My Father's Business - Salvation Army Canada

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  • May17Tue

    My Father's Business

    Supporting the front line of mission. May 17, 2022 by Colonel Evie Diaz
    Filed Under:
    Opinion & Critical Thought

    I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the role of the chief secretary, especially in reference to the title of this column—what are my priorities? My mind goes to a scene from the Gospel of Luke. Every year, Jesus and his family travelled to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. When he was 12, they began the journey home after the festival without realizing that Jesus had stayed behind. They rushed back to Jerusalem to search for him.

    “So it was that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. So when they saw him, they were amazed; and his mother said to him, ‘Son, why have you done this to us? Look, your father and I have sought you anxiously.’

    “And he said to them, ‘Why did you seek me? Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?’ ” (Luke 2:46-49 NKJV).

    I consider that question in light of the powerful and challenging words of our territorial vision statement: “We are an innovative partner, mobilized to share hope wherever there is hardship, building communities that are just and know the love of Jesus.” As a Christian, a leader and a Salvationist, this is the business I want to be about.

    The chief secretary in any territory, including Canada and Bermuda, is responsible for the operational leadership of the territory. My role is to support the territory as we work together to reach the aspirational goals of our vision and strategy. As we talk about Mobilize 2.0 and especially mission support, this is our aim. We are working toward mission-fit processes that will enable effective support and resources as we engage in missional work around the territory. We want to do our best to help the front line—every officer, soldier, employee and volunteer—to be about the Father’s business.

    Changing things just for the sake of doing things in a different way will not accomplish this purpose. Intentional planning and careful implementation to relieve administrative pressures and to provide much-needed resources can and will lead to our intended vision of transformation of individuals and communities. That’s being about our Father’s business.

    To do this, we need wisdom that comes from the Father, given by the Holy Spirit. Yes, it helps to understand business principles and systems. More than that, to be about our Father’s business, to make our vision statement a reality, we need something, or Someone, beyond human intellect or experience.

    In the Apostle Peter’s second letter to the church, he writes: “Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who through the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord” (2 Peter 1:1-2).

    In these verses, I find what I need to be able to do what the Lord is asking of me. I cling to this precious faith, knowing Jesus as my Lord and Saviour, and trusting him to lead me every step of my life, including in my role as chief secretary.

    I’m overwhelmed as I consider God’s abundant gift of grace, acknowledging my imperfect, fumbling attempts to be all he wants me to be and all that this work demands of me. I’m deeply grateful for his peace that comes even when the challenges are big and the answers are uncertain. I am comforted by the assurance from Psalm 139 that God knows my anxious thoughts and provides peace to replace them. I need all of this and suspect you do, too.

    While I am grateful personally for faith, grace and peace, I also believe it is needed and available for us as the Canada and Bermuda Territory. God intends to do great things among and through us as we are on this journey of transformation. We can claim the promise that follows in 2 Peter 1:3: “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” Everything we need, individually and as a territory, is available as we learn to live and love like Jesus.

    His business becomes our business. Let’s be about the Father’s business.

    Colonel Evie Diaz is the chief secretary in the Canada and Bermuda Territory.

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