Denver’s ‘Special Forces’ fit for battle

by Mike Gelski – 

“You are a good soul-winner, but what are you doing to disciple the souls you win to Christ?” asked Lt. Colonel Harold Brodin, Intermountain divisional commander, as he spoke to Major Alfred Parker, administrator of the Metro Denver Social Services programs.

Parker responded, “My philosophy is to send the adherents and soldiers from Safe Harbor Men’s Center and the Crossroads shelter, to corps in the area to promote their spiritual growth.”

The question that troubled Major Alfred Parker was, “Is it enough?”

From that simple question came the spiritual discipline program that has become known as “Special Forces.” The program is based on the six steps to spiritual growth: worship, witness, service, Bible, prayer, and fellowship. A dedicated group of men has been meeting twice a month for over one year and has an average attendance of over twenty men.

“Special Forces” spawned four small Bible study groups. These members also conduct the Safe Harbor Bible study and most of the Crossroads devotions.

The men of “Special Forces” had the desire to go even further spiritually, and wanted their own spiritual prayer retreat. Recently, 22 men from Metro Denver Social Service gathered at The Salvation Army’s beautiful High Peak Camp for their prayer retreat. The theme of the program was, “Teach Me How To Pray,” which comes from the scriptural text of the Lord’s Prayer and together with the Twelve Steps of Recovery.

Major Don Gilger, divisional secretary for program, Envoy Ron McKinney, Red Shield corps officer, and Major Stella Parker were guest presenters.

During the weekend every man reconsecrated his life to God and made a greater commitment to prayer. “I never realized I could simply talk to God the Father as if he were my father; my prayer to God was never personal before,” said one man.

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