International Leaders Endorse Change
In a strong message to communicate empowerment in decision making and flexibility in program development, the international conference of leaders released its “vision and commitment” message to the Army world. Citing Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians (9:22) as a model where he states: I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some, the leaders urge a “can do” orientation in seeking to fulfill the Army’s call in the world.
The statements appear to be process oriented rather than to focus on particular program areas. No specific traditional Army programs, such as youth work or social work, are mentioned. Instead, the conference urges Salvationists everywhere to embrace a posture of innovation, exploration and flexibility of means while maintaining strong commitments to being “… an Army fully alive in Christ…” The full agenda of the conference indicated strong commitment to these traditional Army program areas.
Here is the wording of the conference statement:
International Conference of Leaders
|As The Salvation Army faces the open road to tomorrow in an era of unprecedented change, we affirm:
To be an Army fully alive in Christ, pure in heart, united in purpose, aflame with a passion for God and souls:
• with a will to grow to full battle strength, and to adapt to the changing challenges of the new millennium;
• ready to serve out of love for Christ and to take a stand for human dignity, truth and justice;
• To release and empower for mission the total people resources of the Army and especially the often underused resources represented by our women and young people.
• To enthusiastically support all innovative and imaginative projects designed to bring people to Christ and into committed discipleship.
|• To encourage in all ways possible the vigorous exploration of the Army’s God-given freedom to worship the living Christ in every culturally appropriate way.• To lead our people to be sacrificially involved in the creation of a world free of racism, tribalism and cultural imperialism, making of our Army an example of a community in which such barriers no longer exist.
• To wholeheartedly embrace any change necessary in structure, procedure or regulation where these appear to impede the achievement of the Army’s God-given mission.
• To passionately uphold the Biblically based core values that are at the heart of Salvationist belief and practice.
In the spirit of Paul’s declaration to the Corinthians, we call all members of the Salvation Army family to be ready to become all things to all people if by any means they might save some (1 Corinthians 9:22).
In matters of mission, the message from this conference is not “You can’t.” The message is: