My son and I just returned from a ten-day trip to San Antonio, Texas. We were there for the Vision Forum Ministries San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival, but while we were there, we visited the Alamo which was right across the street from our hotel. It’s amazing what God uses to speak to us. He always does and we will hear him if we take the time to listen.
The Alamo was originally a mission – the mission San Antonio de Valero. When the cathedral was built in San Antonio proper the mission was left unoccupied, but had been used as a small military outpost from time to time. When General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna began to move his army of 6500 into Texas the Texian militia knew they could not defend the city so spread out, so they consolidated their forces at the Alamo. Santa Anna split his army into two columns and 1600 Mexican soldiers came against the Alamo and its 189 defenders. The encampment was too big for such a small number to successfully defend, but they had determined to make their stand. Commander William Travis sent a number of messengers out in an effort to call for help and reinforcements, but no help came.
Churches, especially in our part of California, are much like the Alamo. We feel like we need to huddle together and weather an assault we are all but certain we may not survive. We desperately need reinforcements, but we are either afraid to ask or help just never comes. I had been leading a group of pastors in our city to gather together for prayer, partnership and support. When the holidays came we got off track and although we all know the necessity of community and partnership in the kingdom, we just haven’t been able to get it going again…so we all fortify the walls of our own pitiful little outposts.
Some pastors don’t ask for help because they think that God should be enough. God is more than enough, but he has also given us community. Remember, the church is like a body. Not, “each church is like a body,” but rather The Church is the body of Christ, and each church is a part of that one body. Other pastors won’t ask for help because they view their brothers as competition. What if my congregation likes his preaching or their programs better? We jockey with each for influence and wind up dividing the Kingdom of God and missing out on the beautiful mosaic of community. Still others just never think to ask for help. They are so buried in what they are trying to do that they totally miss the big picture. Some pastors don’t send help for the same reasons.
One of the most effective, and common, military practices is to divide and conquer. Our enemy is very good at this. Everything from the walls of local churches to the dogma of our various denominations sever the unity of the Body of Christ. Our churches get overrun, not because we lack the power or because Christ and his powerful word are insufficient, but because we have turned inward and have forsaken true unified community. I am here to tell you that I am here to help. This website, TheEconomyOfTheSoul.com, and How Jesus Saves, as well as my respective Facebook pages and the website for my church, http://www.FaithCommunityRP.org are all resources for you to tap into. Send your messengers by email, comment, or through Facebook and we will arrange how we can best work together. I have your back.
The defenders of the Alamo were overrun in 90 minutes once Santa Anna’s troops stormed the walls, yet we have the promise that the gates of hell will not overpower us. Gates are used for two things: to keep people out, and to keep captives in. Let’s not remain captive any longer. Let’s partner together to set the captives free. We have Jesus’ word that the enemy cannot overpower us. We have the Holy Spirit within us. And we have each other.