To better explain my current struggle I have chosen to do a comparison with the movie "13 Hours: The Secret Soldier of Benghazi." and my spiritual reality of ministry operations in Prescott with the ACNA. We love the ACNA but have run into complications where we are not being heard. "13 Hours" follows six members of Annex Security Team who fought to defend the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya after waves of attacks by militants on September 11, 2012. Its a good movie but be prepared for a war film with Michael Bay twist. I'll get to the point. Two factors stand out: 1. They repeatedly asked for more security personnel on the ground. 2. They requested support during the fight. On both accounts they were denied thus resulting in the death of the American ambassador, 3 American operators and loss of American assets on the ground. Extra security was always available and during the fight American air power / ground reinforcement was also available. The higher up basically refused both even after multiple requests. Now, the spiritual similarity in Prescott. We have requested more boots on the ground for our ministry operations. We have requested support. Both have been denied. The Parish feels much like the operators in Benghazi felt at a spiritual level. We are in this fight on our own when the assets are clearly available. Wake up Church! The Great Commission calls, you just have to listen to the boots on the ground. Multiple requests have been made. Send help and support.
Pastor Steve Anselmo was one of my role models and mentors growing up, a humble man of God. He offered some awesome words of advice but mostly lived a Christian life. Probably the most remembered words he shared with me were:
"Never let another man build your world. He will always build it too small."
Believe it or not we as Christians have a mission. Its 24/7, 365 days a year and it continues for our lifetime. Matthew 28:16-20
16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Known as the Great Commission it serves as a directive on what we as Christians are supposed to do. It is not an option, suggestion, good idea; it is a command to be followed. It is the response to what Jesus has done for us in our personal lives. It applies to all believers not just Pastors or missionaries, to ALL.
I got to thinking the other day about how this mission is conducted by the modern church. At a casual glance it really isn't being conducted. The church has become a social / entertainment / meet my needs platform. If the entire church was to focus on the Great Commission our true mission the results would be amazing. As of now less than 1% of Christians take the mission seriously.
As I thought about this I remembered a time in history when our entire country devoted itself to a single effort, WWII. During WWII our country was completely focused on the war effort, all sacrificed both soldier and civilian, rich and poor. Wow, if only the church could do the same for the mission effort. Total resources, total manpower. Sacrifice all for the calling Christ gave to us. More on this later as it develops.
Folks just being up front here. I'm a doer, I'm not a paper work guy. I have a church to build in Prescott Arizona which is my first priority and involves doing on the ground ministry, so posts will be from time to time when something weights heavy on my brain. Not trying to be mean but that is my personality and approach to ministry ops. I made an observation while on active duty as a Chaplain. 90% of chaplains spent most of their time in their office reading, typing stuff to the detriment of their soldiers. The other 10% of us Chaplains get out among the soldiers full time and engaged them daily, we impacted lives, we were doers. The following is from the script of "We were soldiers." LTC Hal Moore commander of the 1st Squadron 7th United States Cavalry is fighting the battle of Ia Drang Valley. In the middle of the fight Gen. Westmoreland wants to pull LTC Moore out of the fight for a debriefing, wow, talk about misplaced priorities. LTC Moore responds.....
RTO: "Brigade headquarters wants you out on the first chopper at dawn."
LTC Moore: "What idiot would keep ordering that in the middle of a goddamn battle?
RTO: "Gen. Westmoreland wants a briefing."
LTC Moore: "Give me the horn. I am in a fight... and I object to this order to return to Saigon. Now, I will not leave my men. Is that clear? Out."
I promise content folks so don't grow disheartened, this adventure will be awesome.
I am a Priest in the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA). I am a Husband to Darcien Balog, 26 Years. I am a Father to four pretty cool kids (they are still not cooler than us parents) Ashleigh, John, James and Nick. I have one Grandchild Aramis (now he's real cool). I am a Soldier. The highlight of my Army Career was being assigned to the 3rd Squadron 7th United States Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. I conducted two Combat tours with them to Iraq; the 2003 OIF invasion and 2005 OIF 3. I've seen God work in awesome ways, more so than most civilian Pastors could ever know.
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