Seven New Zealand Salvation Army officer leaders will be commissioned and ordained in Wellington next weekend, which is great. But we actually need 16 each year to keep up with retirements and resignations.
I’ve been an officer for 26 years, but I still remember when my best friend and I used to go to commissioning events and mock the invitation for people to become officers. Someone would say something like, ‘It’s dark up there at the back, but it’s light down here on the stage … and God will light your path as an officer.’ And we’d award eight points out of 10 for creative persuasion.
God never ‘called’ me to become a Salvation Army officer in the sense of hearing a compelling voice or sensing some spiritual sealing on this as God’s chosen path. I simply saw officership as something I could do and wanted to do. I still feel that way. So, if you figure officership isn’t for you because you haven’t ‘heard the call’, I’d suggest exploring it anyway. You may find officership a great fit for your passion and talents.
I want to put out a challenge to Salvation Army critics in particular. How about pushing past the institutional irritants and helping us recapture our mission heart? Our origin is as a church (or more accurately, ‘a mission’) for everyone, but especially those who don’t fit so well anywhere else. We’re for people who want to see lives transformed, to see servants lead, and who love it when God uses them in new and creative ways.
If you’re perhaps a rebel who sees how The Salvation Army needs to become better, you may be precisely the type of mover and shaker we need to lead the way.
Romans 1:16 (New International Version)
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes …
Kāhore hoki ōku whakamā ki te rongopai: ko te kaha hoki ia o te Atua hei whakaora mō ngā tāngata katoa e whakapono ana …