Future thoughts…

It’s been one of those busy weeks where I haven’t been able to sit down and get some of my thoughts down on the blog…visits to different churches around the region, prep for our major youth event (please pray for us this Sunday!), child protection training…the list goes on…

Just been thinking about the future stuff, in terms of the Salvation Army, about how we, a quasi-military, Victorian institution adapt to a culture that is totally alien to pretty much all of those words I’ve just used to describe us. I know much of our identity is tied up with the way we do things (the ‘war’ against sin, soldiership etc.) – but just how much of that is relevant or challenging to the communities we find ourselves in? I admit that some of my reluctance to declare myself a primitive salvo is that I’m not comfortable in looking to the past for inspiration for the present and future. Weird thing is that I’m a bit of a history freak, so it’s not that I don’t enjoy learning from the past- its just I wouldn’t particularly want to stay there!

I guess at the core of this is the way we are organised – the hierachy, the election of leadership – all of which seems to be about power (although I know many of those in leadership are sincere, humble men and women, but bear with me) and age – look at the average age of those who elect our new international leadership. Is this healthy (again, please don’t take me to be ageist!)? I know it’s all about discerning God’s will (in every appointment), but it kind of makes a statement that God only speaks to a limited group of people to decide everything! We don’t allow our local centres to choose their leadership do we? Instead, the leadership is chosen for them by a group of people who will never have a true understanding of what that community needs unless they are part of it. I suppose we could take for our inspiration those churches who appoint pastoral leadership from their own flock, or those churches who embrace democracy in appointments.

This is, I admit, a bit of a rant against our leadership structure…but then what would be a way forward? I have some thoughts, some of which are reflected above, but it would be good to hear yours…


2 thoughts on “Future thoughts…

  1. You’ve made some great points.

    Our methodology is not relevant or challenging to the communities we serve. Those who are relevant generally use non-traditional methods and then are often accused of “not being Army.”

    I’ve lost count how many times I’ve been called an “Army basher” and been told, “you joined THE SALVATION ARMY! If you don’t like it, find another ministry- go somewhere else!” The truth is I love the Army, my calling is genuine, and I simply cannot, and will not, be silent while the organization that God has called me to remains content with the status quo and refuses to face reality. It would be irresponsible and sinful for me to be quite and go somewhere else.

    Great blog!


  2. I read something recently about trying to be too relevant, at the cost of authenticity. I think that I sit with the authentically relevant, as opposed to the downright trendy, if you get what I mean.

    Thanks for your comment, Bret – I’m often torn on the whole belonging to TSA at the cost of being who God called me to be.

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