(Above) Mjr Fred Pond, CO, Grand Falls Citadel, N.L., leads a small group discussion of the Day by Day discipleship resource (Photo: Kaitlyn Loveless)

You can download a PDF of Called to Be a Soldier: Exploring the Soldier’s Covenant and Day by Day: Call to Mission here. Day by Day: Call to Mission is also available to purchase on Amazon as an ebook. 

Last year, General Brian Peddle released two new resources to give Salvationists practical instruction and support as they explore the call to follow Jesus within the context of The Salvation Army.

Called to Be a Soldier specifically addresses what living out the commitments of the Soldier’s Covenant looks like in a soldier’s life. Day by Day, by Commissioner Robert Street, is a broader exploration of discipleship in a Salvationist context, offering reflection on the General’s Call to Mission: a call to be ready, be engaged and to take responsibility.

The structure of Commissioner Street’s book takes its form from the prayer of St. Richard: “Most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother, may we know you more clearly, love you more dearly and follow you more nearly, day by day. Amen.”

Photo: Courtesy of International Headquarters Spiritual Life Development

More than a generic study of discipleship, Commissioner Street aligns the General’s Call to Mission with Christ’s call to each of us to follow him, making it a personal exploration. The first section of the book, entitled “The Call of Jesus,” makes it clear that while this call is “universal… it is also intensely personal.” Each specific reflection challenges the reader in what they are “called to be” and what they are “called to do” in response to their being.

Discipleship is best experienced together in healthy spiritual community. The Salvation Army’s Grand Falls Citadel, N.L., answered the call by inviting their people to engage the Day by Day resource with one another. Major Fred Pond, corps officer, explains:

In December 2021, I read through the material and felt it had great potential for a small group study, which we started in the new year. We met on Sunday evenings, with an average of 18-20 in attendance, mostly comprised of young married couples. Our format was a relaxed coffee-and-conversation hour.

The reflection section after each call allowed us to summarize the key ideas Commissioner Streetwas presenting. There was much conversation and discussion as we focused on our mission and message.

This resource caused us to align with God’s mission in our world and our part in it—not only knowledge of the mission, but practical ways of doing it, while making people at ease with God. Our calling to know God, to know ourselves and to know our mission served as a catalyst for the remaining sessions, which were about following Jesus and fulfilling our calling and covenant.

In the first section on the call of Jesus, I used General William Booth’s “I’ll Fight" speech as a springboard for discussion of the church’s mission today and how it is truly costly. Much discussion focused on the changing times and how we engage in mission every day.

As Salvationists, we value respect, dignity and integrity and apply these core values in living out of our faith. Commissioner Street writes, “We cannot engage in his mission with integrity unless we first take him and his message into our hearts.” I appreciate the simple but thought provoking language Commissioner Street uses, demonstrating his conviction that we should use everyday language and not get bogged down with Army terminology.

Of all our deep conversations, the concept of inclusion, with the idea of embracing all people and seeing them as God sees them, was inspiring. Commissioner Street writes, “A movement that was born—and primarily exists—for the welfare of others must ensure that it opens doors with its standards rather than closes them.” The law of love must be our standard.

Commissioner Street sees discipleship as one great adventure and that it is paramount to trust God’s guidance in where he is leading us. Such a commitment to follow may indeed seem daunting, but in the day-by-day, God will be with us, even when it’s puzzling to know where he is leading us.

Called to be a Soldier and Day by Day are available for free to every Salvation Army soldier. Ask your corps officer for more information.

Kevin Slous is the territorial secretary for spiritual life development.

Photo: Courtesy of International Headquarters Spiritual Life Development


On Monday, June 27, 2022, Morris Vincent said:

God bless you Grand Falls Citadel! As always, taking your Spiritual and missional responsibility seriously!

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