Last Thursday, Major Mike Lloyd-Jones presented ALOVE’s about-to-be-launched To Serve course material at our weekly Territorial Headquarters prayers. We were given a brief preview of the territory’s latest soldiership preparation material, written especially for young people. My own, admittedly limited, knowledge of the material convinces me that, by making allowance for generation-specific content, the material can be used for all ages. Salvationist belief, practice and lifestyle are presented in a way that engages the heart and mind and, importantly, challenges participants to reflect on their personal engagement. I heartily applaud Mike and the team that have produced this fine two-part resource (a manual for leaders and a workbook for participants), and eagerly commend the course to the territory.
To Serve has an ambitious subheading: ‘Inspiring a new generation of Salvation Army soldiers’. It is a title that is both intentional and aspirational. Promoting soldiership – that is, a committed engagement in God’s mission through The Salvation Army – is an important missional priority for the territory in the coming years. The launch of To Serve is timely, corresponding as it does with our purposeful, focused call as a territory to embrace soldiership as disciples of Jesus and be actively committed to God’s mission. It is an intentional focus of our strategy for the future.
But, not only is the production of the To Serve material intentional, it is also aspirational. It has a high and holy objective: aspiring to inspire particularly young people, but, indeed, all who are called to serve God in the Army –people who are willing to live out a radical expression of discipleship as soldiers, who are devoted to Jesus, dedicated in their engagement for His Kingdom through the Army and disciplined in a radical, countercultural lifestyle. What a goal the ALOVE team have set for this material – preparing people who possess the potential to make a significant difference to their communities, to impact their generation and influence generations to come!
May it be so!