Together2016 Was a Huge Win for the Home Team

Together2016 Was a Huge Win for the Home Team

Jason Hershey, Founder DavidsTentDC

Jason Hershey, Founder DavidsTentDC

There are people who know how to mathematically come up with a generally accurate number as to crowd sizes at large events.  I am not one of them.  However I do suppose that several hundred thousand people gathered in DC in the name of Jesus for Together 2016.

It was a HUGE win for the Home Team!

Though it was super sad to see it end early due to an excruciatingly high heat index, it was at that very moment that I heard what I believe the Lord Jesus wanted to tell the Whole Church of America.  The single greatest message of the day.  It was the sermon on the Mount.  Jesus speaking to His people through Nick Hall, straight out of Matthew7:24. Nick basically concluded that they didn’t gather people there to just stay there, but to send them out.  And with that, Nick challenged everyone there to go out and actually spend time doing all that they were just charged to do.

If we the church would only actually do all that Jesus has instructed us!  It’s in plain language written down clearly in a book for all to read!  A house build on a rock, hears the Word and put’s it into practice!

 Pastor Dave Owens at Embassy Church in NW Washington DC (One of my home churches) reflected with me on Sunday that as he walked away he was watching people minister to one another and to the lost on the streets all around the mall!

At David’s Tent we saw a ground swell at about 4:30 as people were exiting Together.  People packed into the tent.  It was full and overflowing.  Then is started to rain.  People packed even closer like sardines underneath the canopy of the tent and worshipped with all their heart, soul, mind and strength.  As the clouds departed and the rain held it’s peace, four rainbows appeared at the same time over Washington DC!  And a crowd of people encircled David’s Tent while holding hands and worshipping with all their voice.

It was a picture of Together. People that didn’t know each other before, holding hands in a unified circle, around the worship of Jesus Christ.

As the worship circle ran it’s course, a “fire tunnel” (Two rows of people facing each other pray for people as they walk down the center between them.) was born and for the next two hours people were getting prayed for, ministered to, and encouraged anew with the Holy Spirit.  All of this happened spontaneously outside of the direction of any of the David’s Tent staff.  I can say with certainty that many left Together and immediately began putting the Word into Practice.

When I left the tent at about 9:30pm there were still a remnant of worshippers filling the tent and the courts of the Lord with their worship.

Wow! What a day…

Four rainbows!   I’ve never met a single human being that could do that…

For His Glory, Always,

Jason Hershey




Dan & Carole lead the ASL ministry

I was running late. If I just don’t make eye contact with anyone, I can make it to Subway, quickly get in and out with some food, and make it to class on time.  And then it came.

“Hello, can you spare some change?”

Hurriedly, I decided to keep my head down and walk past without acknowledging the plea. I was late, I reasoned to myself, and had a very good excuse to pass him by.  Then, after walking about 100 yards from this homeless man on the street, God gripped my heart with compassion.  I felt like He literally poured His heart for this man into mine; I could not keep walking.

I turned around and said, “I don’t have any change but I am going to Subway.  May I buy you a sandwich?” 

He replied, “Well, I have cataracts, and I really need a pair of sunglasses.”

“Okay. You go in the dollar store and choose your sunglasses. I will get the sandwiches, then come back to buy the glasses for you.”

After waiting in a long line at Subway, I got the sandwiches and came back.  The man, whose name I later learned is Jeffery, had a surprised look on his face like he had the thought, “She came back!”  I asked him if he had chosen a pair of glasses to which he responded, “ Yes, ma’am.” We walked back in the dollar store, and in the first counter, I saw a pair of discarded sunglasses that did not belong. Jeffrey was used to disappointment.

I turned to him, and made eye contact. Smiling, I said, “Hello. My name is Carole. How are you today?”

Let me take you back a few days in my life to put this story in context with God’s amazing, teaching moments.  I am a full-time missionary here in Washington DC with David’s Tent.  Once a month, for a week, all of David’s Tent staff gather together in the same room and receive teachings on different topics to challenge, encourage, inspire and allow Holy Spirit to fill us.  This week, Jason Hershey, asked my husband and me to teach on “How to Study the Bible”.  We decided to teach from Philemon.   Each one of you should stop and read this book.  It is literally just one page of the Bible, a short 25 verses, but it is packed with gems for us today!

Bible Study

Bible Study

We spent two days just diving into the book.  The first day we focused on Observation:  asking ourselves what does the book say?  During this part of the study we ask questions like who, what, where, when and how. We also look for repeated themes and words in Philemon, such as love, beloved, and my heart. Other key words reveal how we are all family in the kingdom of God as Paul uses brother, sister,  and my child.  Overall the purpose of observation is to catch the overall atmosphere of the book.  

On the second day, the class dove into Interpretation: asking ourselves what did the text mean to the original readers?  We practiced removing the cultural filters in our minds that influence our interpretation and, instead, putting ourselves in the shoes of a 1st century believer in the house church of Philemon.  What would this letter mean to them?  Why did Paul write this letter?  What was Onesimus thinking returning to his former Master?  Would Philemon receive him as Paul is asking him to now that he is a believer?  What would the Roman soldiers do if they find out that Philemon might not punish his slave for running away when legally, according to Roman law, the slave should be severely punished if not killed? On this teaching day, my husband focused on helping the David’s Tent staff think about what the people of this day, living in their culture, would be thinking and consequently, would be reacting.  

On the third day, the day I met Jeffrey, I would be leading the class into Application: what does this mean to me and how can I apply it to my life? As a class, we were going to pull out universal truths that can be applied to anyone, in any culture, during any time period, and then talk about what that truth means to them and how they can apply it to their lives.   I have personally studied and taught this book before, but God had more to teach me. The night before teaching application, God was convicting my heart for Kingdom truths to penetrate my soul and being.  Truths like “In Christ, all believers are equal in value” and “as believers we have a choice and must choose to love”.   

These were the truths that God had put before me as I walked past Jeffery on my way to teach class.  I knew I had to stop. I had to allow the Word of God to bring LIFE CHANGE in me as that is the reason we study the Bible! We want the truths to change who we are and make us more and more like Jesus.   That is why I turned around.  Our Father moved on my heart for compassion, because God loves Jeffery just as much as He loves me and cared deeply for Jeffrey’s eyes to see some relief from the hot summer DC sun. In that same moment, my Father was demonstrating His love for me by teaching me to care about the things He cares about. My heavenly Dad was beside me, instructing me to apply what He was teaching me in Philemon: that all people, whether homeless or living in a mansion, are of equal value in God’s eyes. God cares for them all.  He was showing me that right there I had the choice to love.  
I love this testimony because it happened on my way to one of the other David Tent’s community houses, a familiar road I travel. Now, every time I drive to this house, passing that Subway, I remember and pray for Jeffery.  I thank God for the opportunity that I had to partner with Him in Jeffery’s life by buying Jeffrey a pair of sunglasses and praying for him that day. I am also grateful for how my life was changed. I grew in understanding the Father’s heart of compassion by studying the Word of God.

Dan & Carole McClelland

Why here? Part 2: The Place of Public Witness

Why here? Part 2: The Place of Public Witness

ryan_montgomer_davids_tent_dc2It was a warm Saturday afternoon, and the black gospel band on stage at David’s Tent was pumping praises to Jesus with exuberant energy and joy.  I found myself irresistibly drawn to clap and sing along, and as I looked around I noticed dozens of people gathering to do the same.  There was a group of Chinese tourists, a couple of DC locals on a bike ride, a Muslim family from somewhere in the middle-east, and many others.  It was clear that most of the people at the tent were passers-by and not people who came to the National Mall with the intention of attending David’s Tent.  But the sound of worship at the tent attracted them irresistibly and they stopped to listen, filled with curiosity and with smiles on their faces.  Our staff warmly welcomed those who stopped by, and many stayed for long conversations about Jesus or received prayer.  The good news of the gospel was shared over and over that afternoon, and I know that wouldn’t have happened without the draw of the worship.  That afternoon sticks out in my mind as a perfect example of the power of public worship to present Jesus to the world.

In my last blog, (Why here? Part 1) I shared how we worship in Washington DC because it is the place of highest honor in our nation.  I talked about the identity of a capital city as a center for worship, and how Jesus is worthy of a national offering of praise.  Our desire above all things is to make Jesus central and bless His heart!  Today, I’ll continue on this theme of “Why Here?” and share how making Jesus central is such a powerful avenue to sharing the gospel.

When you think of a city center you generally think of a bustling downtown filled with all kinds of people.  Washington DC completely fits that description, and it’s not just filled with Americans.  Every nation but four maintains an embassy in Washington DC (and two of those four still maintain diplomatic representation)—more than any other city on earth! Over 20 million visitors came to Washington in 2014, and almost 2 million of those were international. The nations truly gather in Washington, perhaps more so than anywhere else on earth.

In the midst of all this, David’s Tent proclaims the worth of Jesus round the clock in public song.  Night and day, the sound of worship at David’s Tent never stops as we declare how beautiful, wonderful, and loving our Savior is. And this isn’t just to bless His heart, though that is the primary reason. Matthew 5:15-16 says:

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

The worship at David’s Tent shines as a light pointing to Jesus, even as the worship draws His presence near.  Jason Hershey says in his book: “This act of worship releases a Spirit of revelation so that even the lost get to see the beauty of Jesus.”  And it’s true!  The beauty of Jesus is captivating to every heart.  And it’s not just who He is, but what He has done.  Psalms 118:15 says: “Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: “The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!” This is such an attractive sound! The sound of joy and victory stands in sharp contrast to the sound of hopelessness so prevalent in the world.

Often, people attracted to the tent ask questions:  Why do we sing?  Why is Jesus worthy of this lavish devotion?  How do we have such hope and joy in the midst of turbulent times?  Questions like these give us the perfect opportunity to share the gospel with people eager to hear.  Surprisingly often this may be the first time someone has heard the good news of Jesus in their entire life!  Many of the curious who are drawn to the tent come from other nations where the gospel is not allowed to be shared openly.  We’ve had the opportunity to share the message of salvation through the blood of Jesus with visitors from Saudi Arabia, Iran, China, Tibet, Somalia, and all over the world. And many have accepted Him as Savior and Lord!

Jesus says in John 12:32 “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.”  He was speaking of His resurrection from the dead, but I believe the principle applies to public worship as well.  When Jesus is lifted up on our praises and we declare His resurrection from the dead, I know that He will draw the nations to the new life found in Him.

I can think of few places busier and more bustling with people from around the world than the National Mall in summer.  And this is where we have the privilege to host David’s Tent!  In this central place among the nations, our humble white tent stands as a shining light and public witness to Jesus, 24/7.  This is what it means to make Jesus central.  Not only to give Him the place of highest honor, but to present Him to the world in all of His glorious beauty.  Jesus deserves to be central in our cities, our churches, our lives, and in every soul.  Hallelujah!

I recognize that not all of us can come stand as a witness to Jesus on the National Mall.  So my encouragement to you is to stand as a public witness to Jesus wherever you are, with the sound of joy and victory bursting from your life! He has made us new, and He has made us glad!  Let us boldly declare His worth and His beauty in line at the grocery store, at the swimming pool, at our workplace, when we’re waiting at the DMV, and in every area of life.  The message of Jesus is good news to a lost and broken world!

In part 3 of this blog I’ll explore the third primary reason I believe we hold David’s Tent on the National Mall in Washington DC: unity among the church.  Once again, I also highly recommend checking out Jason Hershey’s book “David’s Tent: Jesus is Worthy of a Nation’s Praise” for further reading.  Thanks for reading, and I look forward to sharing with you again!

Ryan Montgomery


Click to access 2014_Washington_DC_Visitor_Statistics.pdf



We are all grieved at thamerica jason picturee continuing deadly violence in our country.  A nation is crying out! The other morning this Headline showed up on CNN, and very much grabbed my heart.

ONLY JESUS can heal America!

It won’t be the next President or even the hot evangelist. Nor the amazing mega church or innovative new inventions. Nor will it be the most popular worship band or strategy to reach our city. Though God does use and work through people,  it will only be Jesus.

Jesus is the only One.

America, please please please turn to Him and be saved.


“If my people will humble themselves and pray and turn from their wicked ways and seek my face, I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14.

There must be more prayer meetings than protests. If we as a nation are going to cry out, may we cry out to the One who is Mighty to save.  He alone can save us.

Heal us Jesus.

Why did God make America? (Or any nation?)

Why did God make America? (Or any nation?)

Jason Hershey, Founder DavidsTentDC

Jason Hershey, Founder DavidsTentDC

We just celebrated July 4th, America’s birthday. 240 years!  I’m grateful for this county and the liberty that we have to worship Jesus, even publicly, without persecution.  Acts 17:26-27 tells us why God puts certain people in certain boundaries for particular times.

From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.   Acts 17:26-27 NIV

Verse 27 tells us why God made America and put us in it.  “That (we) should seek God.”

Hey! Did you catch that?

“That we should seek God!”

“And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward Him and find Him. Yet He is actually not far from each one of us.”

My Hershey family forefathers braved the seas to come to the “New World ” 299 years ago, in 1717. Their stated reason for the journey?  They were fleeing persecution in Switzerland somewhat as religious refugees. It’s been passed down through the generations that they came to America so they could worship freely and express their love for Jesus as they desired. It’s my goal to keep that purpose of being here central in my generation. The first Hershey’s came to the New World for Jesus sake, not to make chocolate!  That came later.

Hey family… If you’re a Hershey descendant… Let’s get together for a worship service next year for the 300th anniversary and renew our goal to seek Him and worship with all we got!

If your not a Hershey… Well… Let’s all seek God with all we got! One day every tribe and tongue will worship together.

For His glory, always,

Jason Hershey

(For the record, David’s Tent is not being funded by the chocolate- yet, at least!)

Day 250

Day 250

Yesterday was day 250 since we kicked off David’s Tent DC on September 11, 2015. It’s also day 250 of a community of staff that lived in communal housing growing up together in the love of Jesus. I want to draw this blogs attention to the latter.
Jason_Hershey_Founder_DavidsTentDC I sense the Father’s watchful, hopeful eyes on this group of full-time staff that have created a backbone that the 350+ other worship teams could build upon in the last 250 days.
It’s been very clear from the beginning that our primary motivator for doing David’s Tent is simply the worthiness of Jesus, as an offering to Him. We have fought hard (sometimes losing) to mobilize without using the common candies of the “significance of thisone,” popularity of men, desperation of America, or promise of blessing as the reasons for mobilizing our nation to this perpetual gathering in DC. The driving question has been, “Will America respond to simply the worth of God?”
And yet, I do believe, that if our motives are right, 24/7 worship and prayer in our Capital will release a great spiritual breakthrough in the United States, a great blessing to give back to the Lord. America is in fact in need of that!  Day and night worship and prayer is a spiritual weapon (bombs away!) that does in fact demolish strongholds that set themselves up against the knowledge of God.
Meanwhile, in the inner city of Washington, behind the scenes of David’s Tent DC, there is another spiritual uranium beginning to be enriched each day, radiating the authentic glory of Jesus. The full time staff live in 4 community houses of 8-10 staff in each house. Each house has a married couple as the house leaders, with a bunch of singles. The community/discipleship house model was adopted to house the staff primarily out of economic reasons.  How do a bunch of unemployed full-time volunteer missionaries live in a city that’s so expensive?
What I’m finding, is that we unintentionally stumbled upon a treasure!
Yoooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! What’s this?!”
The Kingdom is advancing in these united communities. I will dare to say that I’m witnessing a bond of friendship and love growing that few truly taste in the western church that so treasures our personal space at the expense of real heart connection. We bring in a teacher one week per month to impart into us to keep us from getting isolated as a whole community and keep us growing. We are all being fashioned into children worthy of the Father’s call. It’s been glorious!
I don’t want to make the impression that it’s all roses and no thorns though. Community living should not be over-romanticized, nor should it be avoided like the plague.  Like any cross, it leads to true rewards.  God is at work in the lives of our staff.  I’m watching all of us being changed day by day, more into the likeness of Jesus.  In the rubbings, testings and real workings out of personality conflicts is coming a community that is becoming truly one in real fellowship with one another that care deeply about each other’s heart status.
This stokes my jets equally as much at the 24/7 worship tent downtown.  Let me tell you why.
Ephesians 3:10 says “His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms.”
When the true church arises in real fellowship with one another, as one unified body of Christ, having laid hold of the gift of an unoffendable heart, and loving one another with agape love birthed from The Holy Spirit… Look out!  The church becomes the teacher and the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms become the students.  We get to make known to them the manifold wisdom of God.  That’s spiritual breakthrough!
So the song goes on.
But so does the community.
Love God.
Love your Brother.
Love your Neighbor.
Above all these things, put on love. (Col 3:14)
Love conquers all. Boom!
For His Glory, Always,