.
If authentic adoration, praise, and thanksgiving arises, then Onething 2012 will be wildly successful. And there is something about all of those people being together in worship that is more magnifying of the glory of Jesus and more pleasing to Him than if we all did it separately in our rooms. This exponential dynamic is a facet of God’s design for humanity, part of why He commanded the entire nation of Israel to convene in Jerusalem three times a year, and why people are so drawn to counterfeit versions of holy convocations.
Whether it is for a music festival or a political protest, humanity demonstrates a magnetism to multitudes. Week after week there are stadiums filled with upwards of 50,000 screaming people in dozens of cities across the United States just to watch a game of football. The fact that it is commonplace for so many people to repeatedly expend so much time and money to spectate sport and so exceedingly rare to find Jesus receiving such attention and sacrifice should be far more troubling to us than divorce rates, crime rates, or laws defining marriage. America has a profound morality problem, but that is just a symptom of its much graver idolatry problem.