The Voice of The Salvation Army in Canada and BermudaView RSS Feed
Jun19ThuWe asked four Territorial Congress 2014 delegates: What is your vision for the future of The Salvation Army, and how do you fit into it? Here's what they said. June 19, 2014
- Filed Under:
Colonel Gwenyth Redhead
My vision is that every member would regularly take time to be with God, providing him opportunity to reveal what he has in mind for each to do to fulfil the mandate of “saving souls, growing saints and serving suffering humanity” (General John Gowans). Out of contemplation would be born a desire to use the resources God has made available in ways that would bring that vision to reality in a multicultural, postmodern society.
I seek to fit in with that vision by spending time each day allowing God to speak to me, so that I can, slowly but surely, become a more accurate representation of Jesus, using my time and talents to live out that vision. In practical terms, that means seeking to enhance the corporate worship of my corps through leading the worship committee, for if our congregational worship is pleasing to God it will prompt individual members to engage in relevant ministries. It means seeking to be salt and light among my neighbours by chairing our condominium board, and in the community by belonging to Voice for the Trafficked, a local Christian action group involved in a variety of awareness activities.
Living the vision within my own family is very important—supporting my children in their ministries, and using the gifts with which God has blessed my husband and me through writing words such as: “Lord, we pray your church may flourish, deeply rooted in your love, growing upward, reaching outward, living witness to the world.”
I believe that The Salvation Army should return to its roots. William and Catherine Booth had a huge passion for lost souls. They wanted each person to know Jesus, to give their life to Christ. We should have that desire, too. If a church has good programs but is not consumed by a powerful desire to bring souls to Christ, then it is not fulfilling its mission.
My vision for The Salvation Army is to continue to do God's will: to show God's love to the poor, the prostituted, the addicted. We need to get out of our comfort zones, because it is then that miracles happen by the power of the cross. The Salvation Army should continue to be a light in the darkness and an Army that prays without ceasing, because prayer is the most powerful act.
I believe that The Salvation Army's mission is the mission Jesus describes in the Bible. Jesus didn't spend all his time with the wealthy, the educated and the beautiful—he came to the poor, the sick, the prostitutes, the thieves. He demonstrated so much love. This is what The Salvation Army does through its services, by helping people where they are and meeting their needs. It is a church that serves like Jesus did. I believe that churches that don't reach out to the marginalized are not fully living the gospel.
I am proud to be a soldier of The Salvation Army and to give my life to being part of the mission of God.
Major Shawn Critch
It is becoming increasingly important for the Army to effectively respond to the emerging cultural and spiritual realities of the 21st century based upon our deep convictions of faith and rooted in a mission that celebrates our rich heritage to “save souls, grow saints and serve suffering humanity.”
I see a movement that inspires its members to live the values it champions so that we can impact change in our world. I see leaders committed to building personal competencies so that we can equip each other for the task at hand. I see a growing missional church that understands its responsibility within the framework of God's reconciling grace. I see a movement that celebrates the partnerships we can build within the community and the contribution others make to the mission that has guided The Salvation Army for over a century.
My part in that vision is embedded in my officers' covenant. I believe my contribution to The Salvation Army will be best realized when I remain covenant-focused in the fulfilment of my ministry responsibilities. That same focus must guide my commitment to personal and professional development. It is easy to become distracted in ministry but as Pastor Rick Warren has suggested, “Your ministry is too important to let yourself be distracted from the things God created you to do. God called you and he gifted you for ministry.” And that same covenant focus will shape my future opportunities to remain true to the mission and vision of The Salvation Army.
Major Brian Wheeler
I expect great things for The Salvation Army. While it is hard for me to comprehend that I have completed 25 years as an officer, I still anticipate great opportunities for ministry. As a leader within our church, it is imperative that I continue to proclaim the message of salvation and seek to grasp God's dream for our Army. The complexity of our society has increased but there is still a central need for us as Salvationists to connect with the individual. We need to move through the impersonal world of technology and out-of-control schedules to introduce people to our Saviour and the spiritual foundation that only Christ can provide. We are his ambassadors. My priority is to be consistently available to those within my congregation and community.
Share your vision in the comments below.