“Here is the principle – adapt your measures to the necessity of the people to whom you minister. You are to take the Gospel to them in such modes and circumstances as will gain for it from them a hearing.” –Catherine Booth.
How far do we go in answering the call for help?
Are we truly listening?
All around our communities, there are hurting people.
Regardless of their backgrounds or circumstances, our mission is to help, and in so doing, we can open the door to offering spiritual aide as well. But how far will we go? Do we still adapt our measures to the extreme of the need of people?
A Snoozing Army ?
Are we alert to the ever present need to adapt to our changing communities?
Are we awake? Or are we happily slumbering in an Army of bygone eras and rusting instruments in a chapel only marginally attended? This may sound harsh, but perhaps we have been caught snoozing. In our attempts to play “Church” which we are not, or more than – we have forgotten this principle plainly outlined by our Co-founder Catherine Booth. While we have been polishing our awards and photographs of yesteryear, we have lost sight of the present dangers ruling our streets and pulling the helpless into the very pit of hell, lined with addictions, abuse, pornography, apathy, hatred, human slavery, and all kinds of other horrors. Is this you? Is this me? I pray it is not. I pray if it is, we would wake up and recognize the reasons we may be dying are directly related to our missing vision and mission. Our origin story. Our principle for being an Army in the first place. To go for souls and go for the worst. To combat the forces of evil that still ravage our communities, and do so without fear of reprisals and attacks of the enemy.
I fear we have slipped because we have failed to adapt.
I fear we have stopped being revolutionary in our methods to reach the lost.
Perhaps we have grown too comfortable in our offices and in our perceived places of power and authority. Perhaps we have grown lax and lost some of our vigilant passion. If we are to continue winning souls for the kingdom, we won’t find them banging on our doors to be let into our Sunday services – No! We must adopt other means to seek souls out. William and Catherine Booth didn’t start the Christian mission in a pristine church ornately decorated with stained glass, NO! They went to the Pub, they went where no other church would go. Are we as bold as they were? Can we, perhaps, pray for such a boldness in our Army today? Oh Lord, grant us the courage to go where you send us, and the conviction to remain steadfast despite the intimidation of the evil one. For I fear that currently the evil one is perfectly happy with our lack of zeal in the streets, as we usher ourselves away quietly in our corps halls to worship and nothing more.
No, a new revolution must be waged!
A new passion for souls must be prayed for, not just in our hearts but in every soldier’s heart. This isn’t just an army that preserves a heritage of the yesteryear, this is an army that carves out its destiny in the present and future through faithfulness and reliance on the Holy Spirit! We must recognize this need! We must reorganize, realign, re-imagine and act upon this mission of ours! We are not an army to sit on our backsides and do nothing! No! We MUST be a forward moving army, who has accepted and adapted to this modern spiritual war we are in. We cannot capitulate, grow soft and comfortable – to do so will bring about our fall, and someone else will take our place! I say we still have a war to wage! I say we support our Officers not just in prayer but action. I say we support our Soldiers not just in flowery words on Sunday mornings behind the pulpit but with deep compassion, love, truth and by God’s authority. When we are united as one Army, we are so much more effective than just solitary entities running around in the streets trying to do good.
Are we ready?
Let’s fight to the very end!
Let’s continue to wage this war – and through God’s power, we will prevail in this generation…and the next!!!
Questions to ponder:
What can we do that is revolutionary to reach our community?
Are there “out of the box” methods we have yet to employ?
What is holding us back from employing them?
How much prayer to you devote to your mission and your community?
Are there burdens or unaddressed issues in your corps that need tending so that you can unite and move out into the streets?
I know it is easier said than done.
I know we all have so much to do.
I realize there are programs to “maintain”…but can we do ONE thing that impacts new lives for Christ? Can we focus on individuals, not numbers? Can we develop connections with people, not statistical figures? Perhaps set a goal with your corps council or your local officers…or even just with yourself – to make one impactful relationship in the next three months. Pray about who that will be. Ask the Lord to lead you to that one person…and watch out! When we are alert and aware of our surroundings, those people God places in our path will not be too hard to find.
Are you ready to answer that call?!
Something more for our Army to ponder today!
To God be the glory!