Dear Salvation Army, When Do We Hit The Reset Button?…

setPeople have reminded me over and over again that change just for the sake of change isn’t always good…I agree!  I am not proposing change just because it’s the “in” thing to do, in fact a lot of things we do in our Army has meaning and significance.  But what happens when things lose their meaning, their relevance and vital-ness?  What happens when that program, symbol (and or any other thing in our Army) becomes the object of worship?  *gasp*  Does that even happen?  Could it happen?

I doubt something becomes an object of worship intentionally.
I also doubt programs and/or things in our Army lose their significance and meaning quickly, but rather a little over time.

When this happens, isn’t it an indicator that perhaps we have wavered?
Isn’t it an indicator that perhaps we have veered from our course?
Perhaps then the need to hit the reset button becomes paramount.

But are we afraid to push it?
One might wonder if this would change everything.
One might wonder if this would destroy everything.
One might also wonder if they would be known for destroying everything just because they dared to hit the reset button.

reset_buttonPrograms In Ministry
Sometimes we do the same thing year after year…once, long ago we had the passion and drive for it, but now it seems as if all we are doing is go through the motions and just “getting it done” because it’s required.  What happened to it being fun?  What happened to spontaneity?  What happened to progress when it just seems we are maintaining?

Is there a point when the program that we’ve been doing for years and years (since Catherine and William were still alive) is just tired, old, repeated, and irrelevant?  So when do we hit the reset button?  How does that look?  Does it mean first me must internally realign our motives and intentions in ministry?  -Absolutely!
Does it mean that perhaps we put that spark back into thing…that spark that’s been missing in our ministry for years?  -You bet.  Do we politely and rather intentionally push for changes to come from our leadership in the Army too?  -Of course!

In the past few years a number of reset buttons have been pushed.  RESET-BUTTON
Programs like – Home League, Corps Cadets, Junior Soldiers…and so on.
I wonder though if we are really hitting the reset button at all or just relabeling and repackaging the same old thing?  No offense to those whose programs are thriving…perhaps we can learn a lot from you!

Questions to Ponder:
When do we hit the reset button on certain programs and things in our ministry?
How do we know that the time is right?
How do we evaluate success and failure?
How do we know if our programs are tired, old, defeated?
How much prayer and listening to the Holy Spirit are we doing?
Are we guilty at times of merely want to change for no good reason?
Are our motives sincere?
Is our mission still intact?

I pray that when the Holy Spirit spurs us into action to step “out of the norm” that we listen.
I pray that we are bold and daring for not only the Army but most importantly for God.
I prayer that we pursue lives not just statistics.
I prayer that we measure our successes not by mere public accolades and government funding, but by lives discipled and transformed by our willingness and His power.    reset_button_MLEK

Is it time to hit the reset button in your ministry?
Something more to ponder today!

Dear Salvation Army Officer…

I wanted to talk with my fellow Officers for a moment today.

Just a simple dialogue.

Success:
Spoken or unspoken there is, within our officership, this need to prove ourselves worthy of more responsibilities and ministries to the point of unholy ambitions in our Army.  I am not saying don’t work hard, don’t do your best but if our intention is to “outshine” other fellow officers…If our intention is to “look better” than everyone else…if our intention is aimed at solely pleasing our leaders regardless of how we do that…we will have aimed at the wrong goals.

crest3Outcome Based Success…
Much of the time, our success seems to be based upon “goal oriented” outcomes.  In a business world this is understandable because in the business world they deal with numbers and figures.  Our primary purpose as an Army and as officers is for people and helping those people with the physical and the spiritual needs.  We cannot simply use goal oriented outcomes.  There is a danger of seeking success solely through these means of outcomes.  The danger is that we can lose focus on the very people we are attempting to save and serve.  It is often a fine line to walk.

What if we feel Unsuccessful in an Appointment? wounded
What happens, dear officers, when all that we feel about the place that we have been appointed to is failure and defeat?  What occurs in our hearts?  Is our self-worth tied up completely in living and dying by some sort of “success” meter in Officership?  If we do not have 100+ people coming to Holiness meetings on Sunday mornings then we are utter failures as officers?  Is that how we are to view appointments?  More than likely, on average, your Sunday services are a lot less than 100 people.  But why do we play the numbers game and think this is our measure of self-worth?  Were we misled to think this way?

I do remember coming out of Training College sort of living and breathing the song “We’re gonna fill, fill fill the world with glory!  We’re gonna smile, smile smile and not frown…”  But then the real world hit me square in the face.  The world, where in order for some people to receive the glory, hard work and love needs to take place first.  We serve in a mighty army but many that we serve are hurting, broken, spiritually wounded and stunted.  Miracles do happen but we cannot expect this calling to be a cake walk either.

nevermindBut Be Encouraged…
Although we face a lot of difficulties as Officers and often times we take the burdens of others home with us, we are not alone in this fight!  We are soldiers and we serve, first and foremost, the Commander of this Army – Jesus Christ!  He has commissioned those Christ-followers to make disciples…and in our Army, perhaps this translates to one or two people in our corps right now.  Perhaps it’s not so much about absolute victory in our communities right now, but rather the healing and restoration of a few hurting souls that we already know.

Let earthly success worry about itself…take off that heavy burden that sometimes has been thrust upon us by misleading notions of heavenly success.  Let’s do our best, but don’t forget to keep the main thing the main thing in the process.  Losing sight of our principle relationship to the Lord can will cause us to lose sight of every other priority!

We are One Army…be encouraged dear Officer, we serve a mighty God who will provide us the means and direction for the future with and sometimes in spite of those who lead the way.
army2
Something more to ponder today in our Army.
To God Be The Glory!

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