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Jan24FriExploring Salvation Army officership. January 24, 2020 by Major Jennifer Hale
Recently, my family and a few friends led a chapel service at The Salvation Army’s Meighen Health Centre in Toronto. Several retired officers were there that evening, and after the meeting we spent some time greeting them and others. As is often the case when I’m in the presence of retired officers, I came away with my heart full, feeling inspired to continue in my own ministry. As they shared some of the joys and challenges they experienced in their various appointments along the way, I thought about the impact they have had on countless lives and communities as a result of their response to God’s call to become a Salvation Army officer. No doubt many have come to know Christ as a result of their decision to say yes to God many years ago.
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In the Canada and Bermuda Territory, we give special emphasis and focus to call and commitment during the month of February. The theme for this year is “Kingdom Choices—Kingdom Impact!” We’ll be considering Matthew 6:33: “Seek the kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need” (NLT). We’ll be asking Salvationists across the territory to consider questions such as, “What is this kingdom Jesus is referring to?” “What does it mean practically to seek the kingdom above all else?” “How do we live righteously in a depraved world?” “Can we trust Jesus’ promise to give us everything we need to fulfil his kingdom purposes?” For some, seeking the kingdom above all else will mean surrendering their lives to officership.
The purpose of call and commitment Sunday is to emphasize the call to service in The Salvation Army, while also giving people an opportunity to respond to that call. Our goal is to inspire every committed Salvationist to consider the impact they can have on God’s kingdom by making his plan and purpose for their lives a priority. We want to say to Salvationists everywhere: “There’s a place for you. There’s an opportunity for you to serve God through the ministry of The Salvation Army, whether as a soldier, a local officer or through officership.”
Call and commitment Sunday is a time when we can all be challenged to go deeper in our walk with the Lord and pray about how God’s kingdom priorities are being accomplished through our life and service. It’s a Sunday when the worship, preaching and testimonies are all focused toward God’s plan and purpose for each of our lives and also for The Salvation Army. As long as people are in need of salvation, The Salvation Army will continue to be at work, sharing the gospel message of Jesus Christ in communities across Canada and Bermuda and around the world. The need for covenanted officer leaders is great, and the opportunities for advancement in the salvation war are endless. Truly, there is no greater time to be an officer in The Salvation Army.
A variety of resources have been made available to every corps officer in the territory to help with the planning of call and commitment Sunday. Over the past year, the candidates department has promoted officership in a variety of ways, including the “Not Called?” series in Salvationist magazine, which tells the stories of how individuals have heard and responded to God’s call.
How can you participate? Ask your corps officers about the resources, or visit salvationist.ca/candidates/not-called-campaign. This year, we have included a four-week video Bible study teaching series, by officers in our territory, that you can use personally or in a small group setting. You can also fast and pray for call and commitment Sundays across the territory and ask the Lord for a great response to the call for officers. You can consider your own life and God’s purpose for you in his kingdom plan. You may want to spend some more time volunteering at your local corps or social services centre to gain experience and learn more about The Salvation Army’s work. You can begin a conversation today with your local corps officer or divisional secretary for candidates to explore the possibility of officership for your life. Kingdom choices have kingdom impact.
Major Jennifer Hale is the secretary for candidates in the Canada and Bermuda Territory.
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