‘Christ and Him Crucified’
A territorial vision for covenant, engagement and stewardship
Our territorial vision—Christ and Him Crucified—is based upon what the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 2:2: For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
It is about fundamentals. How can you and I better live out the essentials of our faith so we can be better followers of Jesus Christ? The first element in our teritorial vision is that of covenant. No matter where you go around the world, you’ll find that every Salvation Army hall contains a Mercy Seat. Why is that? Because you and I as Salvationists are covenant people. There are those who believe that human happiness can best be achieved in the absence of promises, or who think that promises broken have no influence upon our personal fulfillment. That simply is not Scriptural. You and I know that God has established a relationship with man as a consequence of covenant. So, we must live up to our covenant with him. Whether we are called to be a junior soldier, a senior soldier, or a Salvation Army officer, we need to keep those promises because they are a part of his plan for our best and his highest purposes.
The second dimension to achieving our vision of Christ and Him Crucified has to do with the notion of engagement. And that really is a two-step process. First, are you and I engaged with the Scriptures? Do we know what they say? If someone were to ask us today why Jesus Christ is important, would we have an answer? But, of course, the second issue is just as important: To what degree are we willing to get out of our homes, to leave our desks, and to engage with the world around us? You and I have to be faithful. Are we willing to engage with the communities in which we live?
Finally, our territorial vision can be understood in terms of stewardship. Christ calls us to exercise good judgement when it comes to our time, to our talent, and our treasure. Why is that? Because when you strip away everything in this world you are only left with two things—your relationship with Jesus Christ and your relationship with those whom you love. So you and I have to be conscious of our responsibility to be good stewards. Not only so that we can lift up the name of Christ, but so that we can provide a better world and a better example for those whom we love.
It’s not difficult to understand our territorial vision of Christ and Him Crucified in terms of covenant, engagement and stewardship. The challenging part is living it out. So, I hope you will join me in praying that the Holy Spirit empowers each and everyone of us to live out these fundamentals of our faith. Because if we do, our territory will be stronger and, more importantly, the name of Jesus Christ will be lifted up and magnified.