Thursday, October 2, 2014

An Open Letter to Salvation Army Soldiers

Dear Salvation Army Soldier,

What if you recruited one soldier in 2015? Think about it, what if every soldier saw it as their privilege to lead a friend to join them in the mission of The Salvation Army as a soldier of Jesus Christ?

Too grandiose? Irrelevant? There's too much other work to do?

Let me say this. Yes, I know that recruiting a soldier does not encapsulate everything within the mission of The Salvation Army. I know recruiting a soldier does not get food on the plate at a community lunch. I know recruiting a soldier does not provide support to an alcoholic at their time of need. I do know this though: If every soldier recruited one other soldier, we would have double the legs on the ground in order to continue the salvation work of the Army. I am one of the most pragmatic soldiers in The Salvation Army, let me tell you that, though I realise, that always focusing on 'doing the work' and never about 'mobilizing others' to assist in the work will be to the movement's detriment.

Dare I answer a question that is far too frequently uttered amongst salvationists: Does soldiership even matter today? Well let me tell you... Yes. I am not going to offer you a critique on why, but rather, I will say this:

We are soldiers of salvation. We are not soldiers of war as you consider war to be. We hold steadfast to a mission of allowing the love of God to permeate the lives of a broken humanity. When we confront this brokenness we realise we are at war. We are battling against the violent man who bashes his wife during the early hours of the night. We are hustling our way through the inner city to offer hope to a cold, shivering homeless boy. We struggle against the institutions that seemingly and unknowingly oppress the already marginalised and downtrodden. We hold governments to account. We lead people to Christ. We tear down the Devil’s kingdom. We don’t shelter in a country club on a Sunday morning. We appreciate that we are a global army. We equip ourselves, through the power of the Holy Spirit for the painstaking yet rewarding, gritty yet fulfilling work of the kingdom. We are not soldiers of war as you consider war to be. We are soldiers of salvation.
~Captain Pete Brookshaw

Let me ask you. Will you recruit someone else to join you in the mission? Pray for someone. Share stories and experiences that ignite their passion for salvation work. Show them the freedom and opportunity they have within the promises made in the soldier's covenant to make a difference in the world. 

I have called it the Global Soldier's Challenge 2015. Every soldier recruit a soldier in 2015. Start thinking about it.

Captain Pete Brookshaw is the Corps Officer of Craigieburn Corps (Northern Suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia). His views on this blog do not necessarily represent the official position of The Salvation Army

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