Without question, a Jr. Burger from Pal’s is always a winner! How dare them build an eating establishment so close to our church!! 🙂 Now, this blog post is not about a brigade of church members heading to Pals for a burger after the evening service on Sundays or Wednesdays.
The June 20, 2014, edition of the Knoxville News Sentinel, carried an article entitled “Pvt. Smith’s rescue strikingly close to ‘Saving Private Ryan’” (News Article). Within that story was mention of the Pals Brigade of World War I fame in which there were “some 9 million soldiers” killed. These pals battalions of the British Army were made up of men who enlisted with the promise of serving together with family, friends, neighbors and co-workers. As a result, “it was common for families to lose more than one son. Communities sometimes found that a single skirmish could wipe out a generation of their men.”
After reading the article, I was deeply moved at the desire of these men to serve together with their family and friends, even with the looming threat of death, and to be known as the Pals Brigade. As “Pals” they fought and died together for the cause of freedom. They gave up their liberties for each other to be pals in the fight. They gave up their homes to join their pals in the war. After all, they were a part of the Pals Brigade.
In his speech to encourage men from Liverpool, England, to join the Pals Brigade, the Earl of Derby said, “This should be a battalion of pals, a battalion in which friends from the same office will fight shoulder to shoulder for the honour of Britain and the credit of Liverpool.” Two days afterwards, 1,500 men had joined the brigade and in the next few days, three more battalions were formed. Near the end of 1914, fifty towns had formed battalions and larger towns formed several.
Every local church needs to be known as a Pals Brigade made up of born again individuals who would join with their blood brothers (Romans 5:1-11), family members (Romans 12:5; Ephesians 1:5; 4:25) and co-workers (2 Corinthians 5:20) to serve and fight together for the lost souls of men and women! There’s the Adult Sunday School battalion, the Teen battalion, the Senior Saints battalion, the Deacons battalion, and the Pastoral Staff battalion. They are trained in the boot camp of prayer and are striving together for the Gospel! As Paul exhorted the church at Philippi, Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel (Philippians 1:27).
You know, if a “Pals Brigade” does go down the street after church for a hamburger, they are not going to Pals just to eat. They are going side-by-side, striving together, looking for someone to hear the gospel.
The man instrumental in starting our church, Dr. Gillis Partin, wrote:
Souls for Jesus,is our battle cry
Souls for Jesus, we’ll fight until we die!
We never will give in,
While souls are lost in sin!
Souls for Jesus,is our battle cry!