There have been 20 Generals of The Salvation Army.
In that time there have been three women who have been elected to the position of General.
Also in that time there has not been an elected General from the 10/40 or the 13/59…(with exception of current General Andre’ Cox who was born in Zimbabwe).
What do I mean by 10/40 and 13/59? These are global longitude coordinates. Within these two windows a majority of the world’s population resides.
The Money Trail…
The Salvation Army’s International Headquarters is, of course, located in London England. Second to that Canada, The United States and Australia are the predominant financial powerhouse countries of the Army. From these territories, flows the majority of the world’s financial contributions to “World Services”. Could it be that based upon this major reason, the election of the General has been a predominantly “Western” selection?
What I’m not saying…
I’m not saying that we are unsatisfied with our current General. In fact, he’s a funny, articulate, down to earth kind of guy.
I’m not saying we ought to be begrudge the places where the funds come from either…without these crucial world service contributions – school, corps buildings, printed materials and resources would not be built and purchased for the 10/40 and 13/59. The world vitally needs these resources.
What I am saying…
A majority of The Salvation Army’s Soldiery can now be found in South America, parts of Africa and India. With the statistical decline of the Army in the Americas and Europe, one could draw the conclusion that in the future these places will be the ones in need of missionaries and resources.
So…when will we finally wake up and elect a General from the fastest growing places within our Army?
Others will say that there are many more contributing factors of electing a General…and yes, you are correct. There are many required leadership qualities that the appropriate candidates must possess…but…with the growing Army in these places there will most certainly be qualified leaders who will rise up!
If we are a revolutionary Army…this will happen in our near future.
If we are a revolutionary Army…this wouldn’t even be an issue to discuss.
If we are a revolutionary Army…we will elect our next General based upon the leadership qualities of the person and not about where they hail from, what kind of political, financial, regional power a candidate might possess.
Believe it or not, even our Army plays politics from time to time. There is such a thing as “Army politics”.
I’m sorry if I burst your bubble. It happens.
But…at the end of the day, we do know who is the Commander of this Army – The Lord.
If we are completely submitted to the will of God, and we lead through humility instead of earthly ambitions this topic will become a non-issue. Who knows…perhaps I’m naive and overly optimistic. At the very least we ought to continue to pray for our leaders and this growing army…and the future.
Something more to ponder for our Army today. To God Be The Glory!