God gives “new zeal” to New Zealand Salvationists
Commissioner Linda Bond speaks during conference; over 1,000 attend.
Young people from the “New Zeal” conference prepare to distribute food around Wellington City, New Zealand.
Twenty months of non-stop 24-7 prayer in the New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga Territory culminated in “New Zeal”—three days of worship, proclamation of the Word and fervent response to God’s call to change the world in Jesus’ name.
Leading up to the event, held in Wellington, New Zealand, Salvationists throughout the territory spent almost two years in 24-7 prayer. Their vision was for spiritual renewal and equipping for mission of Salvationists and the wider body of Christ.
Commissioner Linda Bond, international secretary for spiritual life, spoke at the conference. “Mission begins with your personal witness—do you know the Lord? When you connect with Jesus, your life will be changed forever,” she declared.
One thousand people—Salvationists and friends—attended combined worship sessions and seminars. Several hundred young people participated in Livefire youth events, and 120 children enjoyed age-appropriate activities.
The New Zeal message centered on Jesus. “Holy Spirit, come,” Bond prayed, “that we would tell people about Jesus! Spirit of God, revive The Salvation Army! We cannot do it without you!”
Pete Grieg, UK founder of 24-7 Prayer and one of the guest speakers, declared, “As we gaze upon the beauty of the Lord, we are compelled outwards…to make Jesus famous and popular in the culture at large.”
Major Brendan Nottle from Project 614, an inner city ministry in Melbourne, Australia, spoke of Jesus’ work on the streets of Melbourne. “Soldiers aren’t pew fillers,” he challenged. “The Salvation Army exists for others—it exists to know Jesus and make him known…We were raised up to be counter culture. We’re not here to fit in, we’re here to stand up!”
Hundreds came forward to pray in every New Zeal session.
New Zeal was a direct challenge to engage on the mission field. To reclaim corps and centers as mission stations and fuel Salvation Army mission with prayer. To remember that the Army exists for others and that it was raised up by God to serve those on society’s margin; to strengthen its identity as a holiness movement, and to be serious about commitment to God through The Salvation Army. As Bond told Salvationists, “You need to sign up and you need to show up!”
From a report by Captain Christina Tyson
(Editor, New Zealand War Cry)