Feb1FriCall and commitment Sunday challenges Salvationists to consider officership. February 1, 2019 by Major Jennifer Hale
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- Opinion & Critical Thought
I have never been much of a gardener. Every spring our daughter looks forward to going to the garden store to pick up some flowers to plant in a pot that we bought for her. During our time in Bermuda, a kind soldier planted flowers at the front of the corps building and then left us to care for them. It seemed simple enough. Water them and keep them from being overcrowded with weeds. The problem was that I was too embarrassed to let her know that I can hardly tell the difference between a weed and a flower!
Despite my inability to care for a garden, the imagery of the vine and gardener in John 15 has always appealed to me. As Jesus beautifully describes the trimming and pruning of the vine at the hand of the gardener, he encourages the disciples to remain in him, to stay intimately connected to him, so they can produce the fruit that only comes as a result of love and obedience. Jesus says: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last” (John 15:13).
Why Not You?
On February 3, Salvationists across the Canada and Bermuda Territory will focus on this verse as they participate in call and commitment Sunday under the “Kingdom Choices—Why Not You?” theme. Have you considered what God’s kingdom choice is for your life? What fruit has he called you to bear? Is it possible that he has called you to Salvation Army officership?
Call and commitment Sunday is a day set aside to challenge us all to go deeper in our walk with the Lord and to pray about how God’s kingdom priorities are being accomplished through us. It’s a Sunday when the worship, preaching and testimonies are focused on God’s plan and purpose for each of our lives and the Army. It’s an occasion for every Salvationist to seriously consider God’s call and to hear that there is a place for them to serve him through the Army.
To help with the planning of call and commitment Sunday, a variety of resources, including creative readings, prayers, worship resources and Bible study material, have been sent to corps officers and are available online at SAcandidates.ca.
Questions and Answers
Last year, the territory launched the “Not Called?” candidate recruitment campaign which continues to give new life and vision to officership as it highlights needs in the world around us and encourages people to partner with the Army’s message of gospel transformation by accepting God’s call. For some, the best way to live out that call is through officership in The Salvation Army.
As part of the campaign, the candidates’ office has released video testimonies on our website and Facebook page of individuals telling their stories of God’s call and the different ways it is being worked out in their lives. Salvationist continues the “Not Called?” series highlighting those who have made the commitment to pursue officership. Also available is a “Not Called?” pamphlet containing questions to start conversations about salvation, sanctification and service.
The Greatest Need
As corps across the territory set aside time this month to highlight the call to officership, I invite you to pray for a great response. Consider God’s purpose for you in his kingdom plan. Get involved at your local corps or centre to learn more about the Army’s work. Talk to your corps officer or divisional secretary for candidates to explore the possibility of officership. And remember the words of Christ: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last” (John 15:13).
I believe our best days are yet to come, but the need for covenanted officers in our territory is great. Opportunities for advancement in the salvation war are endless. Truly, there is no greater time to be an officer in The Salvation Army.
Major Jennifer Hale is the secretary for candidates in the Canada and Bermuda Territory.
Feature photo: © AscentXmedia/iStock.com