In nurturing children The Salvation Army seeks to remain faithful to the words of Jesus when he said “Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me”.
Christian ministry among young people has always been a challenge but in today’s competitive culture that challenge is both greater and more complex. The technological revolution with the advent of television and the computer has presented the Christian Church with a competitor for the attention of children that seems at times overwhelming. While young people in developing countries may find their interest met by traditional Christian youth programs, such activities in developed nations compete for the interest of young people with the technological age and all its toys.
William and Catherine Booth saw great value in training young people to become good Christians and Salvationists. The fact that their own children became significant leaders in the early Salvation Army gives witness to the training and influence of their parents. Unfortunate sibling rivalry later tore the family apart.
In many ways The Salvation Army provided a philosophy and programs unique to the movement. The young people’s corps mirrored the senior corps in structure and organisation and provided children and youth with interesting and stimulating activities often not found in other religious movements. Such activities were a channel through which leaders could direct the thinking of children and youth to a vital spiritual life and experience.