Making a smooth transition
This time each year, The Salvation Army prepares for the movement of officers. For those contemplating unknown locations, the season brings uncertainty. To ease this anxiety, those who have “been there, done that” offer the following words of encouragement.
Major Edward Hill, Hawaii/Pacific Islands
“My advice for the officer changing appointments is to wholeheartedly smooth the way for his successor. I would also suggest that if the officer has children, to take their concerns about moving very seriously. The last thing I would say is that once you arrive in an appointment, refrain from criticizing the officer you have followed or downgrading their contribution.”
Major Timothy Foley, Crestmont College
“Moving is a time when the curtain comes down on one act in your life only to be raised on another. Embrace the moments you have remaining in your current ministry. Around the corner awaits further challenges and blessings. Trust God. For those who have children moving, make sure to discuss the pending move and listen to what they are feeling. We have always tried to make an adventure out of a move. Try using Google Earth to explore your new community and home. A good habit is to always leave an appointment in a manner that you would like to receive it. Leave a good brief of the details of your ministry for your successor. Finish well.”
Major Douglas Danielson,
Southwest divisional commander
“Trust the Lord in this move. He has been with you in the past (Psalm 63:7) and has not changed (Isaiah 59:1). Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NASB).
Major Victor Doughty,
Intermountain divisional commander
“In many respects, George Scott Railton is the patron saint of officers on the move. Not only did he pen the words to ‘No Home On Earth Have I,’ but he offers a prayer that all farewelling officers can take to heart: ‘Wherever we may be, God grant us grace to persevere to the end in work that does not show, but which somebody must do if the Army is always to be marching along.’”
Major Donald Hostetler, Cascade divisional commander
“Every change of appointment brings exciting opportunities to explore. New people, new places, new cultures, new languages. My wife and I have had appointments from New England to Southern California to the Pacific Northwest. In each place (and in all those in between) we experienced fulfilling relationships with brothers and sisters in Christ who enriched us on our ministry journey.
“As you are in the throes of change, it is sometimes easy to get lost among the myriad things on the ‘to do’ list. But take the time to celebrate the ministry you have had with those you are leaving behind, then face the new with excitement for what God has in store for you there. Enjoy the adventure!”
Lt. Colonel Victor Leslie, Southern California divisional commander
“It takes a lot of courage to let loose of the known and take hold of the unknown. Be brave! Our security is that God is always relevant and still eager to engage us—wherever we are.”
Lt. Colonel Douglas O’Brien, Northwest divisional commander
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast (Psalm 139:7 NIV).
Lt. Colonel Joseph Posillico,
Golden State divisional commander
“Officership comes with challenges and opportunities. We especially note this with new appointments. We should expect both so that our focus would remain on him who called us. Be slow to speak, but listen well. Build on what you are given as a foundation, and as Paul wrote to the Colossians: Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it.”
Major Stephen Smith,
“June can be a challenging time for officers who are under farewell orders and can be difficult for their families and the congregations they leave. It is in times like this that we learn to trust God even more than before. As we trust God more, we acknowledge that he is in control and his purposes will be accomplished.”
Major Doug Tollerud,
Alaska divisional commander
“I have always looked at moves as a new adventure. As I prepared my family , we focused on the opportunities to develop positive relationships in our new community. In my 25 plus years of service, I have taken to heart the words of Sidney Cox, ‘I’m in His hands, whatever the future holds, I’m in His hands. The days I cannot see, have all been planned for me. His way is best you see, I’m in His hands.’
“The scripture verse that has been so supportive can be found in II Timothy 1:12: For I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.”
Major Doug Riley,
Del Oro divisional commander
“Remember, you are pastoring in a time that is the most exciting yet with the greatest generational challenges. People of all ages are looking at you to make some sense of this upside down world. Remember the mission and be assured of a God that comes beside you to encourage, comfort and guide you. Keep positive, it is contagious to those who are watching you in these transitions: your church, friends and family. Our world and lives become like patchwork on the quilt of our ministry. God is in every move…
If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 4:11b.”This time each year, The Salvation Army prepares for the movement of officers. For those contemplating unknown locations, the season brings uncertainty. To ease this anxiety, those who have “been there, done that” offer the following words of encouragement.