Peter Koia wants to help more people explore the wonderful opportunities that come through Salvation Army officership.
To me, Salvation Army officership is about living and breathing this message of hope that I think the world needs.
Every person I come in contact with —when I’m preaching on Sunday or if I’m at Recovery Church, Community Ministries, Seniors Ministry, Positive Lifestyle Programme, in the food bank—to me, that’s church. That’s where I believe Jesus really calls us to. It’s not just a Sunday thing, it’s every day!
As an officer, I try to get out with people as much as I can. I was in our reception area and I noticed this guy sitting there in our foyer. So I got talking to him, and I got to the stage of saying: ‘Hey, do you know this Jesus?’
And he said to me, ‘No, I don’t.’
I said, ‘So, is today that day for you?’
And he said, ‘I’d love to meet this Jesus!’
So he and I talked, we prayed. He was really excited and I spoke into his life a little bit more. That stuff, man, that’s the goal of officership for me! Those conversations drive me. I’m always looking for the opportunity to talk about Jesus.
The challenge is trying to create that space where I can get out of the four walls and walk the streets, talking to people. I love it! And that Red Shield is a magnet—I get to meet people who don’t want to talk to anyone else but someone from The Salvation Army.
It’s not always an easy place to be in the community, but I think, ‘Well, if it was good enough for Jesus, it must be good enough for me!’
As an officer, I get to work with a wonderful group of people that have the same heart, the same passion. We have a wonderful worshipping congregation [in Whangarei] that love Jesus.
All these wonderful opportunities are given to us as officers, but it’s what we do with them that’s the key. Because you can easily lock yourself away in an office and just let the world pass you by. But the opportunities are huge.
You give up a lot to become an officer. Is it worth it? I say it is. When my wife and I put it all together and see the many, many people who call The Salvation Army home and want to call The Salvation Army home, that’s worth so much to us.
We’re all called to something. And if officership is one of those things for you, then I say, ‘Explore it! Really explore what it requires. Go and do some study that’s going to get you prepared. Put your name forward!’
by Peter Koia (c) 'War Cry' magazine, 1 July 2017, pp11
You can read 'War Cry' at your nearest Salvation Army church or centre, or subscribe through Salvationist Resources.
Find out more about The Salvation Army’s Social Housing | www.salvationarmy.org.nz/SocialHousing