New lieutenants receive their first assignment for service in The Salvation Army.
By Christin Davis –
Attendees of the 2016 commissioning weekend welcomed the Western Territorial Executive Council, including territorial leaders Commissioners James and Carolyn Knaggs, to the Pasadena (Calif.) Civic Center auditorium stage June 12 for the service of appointments.
Following an introduction to a massed ENCORE! Singing Company, this year’s Service Corps teams and long-serving officers, the now second-year Joyful Intercessors Session took to the stage before the newly commissioned Messengers of Light marched in, each draped in a red session sash.
Carolyn Knaggs led attendees in singing “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name,” accompanied by the Western Territory Staff Band, led by Neil Smith. Following a prayer by Lt. Colonel Shelley Hill, territorial women’s ministry program and resource secretary and Fellowship of the Silver Star secretary, the Western Territory Staff Songsters sang, led by Barbara Allen.
Lt. Joleen Aycock spoke on behalf of her session about her call to serve, an unexpected call, she said, from a comfortable life serving Christ elsewhere.
“Going forward, we do not want to go in our own strength, in our own wisdom or in our own power,” she said. “We want to go forward abiding in Jesus. We want to go forward in such utter reliance on the Spirit of God who lives inside of us, that there is no denying that this light is God in us and not ourselves. We go to our first appointments, as lieutenants, by the grace of God and by his power alone. He has called. He is faithful. He will make us true Messengers of Light.
The session responded with its song, “Then The Light” by Len Ballantine, accompanied by the Joyful Intercessors.
Southwest Divisional Commander Lt. Colonel Joe Posillico, who retires in December, gave the charge to the new lieutenants.
“You’re a Messenger of Light. I’m a Lightbringer,” he said of the similarity in the session names and purpose. “The first messenger of light, John, came as a witness to testify concerning that light so that all men might believe. That’s what your purpose is—to be a messenger.”
Posillico shared advice that was once shared with him: preach the word, love your people and keep the receipts.
First, to preach. Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear (2 Tim. 4:2-3 NLT).
“When we say ‘love your people,’ we’re really talking about God’s people,” Posillico said. “God has entrusted you with his people. Take the final words Jesus challenged with: ‘So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples’” (John 13:34-35).
And finally, Posillico instructed the new lieutenants to live with integrity, to “live simply so that others may simply live.” Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out (Prov 10:9 NIV).
“You’ll be leaving the college having learned a good deal of knowledge. You’ve been given tools that will enable you to be effective in your ministry, but understand that you have not fully arrived,” Posillico said. “Your ministry will be a lifelong learning experience…always be a reflection of the light.”
The Knaggses then appointed the 48 lieutenants to locations throughout the Western Territory.
“You’ll never do better than what God wants you to do,” said James Knaggs.
Both sessions of cadets sang “True Light,” by Keith Hampton, followed by a congregational song, “We’re an Army Fighting for a Glorious King,” and a choral benediction led by Lt. Colonel Marcia Smith, territorial women’s auxiliaries, community care ministries and older adult ministries secretary.