Even looking at it from a human perspective you could definitely say that there has never been another person who has effected human history more than Jesus. The few things he did during a finite amount of time on earth has sent reverberations throughout the generations. And what strikes me is that he never had any kind of "program" going, as far as I can tell.
We never see Jesus planning events. "Hey, let's invite 5,000 people to a picnic and feed them with a few bread loaves and fish. Peter, you distribute fliers. John, you paint a banner. Phillip, go get a radio ad going."
We never see Jesus offering regular public services. "Now tell all those people to meet me on the mountainside every Thursday at 3:oo as I go through my current series on Beatitudes. And tell them after I am done teaching we will have a time of prayer and healing. Andrew, while everyone is praying with their eyes closed I want you up on that mountain behind me playing music as soon as I say 'Amen!'"
We never see Jesus outline his discipleship training curriculum. "Okay, disciples, we're going to have 40 days of purpose as we go through my various parables, memorize my Thursday 3 pm sermons (verbatim--including punctuation!), and I will quiz you on the names of all the books of the Old Testament. Those who get the higher marks will be rewarded by not having to pray before our meal times."
And we never see Jesus setting up organizations or committees. "After I finish writing these bylaws I'm appointing Peter, James and John as board members who will receive occasional special counsel from Moses and Elijah. With the synergy we generate from all of our ideas we'll put together an impressive package for the post crucifixion event. Now, Peter, don't bail out on me at the last minute!"
But Jesus was still able to change the world. How did he do it without a program?
Now, I don't think programming is wrong and I think there are some great programs out there that do a lot for God's kingdom. But, sometimes I wonder if we put more energy into programs than we do people. Sometimes I wonder if our programming keeps us buried under work and isolated from the community. Instead of worrying about our relationship with people and their relationship with God, we worry about their relationship with the program. "They haven't been in attendance lately." "Why haven't Bob and Melissa signed up for this class yet?" "Janice should be a small group leader by now."
But when I look at Jesus, I just see him going out there and doing things in the community and addressing events as they occur. It was his presence and his exposure to the community that allowed him to have such a great impact.
What do you think?