On a Mission with a Vision
by Major Rudy Hedgren –
Territorial Youth and Candidates Secretary
We will boldly seek the lost, making disciples and striving to enlist soldiers who publicly commit to radical obedience to Christ.
As the Territorial Youth and Candidates’ department has engaged in numerous programs and activities leading up to the new millennium, it has been exciting to see so many young people from throughout the territory eager to see an Army compelled, moved and guided by God’s love. What’s more impressive is that they are not just sitting back and watching, but are taking active roles in ministry and service dedicated in bringing the good news of salvation to a world in need.
We are seeing more and more young people involved in leadership training programs at corps, divisional and territorial levels. We are seeing a calling for more innovative corps programs to meet the needs of local communities, especially the young adults. Yes, there is a real need for our traditional programs, but we need to be flexible and open to reach out to the youth of today they do not want to “hear” about God, they want to see and “experience” him!
The youth of today are committed to keeping God as their focal point, not getting caught up in programs and rhetoric but really putting their faith into action. This is being accomplished through soul-saving outreach and by confronting the issues that impact our service and ministry as a church. Young people are taking an active role in the areas of social injustice, cross-cultural ministries, technology, evangelism and discipleship. Again, they are eager to “experience” their salvation.
At the recent Western Youth Forum, Salvation Army young adults committed themselves to the following declaration:
“We, the Breakthrough Generation, having prayerfully considered the issues that face us, have determined our course of action: We commit to fight alongside The Salvation Army in the war against all injustice and sin in order to win souls for Christ. We will fight to the very end.”
The declaration is something they have embraced, committed to, and are using to solicit support from Territorial and Divisional Administration, corps officers, and other young adults throughout the territory. Their vision is a calling for all young adults to put their faith and trust in the living God to help lead The Salvation Army into the New Millennium.
There is a relational calling, the breaking down of barriers, the working together of young and old, soldier/officer, empowered by God so that The Salvation Army may minister effectively at all levels and be Biblically authentic in its motive and mission.
It is with that fervor and intensity where we have witnessed the Holy Spirit at work in and through the lives of our young people. We have seen powerful praise and worship, penetrating Bible studies, students sharing Christ on campus, young people committing to prayer, lives being won for the Kingdom but it’s not enough for our youth. They want to win the world for Christ!