RUNNING THE RACE
THIS IS MY STORY | HOLY LIVING | DESIGNED FOR LIVING | OVER LAND AND SEA
THIS IS MY STORY
DESIGNED FOR LIVING
RUNNING THE RACE
WELCOME BE YOURSELF
In this edition of Explore we are looking at the subject of Fit for Mission, and in particular, The Salvation Army’s fitness for the mission of God. I am often reminded of the quote; ‘Speed of the leader, speed of the team’. As spiritual leaders we need to be fit to be partners with God in His mission. It’s all very well asking about the fitness of the Army ... but what about me, am I fit for God’s mission?
OVER LAND AND SEA
As we approach the 150th celebration of the birth of The Salvation Army in 2015, it seems appropriate that the territory is engaging in Fit for Mission. Is the Army effective in its mission to ‘serve the present age’? Through these pages you might find yourself challenged at a personal level to ask the same questions about your God given mission in life. In our openness to God we might find ourselves and our Army moving ahead resolutely, under his direction, towards our vision of being; ‘… a spirit-filled, radical, growing movement with a burning desire to lead people into a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, actively serve the community and fight for social justice’. Now that’s worth getting up to speed for!
I HAVE A DREAM
The Salvation Army is a Christian Church and Registered Charity No. 214779 in England and Wales, SC009359 in Scotland and CHY6399 in the Republic of Ireland
We live in a nation that struggles with increasingly complex challenges, among individuals and communities that are seeking for meaning and authenticity in a world of sound bites and persuasive consumerism; and we are part of the Church that continues to have incredible opportunities to demonstrate and share the amazing love of God through our embodiment of that love in our life and actions. We are in a time of huge challenges and huge opportunities and in a time where leadership matters. I do not intend here to give yet another definition of leadership, suggesting the newest list of leadership competencies, practices, models or secrets. There are excellent books and resources available for those who want to grow and develop their capabilities and understanding of leadership. I would, however, like you to think about that aspect of leadership that is more difficult to define
and categorise. I would suggest that there is a certain something that, when it exists, makes the difference between the leaders who may maintain the machinery of an organisation â€“ even make it more efficient, sometimes with incredible giftedness, capability and confidence â€“ and those who touch the heart of people who need God with the vibrancy of his Spirit and the power of his love. This second type of leadership has a power that does not come from learned techniques. It is authentic and passionate in the depths of the leaderâ€™s being, and is not the result of a programme,
the outcome of a system or dependent on a particular model. You may have heard it said that ‘You either have it or you don’t!’ I think our own people and the communities in which we live and serve recognise this quality when they see it and know when it is missing. Many people have tried to describe it and encourage leaders to seek it, and it has been given different names, but the descriptions lead us to the same thing. J. Oswald Sanders calls it spiritual leadership. He says, ‘Churches grow in every way when they are guided by strong, spiritual leaders with the touch of the supernatural radiating in their service. The church sinks into confusion and malaise without such leaders.’ He describes spiritual leaders as those who are authoritative, spiritual and sacrificial: leaders who lead like Jesus. Samuel Brengle talks about the leaders of spiritual authority, whose power is recognised and felt in heaven, on earth and in hell. He says that it ‘is not won by promotion, but by many prayers and tears. It is attained by confession of sin, and much heart searching and humbling before God; by self-surrender, a courageous sacrifice of every idol, a bold uncomplaining
embrace of the cross, and by eternally looking to Jesus crucified.’ Bill Hybels calls it courageous leadership, and suggests that under this leadership the local church, which is the hope of the world, will experience ‘dynamic teaching, creative worship, deep community, effective evangelism and joyful service… to renew the hearts and minds of seekers and believers alike, strengthen families, transform communities, and change the world.’ Craig Groeschel goes on to say that only God can provide this certain something. He says, ‘It is from him. It is by him. It is for his glory. We can’t create it. We can’t reproduce it. We can’t manufacture it…. It is what God does through a rare combination of these qualities found in his people: • Passion for his presence • A deep craving to reach the lost • Sincere integrity • Spirit-filled faith • Down-to-earth humility • Brokenness’ The more one reads and reflects, the more obvious it becomes that what is being described is the life and the leadership
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of Christ. This is the leadership needed desperately by The Salvation Army today. Yes, we need leaders who are highly competent and equipped with the knowledge and skills to address today’s challenges and take up the opportunities for tomorrow. But more than that, we need leaders who are Godly leaders, holy leaders, leaders set apart by God and for God, filled with the Spirit of God and living and leading like his Son Jesus. Of course the requirement of God for his people to be holy people is not new; it has been a constant theme throughout his relationship with his people. Very early on in that relationship his people recognised God to be very different from all of their previous understandings of deity. Throughout the history of the people of faith there is an unfolding revelation of who God is that came to
If The Salvation Army is to rise up to meet the challenges of the 21st century and to be fit for its mission, then we have a desperate need for holy leaders be understood as his holiness. God chided his people for thinking that he is like them (Psalm 50:21), and Isaiah’s vision (Isaiah 6) revealed a God whose glory was experienced by creatures who could simply respond by saying, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory’ (NIV), and whose presence highlighted the complete personal shortcomings of Isaiah himself. Yet this recognition of God’s perfection and distinction and difference is accompanied by a requirement and a promise from God (Leviticus 19:2; 20:24): ‘Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy’ and ‘I am the Lord your God, who has set you apart.’ The calling of God upon his people was for them to be different from the rest of the nations (Leviticus 18:3-4), to be distinctive, to be set apart, to stand out, to represent to the nations their very different and distinctive God. Israel was a holy nation because they were chosen and set apart by God, and the demand
of this holiness was that they lived lives that expressed the grace and favour that had been bestowed upon them. They were required to live lives of integrity, justice and compassion within their personal, family and national lives. God said to them (Exodus 19:6), ‘You will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ They were to reflect on earth, as a nation among the godless nations, the transcendent holiness of God himself. This was done by following a set of rules – mainly not religious rules, but rules that would bring about a new way of living their everyday lives. To be called to be holy was a calling to distinctiveness in both individual and national life. In the New Testament Jesus renewed this call to distinctive living as a reflection of the holiness of God. Matthew 5:13–16 records his requirement that people live like salt and light. They were to be different in order to make a difference, in order that others would recognise the glory of God. Throughout the New Testament letters the apostles continue to make this call and tell their readers to live out, to demonstrate in practice, the holiness of God. They are basically told that they are that which will advertise what a great God we serve. In every generation the people of God are meant to be different from the people among whom they live, with a way of life that is so different that those who do not yet know God are caused to look more closely and recognise a holy God who is worthy of their praise. Christians are to be holy people because it is part of the mission of God’s people to represent God to the world. We are holy because we have experienced God’s grace in the past. We are loved and redeemed, called and set apart to live in response to that saving grace, to live lives that are dramatically different from the surrounding world. What is required is that we live the life of Christ – impossible in our own strength, but promised and planned for us by God. Paul explains (Romans 8:29) that God’s plan has always been to conform us to the image of his Son. He goes further (2 Corinthians 3:18) and describes how we are intended to reflect the Lord’s glory whilst being transformed into his image with everincreasing glory. However, we should not think therefore that being holy is only about God’s work in us, and
that we have no part to play. It is very clear throughout Scripture that the part we are to play is what Christopher Wright calls ‘covenant obedience’. We are called to obedience as a lifestyle because of what God has already done in our lives and because of what he wants to keep on doing. God said to his people, ‘If you obey me fully and keep my covenant…’ (Exodus 19:5). Peter explains this to the early Christians in 1 Peter 2:9–12 and reminds them that they have had their exodus experience, they have been brought out of darkness, they have experienced God’s grace and mercy and they are his own treasured possession. They are his holy generation, and that means they are to live out that identity with such attractive obedience that people will be attracted to God. They will be God’s people, living God’s life in such a way that God is seen clearly by those who do not yet know him. John Poulton, in A Today Sort of Evangelism, writes: ‘The most effective preaching comes from those who embody the things they are saying. They are their message. Christians… need to look like what they are talking about.’ These things are true for all God’s people and not just leaders. But when we have leaders in our communities who are not Christ-like, our communities will struggle to move on beyond their leaders’ limitations. I can remember, as a young child, having a meal with some officer friends. I was not taking notice of the conversation, or perhaps I wasn’t understanding it, but I was suddenly impacted by my father saying, with such sadness and passion that I have never forgotten it, ‘God help the sheep if the shepherds have gone so badly wrong!’ Sheep follow in the footsteps of their shepherds. Followers put themselves under the influence and direction of their leaders. If The Salvation Army is to rise up to meet the challenges of the 21st century and to be fit for its mission, then we have a desperate need
for holy leaders. Leaders chosen and called by God to reflect his love and being in their everyday lives. Leaders who are willing to live in a way that is characterised by their covenant obedience. Leaders who are like Christ. Such leaders, like Jesus, will be filled with the For further reading: Spiritual Leadership, J. Oswald Sanders, Moody Publishers The Mission of God’s People, Christopher Wright, Zondervan It, Craig Groeschel, Zondervan Courageous Leadership, Bill Hybels, Zondervan Leadership on the Axis of Change, Chick Yuill, Crest Books The Radical Disciple, John Stott, IVP
Spirit of God. Their will will be to do the will of their Father. Their words will be the words of their Father. Their lives will reflect the glory of their Father. Henry Drummond said, ‘To become Christlike is the only thing in the world worth caring for, the thing before which every ambition of man is folly and all lower achievement vain.’ I believe that this is the leadership we need, and there is nothing that could compensate for a lack of such leaders. John Gowans was once asked if he could have written only one of his songs, which one would it have been. He took a while to answer, and when he did it was with obvious deep emotion. He said simply: To be like Jesus! this hope possesses me, In every thought and deed, this is my aim, my creed; To be like Jesus! this hope possesses me., His Spirit helping me, like him I’ll be. (SASB Chorus 107) Leaders fit for mission. Holy leaders – leaders like Jesus. May God help us all to fulfil his calling on our lives!
‘To become Christ-like is the only thing in the world worth caring for, the thing before which every ambition of man is folly and all lower achievement vain’
Major Judith Payne is Assistant Secretary for Personnel [Leadership Development]
SPEAK UP I love the chance to celebrate birthdays! A couple of years ago I put an invitation on Facebook, that if people wanted to come into my home to join in the party and share some birthday cake, they could just drop in. Over 250 people did just that – they dropped in to join the party. It was chaos! In 2014 ALOVE is celebrating its tenth birthday. And there’s lot to celebrate! Throughout the course of 2014 there will be a number of chances to get together and remember ten years of calling young people to dynamic faith, radical lifestyle, adventurous mission and a fight for social justice. These four ‘Essentials’ of ALOVE are a call to a generation of young people who want to live a different life, a life in all its fullness, and serve God. I personally think that as well as ALOVE calling young people to dynamic faith, radical lifestyle, adventurous mission and a fight for social justice, young people are calling the wider Salvation Army to the same essential purposes. The Essentials speak to each person as an individual call, to us as a movement, and to everyone who is involved in or developing into leadership with The Salvation Army. Each of these themes is essential: • Worship: Giving our lives and world back to
God. Unpacking relevant worship and, perhaps more important, living a life that gives worship to God. • Discipleship: Getting into Jesus and his community. Unpacking the challenge of Jesus’ teaching today and how that impacts relationships around us. • Mission: Going into the world to find and point out Jesus. Literally pointing out to my mates, your mates, how Jesus is alive and working in 2014. • Social action: Giving a voice to the voiceless. Simply, helping people to get their voice heard. Social action – giving a voice to the voiceless? Surely this is second nature to anyone involved in The Salvation Army. Do we really need a further dynamic call to social action, to speak up for those who share the world around us and for those who will inherit afterwards? In response to ALOVE UK1 one young person stated: ‘I do not see opportunities to help in the Army’. So perhaps there is a need for us to hear this prophetic call to social action. One of my daughters came home from
school a few years ago and announced she’d been elected on to the school Ecology Council – she was an eco-warrior! Over the next few weeks I’d be sitting in a room and suddenly the light was switched off! I’d be using my iPad with the television on in the background and she’d turn it off with a press of the button on the remote control. I did get very concerned when she realised the freezer was on all the time! It got to the point where I renamed her; instead of being an ecowarrior she became an eco-worrier! Let’s be honest, young people are very much aware of the world we share, and the people we
share it with, and much of what young people in The Salvation Army are doing is an inspirational call to us all. Over recent years young people who attend the youth club at The Salvation Army in Deptford have been involved in a summer social action project. In the past this has included raising awareness for fair trade and the issue of human trafficking. Their most recent project recognises a personal interest which will benefit many young people in their area. The local skate park just isn’t good enough; it needs new ramps, more variety and better safety features. Looking around at other facilities they came to the point where they wanted ‘an inviting place that encourages the development of the sport and sense of community’, changing the skate park from ‘simply a meeting point to a place of training and performance for the skating community in Deptford’. They said, ‘As a group, we are extremely passionate about
our community here in Deptford. Skating is a growing trend, and we believe that tapping into and feeding it by creating a more exciting skate park here in our local area, we can build relationships with other young people, further strengthening our community.’2 This isn’t just a pipe dream; funding has been found and the dream to impact the local community will become a reality in 2014. Social action is one of the four Essentials of ALOVE; but in working through ‘being a voice for the voiceless’ we are challenged to take the next step into social justice. An interesting argument can be raised that calling someone voiceless is in itself oppressing them more. Everyone has a voice. Social justice is simply helping them to get their voice heard. Social justice has been described as ‘what love looks like in public’,3 and is something that should always be connected to social action, ‘as naturally as walking with two legs’.4 It’s this rooting of social justice and social
action that has motivated many campaigns and much emphasis throughout the history of The Salvation Army, from as far back as our involvement in the process which led to the setting of the age of consent right through to our current involvement in anti-human trafficking. The support offered to the victims of human trafficking throughout the United Kingdom is an expression of our social action,
and the raising of ALOVE’s ‘Cut It Out’ campaign is a direct call for social justice. ‘Cut It Out’ aims to raise awareness of the global issue of human trafficking for sexual exploitation as well as encouraging people to join or start ACT groups (a Stop the Traffik initiative), campaign for tighter regulations for the advertising of sexual
Everyone has a voice. Social justice is simply helping them to get their voice heard. services online and campaign to see an end to the advertising of sexual services in our UK newspapers. For many young people engagement has taken place in their local communities, their schools, among their friends and in their local corps setting. Its aim is simple: ‘If we want to see an end to the advertising of sexual services in our newspapers, we need to focus all of our campaigning efforts as we are fighting what is big business for the newspapers. We need to let them know that advertising trafficked victims is not and never will be acceptable. We need to see trafficking “Cut Out” of our newspapers, and to see this happen we really need to make some noise and generate a lot of publicity’.5 So as ALOVE celebrates its tenth birthday, perhaps the greatest gift of these days is wrapped up in the four Essentials, with the prophetic call for young people and everyone involved in the wider Salvation Army to clear their throats and be a voice for the voiceless.
Major Mike Lloyd-Jones is Territorial Youth Secretary [Alove]
1. ALOVE UK, Youth Participation In The Salvation Army: ‘Have Your Say’. (January 2014) 2. http://alove.salvationarmy.org.uk/social-action 3. Escobar, K. Blog, http://kathyescobar.com/2012/03/25/justice-what-love-looks-like-in-public/ (blog March 2012) 4. St Ambrose University, Social Justice Defined, (https://www.sau/Social_Justice_Define_Social_Action_Aligned.html (Article May 2010) 5. http://alove.salvationarmy.org.uk/cut-it-out-8-march
THIS IS MY STORY It was summer 2010 and I was working in an office on a government job scheme. I had been told that my future beyond my current contract looked secure. However, a job came up at my local Salvation Army corps through the Employment Plus Scheme the Army was involved with. The job was for a Youth and Community Support Worker, and although I was at that time an atheist, the job seemed to be something that really appealed to me. I was offered the job, but I made it clear when I started that I didn’t believe in God and I didn’t want people to try and ‘convert’ me. But I also told them, ‘It’s fate that I’m here’ (though I didn’t remember saying that until I was reminded of it just before I left that job to come to WBC). Working with the officers and people at Crook Corps opened my eyes. I was confronted with people who had their beliefs and consistently acted them out in their everyday life. They never judged me and they always welcomed me even though I was different from what they were used to. After a month or so at Crook Corps I found myself intrigued by what made these seemingly normal people believe in this God they talked about. One day I found myself almost exploding, and almost demanded to know ‘If there is a God, then WHY has all this horrible stuff happened in my life? WHY hasn’t he been there for me?’. I already knew the story of Jesus, but when it was explained to me that Jesus was God’s son it stirred something in me which I didn’t really understand at the time. That night when I went home I felt as if there was a whirl of emotions fighting inside me to get out. So I tried to rationalise what I was feeling. But I started to feel like I was fighting a losing battle, and then I felt utter calm wash over me. I felt – possibly for the first time – as though it wasn’t just my head that knew I was loved; my heart knew it too. I realised that actually despite all the hard times I had been through, in my life there had been many ‘odd’ moments I couldn’t explain, and I realised those ‘odd’ moments had been God. That night God spoke to me. He reached out to me and made me feel special and loved and important. It sparked a whirlwind adventure. I became an adherent member in January 2011, but I knew that wasn’t enough – I knew God was calling me to be a soldier. But I liked my life as it was, and I was reluctant to make that commitment. ‘I could do it if I wanted to,’ I said one day, but still I remained afraid. But God is good and he didn’t disappear just because I was saying ‘No’. So on Easter Sunday 2011 I became a soldier. I thought it was done, I had done what God had wanted; but in reality I’d barely signed my soldier’s covenant when God told me he wanted me to be a Salvation Army officer. I stayed quiet for a while, thinking ‘I must have got it wrong. I couldn’t possibly do that. I’m not good enough.’ I thought, ‘I’m too loud, I have pink hair, I don’t play a brass instrument!’ But eventually I came clean to my officer, and she simply replied with ‘I know.’ My adventure towards officership was bizarre. To my amazement people seemed to think it was a good idea. My friends were shocked at first, but eventually seemed to support it. Much more importantly, God remained active in my life. He didn’t just ask me to do something and leave me to get on with it. I was asked to do the ALOVE gap year programme ‘Essentials’ and I went to Abergavenny in 2012. That year allowed me to explore my faith and start to become more confident in myself. I stopped thinking that I wasn’t good enough. And God was good – he surrounded me with amazing people who supported me and helped me learn and grow. Now it’s 2013 and I am at the William Booth Training College. I’m still quite loud, my hair is red now, and still don’t play a brass instrument! But I know that God didn’t call me for my exterior; he called me because he sees everything I am and everything I could be. God does work in mysterious ways, and when I said ‘It’s fate I’m here’, I now know it was all part of God’s amazing plan for my life. Katy Hillary is a cadet at the William Booth College
Explore the following scenarios: you are the leader, you make the decisions.
A group of tyrants are in control of Great Britain. Their rule is harsh. They treat the local people – your people – as slaves. Many people are being killed by the ruling group. But life has been kind to you. You were in the right place at the right time. Personally you are well in with the ruling group who do not realise that you are a local person. One day you see one of the local people being badly beaten by a member of the ruling group.
You have been betrayed by those who should have looked after you: people who – at the very least – should have protected your human rights. As a result, at a young age, you were taken away from your family for many, many years. You were unfairly sent to prison and had to endure the dreadful conditions of imprisonment. By sheer hard work and natural ability you are now free and have an important, wellpaid job. One day you find yourself face to face with the people who betrayed you all those years ago. You are now the one in power and you can do whatever you want to those who betrayed you all those years ago.
DO YOU 1. Do nothing? 2. Speak out against the bully, knowing that you would then be seen as a rebel? 3. Kill the bully and hide the body?
DO YOU 1. Do nothing? 2. Forgive them for what they did to you? 3. Make them pay – and pay heavily – for their unjust treatment of you?
Do not read on until you have decided what course of action you would choose in both of the above scenarios. Think carefully about these situations. What would be the pros and cons of each option that you could choose? Are you comfortable with your final decisions? Was it difficult to make a decision? Do you think that your decisions reflect the fact that you are a Christian? Would people describe the way you have decided to act as a good example of holy living?
I recognise that the two scenarios are rather extreme: Great Britain being oppressed by tyrants; someone being wrongfully sent to prison. Extreme situations, however, can be a good test of what we are really like and what we really believe. The theory of being a Christian can be very different from the reality of being a Christian when ‘push comes to shove’ – when ‘the tyre hits the road’ – when there is a real cost to being a disciple of Jesus. You may have already noticed that the two scenarios are from the Bible. Moses – that great leader of God’s people – was the person who was well in with the ruling group, the Egyptians. Perhaps to our surprise, he – on the spur of the moment – decided to kill the Egyptian guard who had bullied a Hebrew slave. Holy living? You can read the story in Exodus chapter two. Joseph – of amazing Technicolor coat fame – was the person who was so badly treated by his own brothers. They sold him into slavery and from there he ended up in prison in Egypt. He decided, after messing them about a bit, to forgive them. Holy living!
In 2013 a great leader died. He was adored and idolised. Before he died, people – old senior politicians, young trendy pop stars, everyone – desperately wanted to meet him, to have their photograph taken with him. He was a glorious man. People wanted to experience some of that glory – and to enjoy the reflected glory of being with him. It was cool to be seen with this man. Even cool President Obama was more than happy to have his ‘selfie’ taken at this man’s funeral. That great leader was Nelson Mandela. Mandela did not want to be described as a saint. Mandela would have smiled – and what a lovely smile he had! – if someone had suggested changing the title of his autobiography from Long Walk to Freedom to Living the Holy Life. However, the reason why he was such a great leader, the reason why he is adored and idolised, the reason why he was central to the miracle of ending apartheid with such little bloodshed when many had prophesied a bloody civil war – the reason was his moral authority. Throughout his life he
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had the courage to keep making the difficult decisions. He did not always get them right, but he always tried his best to get them right. Moses killed an Egyptian; Mandela supported the armed struggle against apartheid. Joseph forgave his brothers; Mandela forgave his oppressors.
PAUSE 1 I am not saying that killing an Egyptian guard or supporting the armed struggle are examples of holy living. I am saying that there are sometimes extreme situations where Christians have to make very difficult decisions. I am recognising that Moses acted on the spur of the moment. I am recognising that after many years in prison – years when he must have thought through his actions and approach to life – Mandela brought about a peaceful solution to a situation full of hatred and dreadful memories.
PAUSE 2 Forgiving oppressors is the easier scenario to consider as this is obviously a gracious and holy thing to do? No! This is no easy scenario; forgiveness is an incredibly demanding example of grace. Many would have criticised Mandela for promoting forgiveness when – at their best – they wanted justice and – at their worst – they wanted blood-curdling revenge. Mandela himself could not have easily come to the point of forgiving those who so cruelly oppressed him and robbed him of his youth and time with his family.
PLAY ON Mandela, Moses and Joseph are hardly run-ofthe-mill examples to use when considering holy living. However, I do not apologise for using them. Extreme examples can often focus our minds and make us think more carefully, more deeply about issues. Whilst it is highly unlikely that you or I will have to deal with such extreme situations, there is no doubt that Christian living in general and Christian leadership in particular
will present us with difficult decisions from time to time. We cannot ‘turn off’ our holiness whilst we deal with tough scenarios; nor should we want to if it were possible. Our holiness has to be lived out in the real – and often very demanding – world that we find ourselves in. I hope that you have found this exploration of holy living interesting and challenging. I pray that God will guide you as you explore further whether or not God has called you to Christian leadership. Is this God’s plan for your life? Is this
Our holiness has to be lived out in the real – and often very demanding – world that we find ourselves in. the driving force, the motivation for my living? I am sure you recognise that Christian leaders should not be motivated by a desire to be adored and idolised, to be famous like Nelson Mandela. Mandela was motivated by a desire to set his people free – just like Moses. He was not seeking fame or any other selfish aim. I hope and pray that you will always recognise the immense importance of moral authority in Christian leadership. There are a wide range of abilities and gifts that are helpful – some essential – to being a leader. Be they natural abilities or spiritual gifts, thank God for all that he has given you. But these abilities and gifts are meaningless without moral authority, without the fruit of the Spirit. Mandela has been an outstanding example of moral authority. He has focused our minds on this essential of leadership. However, let us not overlook the countless Christians who have quietly exercised moral authority in their local community: godly people whose influence can easily be overlooked but who make this world a better place.
Major Mel Jones is Spiritual Life Development Secretary
RUNNING The alarm goes off, it’s 5.15am and my body rises out of slumber. I creep my way downstairs, and once having donned my running apparel I go through my warm-up routine and head out the door for another training session. Running has been a major part of my life for the last 20 years, and I’ve competed in everything from all-terrain races up to marathon distance. I’ve lost count of the amount of races I’ve competed in, but have gone from a ‘DNF’ (Did Not Finish) through heat exhaustion to winning marathons and receiving substantial prize money. None of this comes without hard work, and whilst I have invested thousands of miles in training sessions, I consider it all to be worth it, since it’s become an integral part of my life. Scottish athlete Eric Liddell, as portrayed in the film Chariots of Fire, stated, ‘I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel his pleasure.’ Whilst I’m not quite as fast as this great man, the meaning remains the same nonetheless.
PHYSICAL FITNESS My physical fitness has opened many doors for me over the years, not least that of being seconded to the Royal Air Force as a military chaplain. And as you would expect from any military establishment, physical fitness features very high on the agenda to the extent that time is carved out during the working day in order to conduct PT (physical training). A fitness test has to be passed every six months in order to ensure that you are fit to deploy on operations and it features in the psyche of every service individual. As part of my military chaplaincy I have had the privilege of competing for the RAF Veterans (over-40s) running team. This has involved competing against the other armed forces and running clubs at a high level, from cross-country to athletics events to road races. One occasion was the Virgin London Marathon 2013 where I was the second placed RAF man home in a time of 2hrs 38mins. This involvement in the running scene is an integral
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part of my chaplaincy as God continues to use my given physical ability as a platform from which to speak. I have lost count of the number of opportunities afforded me where conversations have opened up with individuals about their life circumstances, either whilst en route to a race or during a training session. As much as my running is inextricably linked to my chaplaincy, so is my physical fitness linked to my spiritual wellbeing. It’s an holistic lifestyle where the two are inseparable. And
whilst it has been proven that physical exercise makes you feel good as your body releases positive endorphins, so spiritual exercise enables you to feel secure in yourself as you become fit to grow as one of God’s disciples.
SPIRITUAL FITNESS The author of the letter to the Hebrews outlines for us a well-known text linking these two issues in Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV): ‘Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that
so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.’ Whilst the military are familiar with carrying heavy loads over long distances, we wouldn’t dream of starting a race carrying any excess baggage. Yet we as Christians often seem content with lugging around years of spiritual baggage that we’re desperate to hold on to. We are however advised to ‘throw off anything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles so that we can run with perseverance the race marked out for us.’ Sin is made reference to as a crippling hindrance to good running. If you’ve ever had a sports injury you will appreciate how much of a nemesis it becomes due to the negative effect on performance. From small niggles to significant incapacitations, in all cases they will affect the outcome of how someone performs. Despite these dangers, however, we are called to run ‘tangle free’ with perseverance, which by nature of the word is not referring to a short, sharp sprint but to a distance race that requires endurance and persistence. Everyone has, from time to time, the mild inclination to do good. But we’re not talking about this here; we’re talking more about the sustained effort required of a long-distance runner who keeps on with great determination over the long course. That is what the heroes of faith did in their day, and it’s that to which we are called.
MISSIONAL FITNESS But establishing which long course we are called to can be a difficult process. The race marked out before us can often be unclear and hold many diversions. So how do we ensure we are running the right race, therefore? And how do we ensure we are not being distracted from the sidelines? We set our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith. We are called to seek first God’s Kingdom in all things to ensure we are capable of finishing the race. This was a conscious decision I made at 19 years of age. In the process of doing
so, God challenged me to give my life for his service as an officer in The Salvation Army. Despite my saying ‘Yes’, my race for life has contained many hurdles I’ve had to overcome, many entanglements from which I’ve had to be freed, yet I now find myself in a position in the RAF where God is using me beyond my wildest dreams. The last two years for us as a family have been far from easy as we’ve moved from place to place, endured military officer training and coped with all of the stresses that life has thrown at us along the way. As I write these words I am currently deployed on a four-month tour to Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, and it’s in the middle of the desert that I find myself having significant conversations of faith with serving personnel. Some are struggling with entanglements life has thrown at them, some are struggling to run the race they’ve marked out themselves. Yet I see God in this place working through their circumstances to bring about healing and restoration. Through something as simple as an Alpha Course, individuals are being challenged about the race they’re running and the direction they’re headed. Having this platform from which to speak in a military environment is not one to be taken for granted, and I thank God every day for the opportunities he gives me. How has this come about? All because I said ‘Yes’ to God those 22 years ago and have continued to do so ever since. Having lived a life without God
at the centre I can categorically say that being in the centre of his will is the best place to be. For me that meant service as an officer in The Salvation Army; for you it could be the same or something different. ‘Where’ is not the issue – but the answer you give to his call is.
CONCLUSION In conclusion, let me point you again to Eric Liddell. He summarises for us how he ran his race of faith: ‘I want to compare faith to running in a race. It’s hard. It requires concentration of will, energy of soul... I have no formula for winning the race. Everyone runs in her own way, or his own way. And where does the power come from, to see the race to its end? From within. Jesus said, “Behold, the Kingdom of God is within you. If with all your hearts, you truly seek me, you shall ever surely find me.” If you commit yourself to the love of Christ, then that is how you run a straight race.’ So as you consider the direction in which God is calling you to run, may you fix your eyes on Jesus, may you start with the best preparation, and may you persevere on your way to the finishing line.
Captain Chris Carre is a RAF Chaplain
designed Do you have any unfulfilled ambitions in life? Perhaps you would like to play the piano or maybe learn a foreign language. Although I have never been particularly ambitious, I do have one dream. I would love to write a book. In fact I have made a start. OK, I haven’t got very far, but I have a title. My book is going to be called Still Working it Out. There are a number of reasons for choosing this title. My background is in mathematics, and for 13 years I taught everyone’s favourite subject in a couple of comprehensive schools, consistently telling my students to ‘Show your workings’. I suspect some of them are still working it out as they put their mathematical knowledge to good use in the workplace. For the past few years I have been on the staff of William Booth College, thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to put my teaching skills into use in a different context, as I encourage officer cadets in their exploration of the depths of Salvation Army doctrine. But I have a confession to make. The reality is that in this context I am constantly aware that there are far more questions than answers. So, hard though this might be to admit, in matters of faith I am still working it out. My suspicion is that I am not alone, as many of us continue to ‘work out our salvation with fear and trembling’ (Philippians 2:12). If that is you, then DFL2 might be just the opportunity you are looking for to explore what your faith might
look like as you continue to discern God’s will. ‘DFL2’ is a weekend conference hosted by William Booth College. Over the course of these few days, delegates are given opportunity, in a relaxed and informal atmosphere, to explore something of what it means to be a growing Christian in the 21st century. A number of tools are used to help this process, some of which require a little thought beforehand. After gathering over a meal on Friday evening, the content and structure of the weekend is introduced and each delegate is allocated a place in a confidential small group. This safe setting will be where issues of faith can then be explored.
for living By using various brief episodes from the life of the fictional Harry Potter, strands of thought are brought together as some teaching is shared. Firstly we consider what makes us who we are. How is it that we have turned out like this? Why do we do some of the things we do? We consider some of the influences from our past, unpacking their impact on the people we are today. In discovering something of our developing spirituality, there is a recognition that none of that happens in a vacuum; and what makes us who we are will inform much of our searching for a depth to that spirituality. The weekend continues with an exploration of the various stages through which our faith passes. Many of us will recognise that our faith looks different now from when we were younger. My experience, which I suspect will be shared by others, is that this can be quite uncomfortable. ‘What’s happening to me?’ may be the cry of our hearts as we struggle to work out our faith. This session helpfully allows us to explore the journey of our faith as God takes us deeper, challenging some of the thoughts which may have been with us in the previous stages of life. But it must be recognised that for many people their Christian development
has been helped by various resources. During Saturday evening we have a chance to think about the different ways this has happened, considering how beneficial these may have been. Of course, we might also be challenged as to their effectiveness as we continue to work out God’s plan for our lives. As is right and appropriate the teaching of this weekend occurs in the context of worship and prayer. Our Saturday evening together concludes with an opportunity to think through our response to what God is saying. In an unpressured setting, space is given to respond to God, allowing him to help us work through our story in a way appropriate for ourselves. On Sunday morning, wrapping up our weekend together, we consider some steps forward from this point. Perhaps for you it will be discovering new spiritual disciplines to aid your continued journey. Maybe it will be through the one-to-one conversations with your group leader that you will receive some fresh revelation for your ongoing walk. This is a great weekend and our hope is that through the teaching, fellowship, worship, space for reflection, as well as the John Ortberg book The Me I Want To Be which you will receive, you will be encouraged in your developing faith. It is our hope that at the end of the weekend you will still be ‘working it out’, but maybe with a little more substance for understanding what that might mean for you.
Major Steve Dutfield is Module Leader at William Booth College
f l e s r u o y e B Faith House offers a drop-in space and outreach opportunities to the whosever, which can include those who are homeless, who have addiction issues or mental health issues and who are lonely. It also offers chaplaincy to those who work in the sex industry, whether that be in a table-dancing club, a brothel or on the street. There is also a chaplaincy to a local prison; and I am also a first responder for the Anti-Human Trafficking team and a volunteer with the London Central Emergency Vehicle. In all of this there is also a consistent focus on the whole community as to where there might be a need to meet. When I first was given Faith House as an appointment I was so excited, as I had fallen in love with the community when I had the privilege of completing my summer placement as the Associate Officer to Major Estelle Blake. I was also questioning what was it that made me ‘fit to serve’ this vulnerable, talented and diverse community that God had sent me to.
Over these several months I have come to realise that a ‘wordle’ that was completed with the part of the community that accesses the drop-ins has given me
some of the answers. Officers, volunteers and guests were asked for a word that described why they came, and this was the result. Here are words like ‘eat’, ‘burgers’, ‘share’, ‘soup’ and ‘drink’. This highlights the reality that I have a budget which enables me to provide food at three drop-ins. It’s not a matter of ‘I believe I can look good by providing charity to those who might need it’ – this sort of attitude if taken the wrong way can be seen to belittle people. It’s more like the early Christians in Acts 2 who brought together what they had to share with others in community. I happen to bring the food, but others bring knowledge and skills and company that I and the volunteers would not have without them. Words like ‘hospitality’, ‘comfortable’, ‘framily’ (yes, framily!), ‘friendship’, ‘community’, ‘dominoes’ and ‘bananagrams’ speak of the truth of Romans 12:13 where, through practising the gift of hospitality, those who are in need can have those needs met. For the guests and for those I meet in chaplaincy to feel like they can share that need, they first need to feel comfortable. The two games mentioned – dominoes and bananagrams – have been instrumental in building relationships at Faith House. The power of flourishing does not come from just me or the volunteers – it is about everyone. ‘Framily’ is a made-up word – it means friends that feel like family, by coming together. It is often whilst playing these games that conversations are had about health, job opportunities, debt issues, housing crisis, family joys or sorrows.
For instance, P recently talked about seeking a job. With us walking alongside him he now has left the drop-ins and works for the railway. Another example is K who has been journeying with Faith House for about eight years. She is now clean from drugs and often is a great source of knowledge when it comes to signposting others to expert help. She has got to a point in her journey where she has admitted that she is in debt and I have been able to link her with CAP (Christians Against Poverty) who can use their expertise to help her. And one of the women to whom I and a small team offer chaplaincy, talked about the importance of March 8th – International Women’s Day – in Romania, where they give red flowers to each other. Now red flowers are being prepared for that day. Words such as ‘oasis’, ‘love’, ‘gorgeousness’ and ‘think’ speak to me
about the truth of Philippians 4:7, that the peace of God that transcends all understanding does guard hearts and minds. Every time individuals come to the drop-in, you can see them visually relax. It is a place where people can air their thinking and be heard. For example, I do not have any real authority when it comes to accommodation, but signposting to those who do have this authority, and also hearing the frustration
of those who need it, allows people to gain some peace in this worrying situation. Words such as ‘empathy’, ‘fulfilled’, ‘valued’, ‘kindness’, ‘understanding’ and ‘non-judgmental’ speak of 1 Thessalonians 5:11 which says: ‘Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing’ (NIV). Faith House partners with Beyond the Streets, a charity that seeks to support those who work within prostitution whilst also trying to change the law to make it unlawful to buy sex. They suggest that though rescue is sometimes essential, the most powerful tool is actually to enable someone to see for themselves that they are worth more than the work they do. One example that Faith House has had the privilege of serving is that of G. Five years ago she would say, ‘My body is beautiful, so why not make money out of it.’ As my predecessors and I have journeyed with her through the valuing and non-judgmental approach, she has been empowered to see herself differently. As a result she has left the sex trade and is seeking God because she knows that she is worth more than that. Another example is that of T. Some people have asked what we would put first: ‘soup, soap or salvation’. I would suggest it is up to the individual, which is something T taught me. When I approached him on the street I assumed he needed ‘soup and soap’. But when I asked him what he wanted, he asked if he could pray for me. It was a good lesson to me in humility and a reminder that I should check my thinking, as it is God who is the judge. At the start of these musings I questioned what was it made me fit to serve in the unique appointment that is Faith House. I would suggest that the phrase ‘Be yourself’ in the ‘wordle’ is one of the most powerful things there. But it is also one of the most challenging, beautiful and freeing concepts in this society. The guests who access the drop-in community can sometimes feel that ‘themselves’ are not valued. They can feel that the ‘official’ systems they access treat them no better than numbers. But in the community of Faith House we give them time and freedom just to be themselves, and that I believe this gives them space to flourish and in turn to cope with the ‘official’ systems.
Within my chaplaincy I find that the goal of those women who work in the sex industry is almost the total opposite of ‘being themselves’. The women often have work names, and their sole purpose is just to work and meet the clients’ needs. Our offer of chaplaincy actually allows the women to share who they really are – their childcare issues, hairdressers, holidays, cultural traditions and more. Being respected as valued neighbours in the community is truly empowering for themselves. None of this is possible unless I am myself too. If I am not truly myself, then the folk I meet will instantly recognise it and almost instantly switch off as well. How can I be sure I stay myself? I recognise the truth of Mark 3:13-19, that as Jesus wanted and called and appointed the disciples by name, so he wanted and called and appointed me to be his disciple. Just as each of the disciples had different names and different gifts, so each of us is unique. I recognise that for this time and place he has called me to be the officer in charge at Faith House. In this ‘being myself’ I also acknowledge that I am a child of God and a witness to this fact to the community that I serve. The only way I can do this is to spend time with God. At the moment for me this includes listening to a podcast called ‘Pray as you go’, journaling, even knitting and drinking tea with God! I know that when I do spend time with God, not only easier is it to know and accept the value of myself, but also to seek his will. Often at Faith House we say we are ‘with God in the dark places’. We know that we are victorious because firstly we are with God and therefore following his will (Proverbs 16:1-9); secondly it is after all his ministry (1 Corinthians 4:1-7); and thirdly in this darkness God is light and light is not overcome by darkness (John 1:5). I pray that I will always see these reflections of how I am ‘fit to serve’ wherever God may place me.
Lieutenant Annmarie Gifford is the centre manager at Faith House
In the early part of 2014 we experienced extreme weather conditions. In many parts of the UK, fields became lakes, and rivers and roads have became indistinguishable from one another. People’s
no longer work, we need to use a compass to plan
homes and lives were turned completely upside
the way ahead. Only when we know where we are
down. In the worst affected areas, maps and
going can we plan which vehicle will best get us
vehicles, which would normally provide people a
simple way of getting from A to B, were useless.
And so the rest of the book unpacks this
Dramatic changes were thrust upon us that
‘compass’ and the ‘true north’ calling that gives us
couldn’t be ignored.
our identity. According to Alan, this compass is
This for me is a powerful image
made up of three ‘charisms’,
of the kind of changes which are
or spiritual gifts and
being thrust upon the Church
callings from the Holy
and the Army today. Incredibly
Spirit, which have a direct
powerful social, intellectual and
impact on our mission
societal changes mean that the
in the world. These three
old ‘maps’ are no longer accurate
charisms are ‘soul-saving’,
and the old ‘vehicles’ we used for
‘holiness’ and ‘serving
mission cannot cope with the
suffering humanity’. As Alan
new terrain. Change is inevitable,
examines and unpacks these
and we all face an uncertain
three charisms, he clearly
roots them in the calling and
As Alan Burns wrestles
ministry of our Founders,
with this issue in his book,
in the life and ministry of
he identifies two alternative
Jesus, and in the thinking
positions Salvationists take.
and theological reflection
The ‘traditional conservative
of some of today’s leading
Salvationist’ faces the pressures
missional thinkers. His
of change by faithfully
treatment of these charisms
preserving our traditions, carefully protecting what
is broad, insightful and passionate, with clear and
they consider our ‘essentials’, such as the songbook,
challenging implications for us as individuals and
uniforms, and sections. On the other hand, the
as a movement.
‘radical liberal Salvationists’ (where the term
I believe this book is an important clarion call
‘liberal’ here refers to the way in which we express
to all Salvationists, whether more ‘traditional’ or
our Salvationism, rather than the way in which
more ‘radical’ in approach, and I highly recommend
we approach the Bible) willingly abandon forms
it. We need to seek our identity and direction from
and ‘older’ ways of doing things, trying to rebrand
God himself, to be driven by the same passions
themselves and discover a new and more informal
and spiritual charisms of soul-saving, holiness
identity. Alan observes that both of these positions
and social action. This is the compass that will
can focus too much on what we do and how we do
help us steer our way today, even if the landscape
it – rather than on who we are. ‘The answer is not
has changed. This is Alan Burns’s conviction too: ‘I
easy, but our identity will not be recovered merely
believe God has a purpose for The Salvation Army…
by changing what we do… purpose arises out of
and that it lies in our roots – in what the Holy Spirit
actually and unmistakeably did when he raised us
And how do we discover our identity? ‘…The
up’ (p xiii).
Salvation Army’s identity question is best answered by visiting the early founding stories and founding vision… It is in the charisms of the founders that we find the clues to our identity. As we discover them, may we detect the breath of the Spirit calling us to renewal’ (pp9-10). In my opinion, Alan has hit the
Major Chris Baldwin has been an officer for 16 years. For the last two years he has been part of the teaching staff at William Booth College.
nail right on the head. When the maps and vehicles
OVER LAND AND SEA
‘You’re going offshore,’ they said. ‘Offshore?’ we thought. ‘It must be the Isle of Wight. Or maybe there’s a corps on the Scilly Isles. Or perhaps even the Isle of Dogs?’ Our minds went into overdrive as we wondered exactly what ‘offshore’ might mean. It was to be none of the above. For somewhere, far away, off the north coast of Scotland lies Orkney, a collection of islands (the largest curiously named ‘Mainland’) with a population of around 21,500. Kirkwall – the capital of Orkney – was to be our future home… just as soon as we had found it on a map. We have found the people of Orkney to be wonderful, welcoming and willing as they have gladly embraced us into their fellowship. They have accepted our Anglo-Saxon idiosyncrasies; they have smiled at our glazed looks when they speak; and they have allowed us to adapt slowly to the Orcadian mindset and the ‘Orcadian time zone’.
We could wax lyrical about the enormous privilege of ministry and the immense blessings that have flowed from giving ourselves daily to the great unfolding drama of God’s redemptive mission; and it would all be true. We could tell of prayers answered and signs and sounds of the Kingdom and hope for the future. And it would be a fair reflection of ministry in Orkney. But we could also tell you that sometimes officership is hard. Since arriving in July 2013 our thinking, energy and emotions have been stretched in all directions, and we have been grateful for every ounce of training that we received at William Booth College. We have had to work hard to be fit to serve – or perhaps God has had to work us hard in order to get us fit to serve. And we’ve had to learn some important lessons on the way.
Back in 2011 we willingly entered into the process of training to become Salvation Army officers, obedient to the call of God and agreeing that we would go anywhere. Of course, it’s one thing to talk about doing anything and going anywhere; it’s quite another actually to do it. That’s when the rubber really hits the road. The first lesson in being fit to serve was learnt on the day we received our appointment, before we had even left the training college. Being fit to serve means being willing to ‘put your money where your mouth is’ and ‘walk the talk’; no caveats, small print or hidden agendas. Beware of making a promise to God and not meaning it – he might just take you at your word! Over the last few months we have experienced a little of what missiologists call ‘culture shock’. Living a long way from home; meeting people who are culturally different from us; encountering locals who speak differently and think differently from what we are used to. It can all be a little disorienting. But we have come to realise that culture shock has nothing to do with physical location. At present at the corps we are studying the letter of 1 Peter, and we have been reminded that as Christians we are all foreigners, aliens in our own land. This recognition actually brings great reassurance as it reminds us that we are all in the same boat. And we are all experiencing a degree of culture shock. English or Orcadian, it makes no odds. We are all called to live for Jesus in a foreign culture, and that means trusting God and saying yes to him daily – whatever that ‘yes’ may entail.
SERVE ‘WITH ALL YOUR HEART’
One way in which God is equipping us to be ‘fit to serve’ is through the challenge of Colossians 3:23 – ‘Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters’ (NIV). In truth, though, it is easier said than done. One of the characteristics of living on an island off the coast of North Scotland is that it rains… a lot. And it is windy… very windy. One
of our weekly tasks is to empty the SATCoL clothing banks. This generates significant income for the corps and is therefore a real blessing. But it’s also physically demanding and sometimes quite harrowing; at times the safest and warmest place to be is actually inside the clothing bank! It’s on days like this, when the recycling needs to be done, the children are playing up, and sermons need to be written, that it’s tempting to start believing that we are not fit to serve. With the pageantry of Commissioning a distant memory, the reality is that at times we
With the pageantry of Commissioning a distant memory, the reality is that at times we only feel fit to drop, not fit to serve only feel fit to drop, not fit to serve. We don’t have the wisdom of Billy Graham or the serenity of Mother Teresa, so surely God has made a big mistake… hasn’t he? But it’s also on days like this that God reminds us again that we are only ever fit to serve because his grace and strength are sufficient. He simply asks that we serve with all of our heart and leave the rest to him. Even when it’s raining. LESSON
SAY ‘YES’ TO GOD AND TRUST HIM
LOOK AFTER YOURSELF
As spiritual leaders, one of the greatest challenges underpinning our fitness for mission is our personal discipline – spiritually, administratively and as a family. It is easy to get caught up in the business and busyness of leading a corps, but that can easily become an exercise in management rather than an act of spiritual service. We have to continually review and challenge our personal priorities. We have learnt the hard way that silence and solitude, food and fitness, and rest and relaxation are all vital ingredients in a healthy and spiritually disciplined lifestyle. Add into the mix a healthy dose of prayer and Bible study and we have a recipe for a potentially effective life of ministry. Get the mix wrong or miss
something out, and you have a spiritual leader who is heading for trouble.
REMEMBER – WE ARE CALLED TO BE SERVANTS
We’ve heard it all before: ‘People, not programmes… People, not programmes… People, not programmes.’ And we nod dutifully. But of course, it’s true. Being ‘church’ is always about people. If people are invested in, discipled, motivated and encouraged, the programme will happen anyway. If people are neglected, overlooked, demotivated and discouraged, no amount of passionate preaching is going to move them to mission. It is our pleasure and privilege to pastor those individuals that God has entrusted to us and to equip them for service where God has placed them. Our fitness for service will be evident in the extent to which we invest love and care into our people; the extent to which we allow them to take the credit when things go well; and the extent to which our leadership is modelled on that of Christ, the epitome of servant leadership. As General Gowans wrote in his autobiography, ‘The word ‘leader’ should always be associated with the word “servant” in
our vocabulary.’ When we are truly fit to serve, we should recognise something of ourselves in the words of 1 Peter 5:2-3: ‘Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them – not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.’ Mission is not always glamorous. It is frequently mundane, sometimes exhausting, and occasionally dispiriting. But it is also challenging, enthralling, stretching, and full of blessing. We owe it to ourselves, the people we serve and, of course, to God, to be as fit as we can be – physically, emotionally and spiritually – and to maintain and develop that fitness. It’s not always easy, but it has been our experience that the benefits of being fit to serve always outweigh the costs.
Lieutenants Alison and Michael Hutchings are the corps officers at Kirkwall Corps
‘I have a dream’
Explore spoke to Major David Kinsey, Territorial Candidates’ Director, about his upbringing, and his dreams for the Candidates’ Unit: Tell us a bit about your background and family I was born in Singapore to military officer parents and spent some time in Rhodesia [Zimbabwe] before returning to the UK as a young teenager. I spent 14 years in HM forces where I met my wife Diane. We have two sons, one daughter-in-law and a beautiful grand-daughter who is our pride and joy. We were commissioned in 1997 as a Messanger of God’s Love. We have had a number of corps appointments and prior to this appointment I was on School for Officer Training staff for three years here at WBC. I support Sunderland football team. A Bible verse that I have found helpful through the years is Ephesians 2:10 (‘For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do’). You have been in your present appointment for nearly a year now what are your dreams for the Candidates Unit a. The values of William Booth College are that we will be a Learning, Hospitable, Spiritual and Missional Community. We commit ourselves to that. b. Secondly that we will enable and support the promotion, recruitment, processing and assessment of Officers and Territorial Envoys so that these spiritual leaders are presented fully ready for training or appointment. This will mean leaders who are called and have had that calling tested. It will mean leaders who are FIT FOR MISSION. It will mean leaders who are already leading and ministering where they are. It will mean leaders who are competent for this stage of their development and with the
physical, emotional and spiritual strength for the task ahead. It will mean leaders committed to developing their God given abilities and gifts. It will mean leaders who are Wholly Available to being used by God through the Salvation Army; wherever and whenever. It will mean leaders passionate about and committed to Salvation, Service and Growth. It will mean leaders who see discipline, obedience and submission before personal rights; they are willing to take up their cross. It will mean leaders who have and are developing their walk with the Lord. It will mean leaders who can lead others...and their lives will reflect the beauty of holiness and they will lead others to this end. It was the Scottish minister, Robert Murray McCheyne who said, ‘The greatest need of my people — is my personal holiness.’ They will be SPIRITUAL LEADERS. c. Thirdly, to continue to provide opportunities for people to discover God’s will and purpose for their lives through events such as Design for Life, Designed for Living and Exploring Leadership Day. This would include helping a younger generation discover God’s will and purpose for their lives. d. Fourthly, I would also like to see us increasingly sharing our resources with other Territories as invited as well as sharing their resources and expertise. e. Last, but not least, I have a dream (the lesser known ‘I have a dream’ speech) that we will be an Army that is representative of the communities around us. We only have to look at the lack of ethnic minority members, and therefore leaders from these communities, to know that we have some way to go. Could you be a fulfilment of this dream? Could God be speaking to you? Then we look forward to hearing from you in the near future.
‘I WOULD LIKE SOME INFORMATION ABOUT BECOMING A SPIRITUAL LEADER IN THE SALVATION ARMY BUT I DON’T WANT TO MAKE AN OFFICIAL APPLICATION AT THIS POINT.
WHAT CAN I DO?’
THERE ARE SEVERAL WAYS YOU CAN GET THE INFORMATION YOU NEED: Have a look at the Candidates Unit website Visit www.salvationarmy.org.uk/uki/William-Booth-CollegeCandidates for more information about becoming a spiritual leader.
Pick up a leaflet The Candidates Unit stand will be at some Youth Councils and other Salvation Army events in the UK. Alternatively, give us a call and we will send you a leaflet through the post. Telephone number: 020 7326 2820
Attend the Exploring Leadership Day Conference Every year the Candidates Unit organises an open event for those interested in spiritual leadership. You must be over 13 to attend. In 2015 it is taking place on Sunday 8 March at William Booth College. Booking forms will be available from your corps officer and the Candidates Unit from October 2014 onwards or online at www.salvationarmy.org.uk/uki/William-BoothCollege-Candidates. This is a free event.
Candidates Sunday In the Salvation Army calendar, one Sunday in every year is dedicated to the subject of spiritual leadership with a particular emphasis on Candidates. The official date for 2015 is Sunday 10 May, although some corps will hold it on a different date. Some time prior to this date resources will be available from www. salvationarmy.org.uk/uki/William-Booth-College-Candidates to help the congregation focus on the need for all Christians to follow God’s call, wherever that may lead. This year the theme is ‘Wholly Available’.
EXPLORING LEADERSHIP DAY SUNDAY 8 MARCH 2015 WILLIAM BOOTH COLLEGE WITH SPECIAL GUEST
MAJOR JUDITH PAYNE
A weekend to help you discover God’s design for your life 5–7 September 2014 23–25 January 2015 24–26 April 2015 11–13 September 2015 William Booth College
DESIGNED FOR LIVING
12-14 June 2015 William Booth College
A weekend to help you develop a knowledge of ‘who and whose you are...’
For more information and to apply for any of the above events contact the Candidates Unit
firstname.lastname@example.org 020 7326 2820