Marshall Challenges Status Quo
Vision 2000–Business Administrator’s Conference
Captain Norman Marshall, area coordinator for St. Paul, Minn., was the principal speaker and guest of the Territorial Business Conference. Speaking before plenary sessions, workshop seminars and in the Sunday morning chapel service, Marshall revealed himself to be a highly enthusiastic motivator and teacher whose faith in God is unassailable and whose commitment to the Army’s essence is bold and strong.
He revealed himself as a person who knows how to work with communities, how to network with power, how to communicate the Army’s devotion to God and to all his people, how to link spirituality with social work and how to achieve the financial ends which allow the Army to fulfill its role within a community.
He ignores feasibility studies establishing limits to financial campaigns because “they leave God no room for free movement.” In St. Paul, he tripled the amount raised over an earlier feasibility study.
Perhaps the moving outpouring of God’s spirit at the conclusion of Marshall’s message on Sunday morning revealed more poignantly than any other remarks the power of his faith and the message God has given him. Drawing on the story in Mark of Christ’s feeding the 5,000, he analyzed Christ’s response to the social need of hunger evidenced in a crowd removed from any food. Christ’s direction to the disciples was simply: “Fix supper for them.” When they rebelled at the possibility of achieving this goal, he showed them how.
First, he assessed the resources. He took inventory. “How many loaves of bread do you have?” he asked. Next, he organized. He divided the crowd into smaller groups. Thirdly, he said: “Give me the resources.” He then blessed them. “We must continually ask God to bless our efforts as we engage in the tasks he has assigned us,” Marshall said. Lastly, Christ delegated responsibility for the distribution of the resources to those who worked with him. They did the work which he had asked them to do originally. “They all ate their fill.”
Marshall believes the Army is uniquely poised in today’s society to demonstrate the love of Christ in a way not possible for the churches. This, he believes, is our mission.