Getting to know the Territorial Commander
A vision for God’s Army–officers, soldiers and employees–all engaged in kingdom building
While leading the Salvation Army Australia South Territory, Commissioner James Knaggs—originally from the U.S. Eastern Territory—authored the book One Day…, his vision for the Salvationists under his command, which grew out of a speech he gave at an Aggressive Christianity Conference in Melbourne.
Although written in Australia, the vision speaks to Salvationists everywhere—as well as to Christians and would-be Christians.
Following are some elements of the dream, as Knaggs described them in that speech.
“I have a dream that one day The Salvation Army will, in its entirety, be what God wants it to be…
“…that every soldier, young and old, would be sanctified through and through…and out of the passion of their love in Christ, would be an undeniable force for God’s love in the world.
“…that this love would be seen between each soldier to demonstrate that God has sent his son into the world not to condemn it, but that the world, through him, might be saved…and by this would all people know that we are his followers and represent him.
“…that our love would be seen through intentional and overt acts of mercy and justice, all the while in humility before God, not needing to publish our works, only doing them to glorify God.
“…that our mission would have such integrity that every expression of our ministry would be marked not so much by a red shield or even a crest, but by the love of God for people.
“…that every corps would embrace the gospel for everyone in their community, not discriminating by culture, language, social status, or age, and that the helping ministries would be woven into the fabric so that even under a nuclear microscope we could not distinguish between spiritual and social.
“…that every social program would be inviting to any one in need to be helped towards eternal affect, still maintaining our resolve to dispense such love indiscriminately and unconditionally, and that their connections with the corps ministries become seamless to the point that they would become a type of corps in their own right.
“…that we would have effective ministries to eradicate homelessness, human trafficking, prostitution and other indecencies currently common in our society.
“…that our social program strategy will be based upon the needs of people in the context of biblical mandate, not necessarily the offerings of government contracts.
“…that headquarters’ support units would be understood as such, not diminishing their purposes for accountability, but wholly in the context of authentic support and encouragement.
“…that we would never have another day in our existence where someone was not brought to Christ.
“…that our soldiers’ roll would only be an increasing reality as would our worship and discipleship meetings.
“…that the proliferation of new ministry openings would be so common and normal that we would have to appoint personnel just to keep track of it, most often after the fact.
“…that those gifted with creative ministry gifts would have every opportunity to employ these very skills in the work of the Army.
“…that our worship would be filled with creative means to celebrate God’s provisions and presence among us.
“…that our 24/7 prayer initiatives will be adopted by individual corps throughout the territory all the time.
“…that we would establish Lighthouses of Prayer to cover our neighborhoods with grace.
“…that we would have numerous prayer destinations where people could go for prayer retreats, learning opportunities and resources.
“…that our systems would be less restrictive and more imaginative to accommodate the new things God wants to do among us.
“…that as a movement, we would be marked by holiness incorporate and individual praxis.
“…that there would be such an outpouring of the Spirit upon us that we would be courageous and effective witnesses in our families, communities, cities, Australia and the world.
“…that our compassion would be large enough to be understood as authentically global throughout what we do at home and abroad.
“…that our people would be quick to respond to the voice of God for whatever he calls them to.
“…that our officer training programs would be taxed by the unusual response of the called to serve as officers in The Salvation Army.
“…that our local officers would be so empowered to understand their foundational role in the corps ministries and fully embrace the priesthood of all believers.
“…that our women would have appointments and responsibilities commensurate with their gifts, abilities and experience.
“…that our young people would be filled with the spirit and recognized as contributors in the fight.
“…that our children would be welcomed as authentic soldiers with proper opportunities to celebrate the presence of Christ in their lives and in their environments.
“…that an extraordinary forgiveness and healing of past sins and hurts would prevail upon all people victimized by our practices or inattention.
“…that God would see that we love him supremely through Christ and that our reliance on the Holy Spirit completes his hope in us.
“…that God would see that we love him absolutely and are expressing our love for him by our active love for others.”