Dear Salvation Army, 3 Things About The High Council…

Greetings fellow Salvationists and friends!
I wanted to delve into the topic of the High Council in this post, and perhaps share in your thoughts, opinions and hopes for what is to come.  It has been announced that in May of this year (2018), the High Council will convene to prayerfully elect new General of The Salvation Army.   I have seen some interesting polls being passed around on social media as to who the new General might be, and perhaps who some hope it will be.  What we know is that Territorial leaders from around the world have been summoned and will travel to London, they will meet at the Renaissance Hotel near Heathrow Airport.  This is the second time that this location has been used for the convening of the High Council.  general
3 Observations About The Salvation Army High Council & Election of our new General…

1.  Fastest Growing Regions…ten forty
It would be quite remarkable if the new General were to come from a place in the world where the Army is growing in leaps and bounds.  Countries in Africa and South America, and Asia spring to mind.  Isn’t it interesting that the Army is growing remarkably well in many places where financial resources are thin or nonexistent?  There is something to be learned in this, and perhaps we shall explore that topic another day.  But, the High Council were to elect our new General from one of these regions, it would certainly be remarkable and offer a true representation of a growing army.

2.  The Majority – A Safe Election…
westA vast majority of our Generals have been Westerners.  I am not saying this as an incendiary comment, it is simply fact.   The top percentage of our international leaders are those who hale from the Americas, Australia and the United Kingdom, save for a few.  This is not to say that there are not leaders who come from other regions in the world, but by and large most are Westerners.  This is where a majority of the Army’s funds come from, where world services support is raised.   I do not presume to know much of the politics in our army, but I do know that prosperous territories generally have a larger, albeit unspoken, sway to how the army operates.  The power of the resource can often dictate the direction in which those resources are utilized in the world for the purpose of the army.  Thus, if this was to be a “safe” election at High Council, the election choice could follow suit of so many other past Generals in terms of nationality and region of origin.

3.  The Holy Spirit…high council2
I have been told by multiple sources that these places of election have also been very holy places of worship first and foremost.  It is not that these spaces were already sacred, but rather the leaders who come to High Council do so in prayerful reverence and at the moving of the Holy Spirit.  If we are truly a holiness movement, then it would make sense that our seats of highest authority be seats of holiness and humility.  Is it always so?  Of course not, but may we as an army place this event into our prayers and ask the Holy Spirit to lead those who will come to High Council.  Secondly, may we fervently pray for our next General!  When we allow the Holy Spirit to move within our army, all other agendas and ambitions will fade and His direction will provide us the appropriate leader for such a time as this.

It’s Your Turn…
What are your thoughts on High Council?
What do you expect to see coming from the election of our new General?
Does this have any impact on your life, or the life of your home corps?
Is there a need for a more aggressive mission and vision in our army today?  If so, what should this more aggressive mission and vision be?   Tell us what YOU think in your comments below either via this blog page or on this social media thread.

Additional News Links on this topic:
IHQ Announcement

Wikipedia on High Council

Something more for our Army to ponder today.
-God Bless you!

High Council Day 6: “Announcement Imminent”


So today is the day!

Even on The Salvation Army’s International Headquarters’ Website the promise of an Imminent announcement is posted for the world to see.  Below that is the live video link to be tuned in so that everyone can watch the announcement:

Soon, all of our speculations and discussions will be moot as the High Council’s decision will be announced and we will have our next General. 

Are you ready?  


High Council Day 5 Official Update


For all intense and purposes the High Council could quite possibly reach a decision tomorrow on the prospective General nominations.  They could very well announce this news as quickly as tomorrow (Saturday, August 3rd) as well!

Here is the official transcript of today’s update:

// 02 AUGUST 2013 //

¿A QUE tú no sabes lo que en High Council pasó?’ were the words sung by the Hispanic members of the High Council at the commencement of the fifth day of the proceedings of the 18th High Council of The Salvation Army – ‘Don’t you know what happened at the High Council?’

The song explained: ‘Don’t you know what happened in Damascus? The Holy Spirit was poured out on Saul. Don’t you know what happened at the High Council? The Holy Spirit was poured out on everyone.’

The Chaplain (Commissioner James Condon) read from Revelation 1:6: ‘[Jesus] has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father’ (New International Version), then led the council members in singing ‘Unto Thee, O Saviour-King’ (The Song Book of The Salvation Army 532), drawing attention to the line: ‘Body, soul and spirit, all in obedience to thy call.’ The verse, words and songs chosen were extremely apt as members prepared to listen as each candidate and each spouse answered a specific set of questions prepared for them.

The candidates had 24 hours to work on their questionnaire answers and speeches which meant the translators worked into the early hours of the morning to ensure every member was able to follow the proceedings clearly and to have a copy of the speeches being read.

The answers to the questionnaires were delivered without interruption and received in silence in accordance with the Orders of Procedure. After each candidate and spouse had finished there followed opportunity for members to ask clarifying – but not additional – questions.

Later in the day the candidates delivered their speeches, which were again received without comment but followed by a period of contemplative silence.

After the speeches the President (Commissioner William Roberts) adjourned the council for the night with the invitation to return in the morning to begin voting for the 20th General of The Salvation Army.

The Chaplain had the final word: ‘The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer’ (1 Peter 3:12) he reminded council members, before closing in prayer.

Report by Major Christine Clement
High Council Communications Officer

Photo: Major Makoto Yamaya (Japanese translator) gains a perspective of how members will experience voting.

(via the web:


High Council: Day 4 Official Report


// 01 AUGUST 2013 //

IT would be easy to say that on day four of the High Council nothing happened. However, the day – falling on a Thursday – began with the members joining Salvationists internationally in the Worldwide Prayer Meeting. This was introduced by the Chaplain (Commissioner James Condon) with words of Scripture and suggested topics for prayer. The members divided into groups to enable everyone to participate and voice their prayers more easily .

Readers who are following this High Council and who have read Retired General John Larsson’s article ‘How the High Council elects a General’ will know that once the candidates are known the High Council adjourns for a day. The candidates and spouses work on their speeches and answers to the questions they will answer when the council reconvenes.

Some members have attended more than one High Council but for other territorial leaders it is their first experience. What were their impressions of the High Council and all that had happened so far? Commissioner Vinece Chigariro (Kenya East Territory) – at her third High Council – felt that, so far, it had been spiritually inspiring. She said she was very aware of the spirit of unity among the members.

This was echoed by Colonels Patrick and Anne-Dore Naud (Germany and Lithuania Territory) who were attending for the first time. They had read General Larsson’s description of the workings of a High Council yet confessed it still sounded mysterious. However, through they felt that the articles and the information on the Internet brought the happenings closer to all interested people. They were aware of people supporting in prayer particularly for the specific happenings of each stage.

Facebook pageThis is endorsed by the interest that is being shown in the High Council website, Facebook page and Twitter account which have been set up by International Headquarters. The video of the opening day of the High Council has been viewed more than 8,000 times and the publication of photographs on Monday night resulted in 47,655 views. 

Although India and Nepal seem many miles distant from the happenings in London, Colonel Lalngaihawmi (Territorial Commander, India Eastern Territory) said that the Salvationists of her territory were very much a part of all that was happening through prayer: ‘The people are not detached in any way. At corps [churches] the High Council has been one of the main topics for a number of weeks.’

Commissioners Lalzamlova and Nu-i (International Secretary and Zonal Secretary for Women’s Ministries, South Asia) reinforced the feeling of unity being sensed in the council and their assurance that proceedings had not been rushed in any way.

Among all members there is a sense of privilege in having been called to the High Council, a feeling that they are participating in a unique event and that together they are listening to and being directed by the Holy Spirit. Colonel Lalngaihawmi summarised the experience as ‘a great privilege yet a great responsibility. We are all humble people,’ she said, ‘with a special task to fulfil.’

Tomorrow morning (Friday 2 August) the council will reconvene to continue its ‘special task’ when the candidates address the High Council.

Report by Major Christine Clement
High Council Communications Officer

via the web:

High Council Day 3: Nominations


“ON the third morning of the 18th High Council of The Salvation Army, the Chaplain’s prayers centred on God’s people being united in the Spirit. Using the song ‘Saviour and Lord, We Pray to Thee’ (The Song Book of The Salvation Army 692) the Chaplain (Commissioner James Condon) emphasised the prayer being made: ‘Pour out thy Spirit … and let thy love thy will dictate.’

The members from the six Indian territories were invited to sing, and they presented a simple chorus: ‘Hallelujah, Praise the Lord!’ in which everyone was able to join. After members had spent time in prayer with one another the Chaplain concluded with words of Jesus: ‘I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one – I in them and you in me – so that they may be brought to complete unity’ (John 17: 22, 23 New International Version).

The day’s business began with the Chair of the Questions Committee being invited to describe the work of the committee in compiling the proposed questionnaires for General and the spouse of the General. Commissioner Clive Adams explained that all questions submitted by members had been reviewed by the committee and had provided the basis for the final draft questionnaires which were considered and approved by the full council. This part of the High Council’s business concluded, the council moved to the nomination of candidates. 

To prepare themselves for the next part of the proceedings members sang: ‘Here, Lord, assembled in thy name thy work to do, thy help we claim’ (Song 581). Reading from James 3, the Chaplain reminded everyone of the wisdom they needed, before offering prayer.

A quiet, prayerful atmosphere pervaded the chamber as members of the High Council received their nomination papers and left the room to fulfil the task entrusted to them.

The candidates who have accepted nomination to stand for election to the office of General are:

Commissioner André Cox,
Commissioner Kenneth Hodder,
Commissioner James Knaggs,
Commissioner Dick Krommenhoek
and Commissioner Barry Swanson.

Commissioner Clive Adams declined the nomination

via website:

Present High Council Discussion:


The issues identified in the group discussions of July 27 were placed in priority order. Each member was allotted 23 points to spread across the issues discussed. One could give one point to every item or give as many as five points to any item.

The following received the highest totals from the group as a whole:

Spiritual life of the Army: 436
Ministry to youth and children: 223
Financing the international mission: 220
Gay and lesbian issues: 192
Leadership recruitment, development and training: 188
Marriage and family life: 168
Focus on mission: 151
Self denial, self support: 144
SalvationArmy identity: 142


Update: High Council Communications…



It has been reported that anyone who is interested and can access a computer can now receive updates as soon as they are released by subscribing to a link I will include at the bottom of this post.   As mentioned in a prior update it is unprecedented the access we and the public are not able to receive within the ongoing proceedings of the up and coming High Council.

Here is the official memo:


With the 2013 High Council almost ready to begin, Salvationists and friends from all over the world are understandably anxious to learn of any developments as soon as they happen.

Bearing this in mind, the IHQ Communications Section has set up an email subscription service specifically for High Council news. It is planned that daily bulletins will be published, and a link to the live-streaming video site will be sent out when the announcement of the new General is imminent.

Thank you for sharing this information with your command and encouraging anyone with access to a computer or Internet-linked mobile device to sign up for the latest news by completing a simple form at

-Will continue to post updates as soon as I hear anything.

A Prayer For The High Council and our future General


It would be foolhardy of me to elevate another humble servant of Christ in such a way that they eclipse Jesus himself.  We in the Army are certainly not seeking to deify a human being in the promotion/election of General.  There will not be any white smoke going up to the heavens as the High Council eventually elects its next General.  We will not seek to promote a General into Sainthood here either.


But our identity does change to some extent when a new General takes office, so to speak.  We do need leaders who will cast our Army vision and purpose for the years to come as well as work with national/international leaders to further this mission of Christ.  The office of General is important in this respect.  We most certainly don’t view our General as omniscient or infallible either but scriptural speaking we do acknowledge that we are to obey and listen to our leaders:

Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.” -Hebrews 13:17.


That being said, here is a prayer for our Army:

Dear Lord, you know each precious soul who is a part of this army.  We are your servants seeking to preach Christ crucified to a dying, sin sick world.  May your light continue to shine on our paths as we listen to the proddings of your Spirit.  I ask that you guide our leaders who will be gathering soon for the high council.  Please provide them safety as they travel, discernment as they pray and consult you for directions.  We humbly acknowledge that Your will be done in and through Your people…may it be so also within the high council.  

We also ask that Your servants will hear Your voice in the election of our next general.  That You will gently guide these proceedings and that You ultimately appoint this leader.  We serve a world of vast diversities, issues and conflicts and in the broad global view,  help and equip us for the mission yet ahead.  It is in your name we pray all of this.  Amen.”

As the days leading up to this appointed time quickly speeds by, please continue to pray for all of the Commissioners, lift up The Chief of the Staff, Commissioner André Cox as he makes these preparations and offers his guidance on the onset of the high council.  Prayer is a vital and formidable weapon that we as saints of God are called upon to utilize.

We are most likely unsure of how this whole thing works, but we are trusting in the One who will guide each and every leader.  We also further acknowledge that Christ is first and foremost the head of our Army…and in that regard we already have the victory!

Encamped along the hills of light,
Ye Christian soldiers, rise.
And press the battle ere the night
Shall veil the glowing skies.
Against the foe in vales below
Let all our strength be hurled.
Faith is the victory, we know,
That overcomes the world.


Faith is the victory! Faith is the victory!
O glorious victory, that overcomes the world.

His banner over us is love,
Our sword the Word of God.
We tread the road the saints above
With shouts of triumph trod.
By faith, they like a whirlwind’s breath,
Swept on o’er every field.
The faith by which they conquered death
Is still our shining shield.

-Just a thought.

Blog at

Up ↑