Every corps has its challenges.
Each community that we, Corps Officers have the pleasure of serving in is also uniquely different. Sometimes the life of an Officer can be a lonely place, while other times COs are surrounded by love and support…it certainly comes in seasons.
today, my Dear Salvationists, I would like to share with you
3 Things Your Corps Officer Doesn’t Tell You (But maybe should).
Officers, correct me if I’m wrong…I’m not opening a can of worms I haven’t already confronted within my own life, and perhaps this is all relative to our own uniquenesses (I just made up a word).
1) Sometimes CO’s struggle spiritually too…
I hope this doesn’t come as a complete shock to any of you. Sarcasm aside, the truth is, just because your corps officer is a pastor/preacher/social worker/counselor/janitor/chef…and more, doesn’t mean that they have perfected holiness by any means. We. Still. Struggle. We may not always have the answers to all of your spiritual questions, but we will sure try to find out those answer for you and with you. There are days when we feel beat up, kicked around and we just want to pack it in. There are days when our prayers seem to fall on deaf ears and, yes we also experience those dry and thirsty places. Your Corps Officer is, and will never be perfect in your eyes or everyone’s eyes for that matter. We are not perfect, we are still human and we are also prone to making mistakes. These spiritual struggles aren’t crisis points, no, instead, this is life – and we live it just like you do, and anyone who says otherwise isn’t telling you the truth.
2) Many Times We Are Stressed Out About Finances
Running a corps and connecting in the community takes a lot of effort and work.
There are times when your CO might not admit it, but they could be deeply stressed about finances – especially during major fund raising events like Christmas! The reality is, if the money isn’t there employees and services could get cut, and this truly hurts us. We pray a lot about these things. Yes, we understand that money doesn’t solve everything and we must chase after God not money, but we also recognize the reality of serving suffering humanity. It takes resources. It takes finances. It takes gifted, talented staff members to aide in the many things that we do. We worry about it – and some of us sometimes worry more than we really should. We recognize that, unlike Churches, we cannot simply operate on the tithes of our corps members. We must beat the drum and rally the community to come and help us…and we have our doubts sometimes too. We need your encouragement, prayers, love and support too.
3) Friendships Are Hard To Maintain, We Might Be Lonely.
This isn’t a pity party by any means, and I simply want you to know that your CO(s) is human too. They crave friendships, laughter, tangible fellowship, and leisure. Depending on the appointment, these moments can be few and far between. It is hard to minister in a corps and be friends too. That shepherd, sheep element is hard to balance. As a younger officer, (I’m not that old yet) we were sent to our first appointment 5 hours from DHQ…we craved friendship all the time and we had to find it in our community. It is not always easy to have close friends when your appointments could be the span of a year or three. We as officers can become aloof at times because if we invest all of us into friendships we know it will be even harder when we leave. I don’t mean to say that we don’t still invest all of us regardless, but if you feel as if you corps officer is a little stand-offish, give them time, be patient with them and make attempts to invite, befriend and care for them anyway.
These are only three things that your CO doesn’t tell you, but perhaps should.
Remember that trust is a two-way street, and that confidence and vulnerability takes time.
So how about you…what are your thoughts, comments and impressions on this topic?
Share and join the conversation!
Something more for our Army world to ponder today.