Correct me if I’m wrong here, because often I am. And I do not want to rely on hearsay or useless erroneous conjecture. But as I’ve been reading various publications and blogs of officers and leaders, I hit on a disturbing notion in regards to how Generals of The Salvation Army are elected. Am I incorrect in assuming that a large portion of the election process is weighed within economic and statistical measures? By that I mean do we put that much emphasis on those leaders who are perceived to have grown their territories in leaps and bounds? If this is the case, and I hope they are not, is this biblical?
Secondly, does this then preclude potential candidates who clearly have the intellect and godly principles from being elected based on the territories in which they are currently serving?
Hopes: The fastest growing regions of The Salvation Army are also within the poorest regions of this world…would the High Council consider a Commissioner from one of these regions as a viable candidate? My hope and dream is that we begin to see the progressive movement within the Army to consider the leadership of the entire world regardless of its economic or statistical support.
What I know: Not much. That much is true. But what I do know is that This Army has been historically revolutionary in this movement! We allow women to preach, Hallelujah! Regardless of gender, Salvationists have more equality than a lot of churches around the world! We are a holiness movement, and thus we must continue to rely on His promptings and proddings within our Army for ‘greater things’. The mission is not over yet! And we continue to need leaders to rise who will not insulate the Army and play it safe but those who are willing move it forward!
I fear your assessment is correct. Much of what the Army does is money based. This is evident with a cursory look at the financial records, vs the seeker records. The Army grows money wise, but not in discipleship and soul seeking. I am a victim of this movement, as I have a heart for souls, but not a passion for money.
I would think that both Spiritual and business fitness would be considered in electing a General. The Army is, after all, both a church and a business, and the General is responsible in some way or another for both aspects of the Army. A leader from what we in the West consider the “Third World” may have the spiritual capacity, but do they themselves feel they have the business capacity to lead the International Army? The interesting thing is that in the past High Councils, there have been Commissioners from ‘Third World” countries, and none have been nominated, so we don’t even have an idea if one was nominated whether they would accept.
Regardless of how this process works out, who gets nominated, and eventually who gets elected, what we as Soldiers and Officers have to do is trust the God will work out His plan for the Army through whomever is elected General.
That’s aptly put Eric, good perspective!
I’m thinking we have to have the right person, man or woman, married or single, regardless of race or nationality. The person who is not afraid to lead, and will challenge the status quo. There is no indication that a General has to be “all things to all people”. There are plenty of checks and balances to provide support for areas of challenge. The uncompromising quality must be ” a man (woman) after God’s own heart”.