During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln struggled to get General George McClellan to commit to action against the Confederate Army. McClellan constantly overestimated the strength of his opposition and this caused him to hesitate when he should have been moving his troops forward. His reluctance to engage the enemy once caused Lincoln to respond to McClellan, “I have just read your dispatch about sore-tongued and fatigued horses. Will you pardon me for asking what the horses of your army have done since the battle at Antietam that fatigues anything?” Though McClellan had superior numbers, firepower and logistics, he lacked one key essential for obtaining victory: a willingness to commit to action. McClellan refused to mobilize his troops.
Each Wednesday at noon, a group of people gather together via conference call to pray for Ignite’s ministry of church planting. One thing we have been praying specifically for during our times together is the mobilization of Christians across Chicagoland. Why are we doing this? We believe the mobilization of Christ’s followers would create a history changing movement toward Jesus in this region.
There are 10 million people living in Chicagoland. If one in 10 is a Christian, what might happen if each one began working toward winning one additional person? I think it is very clear that the job Jesus gave his disciples in Acts 1: 8 to “be my witnesses”, still applies to us today. How might this region be changed forever if each follower of Christ decided to take action and mobilize?
We can learn some important lessons from McClellan’s example of leadership. As followers of Jesus, we cannot afford to be overly cautious, to be afraid or unwilling to engage the enemy. The Master calls us into action and there is only one response that makes sense: Let’s mobilize! Toward this goal, we will continue to pray!