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May11TueGod’s persistent prompting started Jeff Robertson on the journey to officership. May 11, 2021 by Ken Ramstead
“For me, officership has been a lifelong calling of God to fulfil that plan in my life,” Jeff Robertson declares. “He’s put incidents in my life to get me from where I was to where I am now, with experiences I can pull from, in working with people, personally and professionally. It’s a calling that is valuable today in terms of leading people and coming alongside people.”
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A fourth-generation Salvationist, Jeff was involved from an early age with the life of his corps.
“Sunday school, banding, you name it, I did it,” Jeff says. “Junior soldier, senior soldier, corps cadet, everything.”
Growing up, Jeff had considered officership, but he had pushed the idea aside in the aftermath of the breakup of his first marriage, his subsequent remarriage to Miya Bradburn and the happy, blended family that ensued.
Besides, “I got to lead worship, I got to preach on occasion, I got to represent The Salvation Army as a public-relations representative for divisional headquarters in Toronto,” he says. “I also supported officers and ministry units through my work, so I was quite happy doing those things as a layperson.”
In 2018, however, Jeff was helping in the preparations for the commissioning and congress events in Toronto.
Part of his role was to put the video components together—slide shows, lyrics, notices—for the entire weekend.
“One of those videos I had to watch over and over again contained General William Booth’s iconic words: ‘Not called you say? Not heard the call, I think you should say.’ I had to get the timing right and placed properly in the program.
“It started talking to me,” Jeff smiles.
At around the same time, he was chatting with his eldest son about school.
“I remember saying to him, ‘Don’t discount God’s call on your life.’ And as I was saying that, I heard God’s Spirit whisper to me: Are you listening to yourself?
“That started that process,” Jeff says.
He brought the matter up with Miya, and they attended the Officership Information Weekend in Winnipeg that year.
In the meantime, that Christmas, they reached out to the divisional commander as they knew that the corps at Fenelon Falls, Ont., was short of leadership with the retirement of the officers there.
Jeff and Miya have been lay leaders at Fenelon Falls since April 2019, serving and ministering together, and developing their skills within their community. Miya is also the part-time secretary at the nearby Lindsay Community Church while Jeff continues to work in public relations as area director.
“We love it,” Miya and Jeff agree.
“The people are lovely and it’s been a growing experience for us,” continues Jeff. “We’ve been very occupied in the life of our church, from the food bank to funerals to preaching every Sunday, as well as pastoral visits to the hospital and visits to people’s homes.”
In September, Jeff and Miya will join the Reflectors of Holiness Session, staying on at Fenelon Falls as field-based cadets.
“It’s a privilege to be accepted and I look forward to the honour of being formally commissioned,” Jeff says. “It’s taken a long time to get me to this point, but God is faithful.”
Read Miya Bradburn’s story in the June Salvationist.
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