“Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” John 21:18
What is the cost of leadership?
What is the cost of following Christ?
The answer to both of these questions is everything.
He wants our hearts, our lives, our everything.
Leadership within our Army requires a full submission to Christ. It is personal, yet corporate. Full submission to the Lordship of Christ is never easy because our own selfish ambition, pride and gain creeps in from time to time. Our Army needs fully surrendered leaders. Our Army cannot settle for mediocrity in leadership, nor can it settle for part-time surrender Christians.
This is not just another church.
This is not just another nonprofit organization.
This is a movement. A mission. There was purpose behind the founders starting such a cause with the passion to help the poor, wretched souls find Christ and restoring lives through better living conditions. They went where others feared to go.
There is still purpose behind our Army today..there better be. Dare I say though that this purpose gets muddied and blurred as our army at times has a polarized vision. We have accomplished much and gained much…could it be at times that we are afraid to risk because it might disrupt our investments? Any organization or church that has been around for a while faces a crucial decision – are we going to keep pushing forward and driving our mission or are we going to rest on our laurels and protect that which we have already accomplished? The latter is a very tempting proposition. It is comfortable. It is familiar. It is the already blazed trail. But if we push on in our mission, if we break new ground, if we go where the saints are afraid to tread…what then?
There is a risk involved. There was great risk involved when the founders began this movement, but even more so now. We have much more to lose if we fail. Which begs the question how much do we trust God to lead us into the unknown, into those places that are unfamiliar? Those places that others are afraid to tread? How much say are we allowing God to have in our leadership decisions and in our vision for the future? Are we willing to risk it all as He prods us forward? We could lose everything, and yet is following God, despite the threat of losing everything enough for us?
Places We Are Afraid To Tread:
Where are we called today to share hope, compassion, love and Christ’s grace?
Where are we afraid to tread?
These places used to be the bars and brothels on the lower east end of London.
What are “those places” today?
The Plight of Human Trafficked children and adults throughout the world?
A plea for governments to cease genocide in villages in Africa and other troubled regions?
Ministering to people who are addicted to online porn and other “secret” addictions?
Where is the Lord leading us today?
Where are those places that we may be afraid to tread?
Are we afraid of losing our reputations?
Are we afraid of losing our past investments?
Are we more afraid of what might happen to our sacred traditions of yesterday as opposed to those who are hurting today?
There are places that the Lord is leading THIS Army that other churches and organizations would never dare go. I do not say that with pride or arrogance but with assurance that God has placed this Army on the front lines for a reason. He needs leaders who are fully surrendered to Him for the purpose of leading us into these regions of the lost, the lonely and the hopeless. He hasn’t called us to protect our past, as wonderful a heritage as it may be, but to serve Him today regardless of where that may take us. Regardless if other saints are afraid to tread there. There is risk in following Christ. There is surrender in following Him. Are we prepared, truly prepared to answer that call? Not just part-time. Not just “once in a while”. Not just when it’s comfortable…but all of the time. There is a very real spiritual battle going on in our world still today. We can either get going and be faithful, even if we are afraid. Or we can get out of the way and allow those who are faithful to go in our stead. I would rather be an Army that risks much for the present than protect the investments of our past.
Yes, we still have a relevant vision thrust upon us since 1865…that is what we must take with us into the fight today. Go for souls, go for the worst…and love as Christ has called us to do. Don’t simply rest in your halls, looking at old pictures of saints who have gone on before us. Be a saint today in our Army and serve Him faithfully with your everything!
Just something more for our Army to ponder today.
May God continue to bless our efforts as we faithfully serve Him with our everything.