Personal Perspective – Cari Hogan

by Cari Hogan –

Scores of delegates came together for the first-ever Western Youth Forum. We, as part of the so-called “Breakthrough Generation,” discussed issues, made declarations, and committed ourselves to action.

In my opinion, however, that is not really what WYF was about. Its purpose can be summed up in one word. Passion. More specifically, passion for our mission.

To have a passion for the mission, we must first know what our mission is. The mission statement of The Salvation Army states, “Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in his name without discrimination.”

And General William Booth said, “While women weep as they do now, I’ll fight; while little children go hungry as they do now, I’ll fight; while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I’ll fight; while there is a poor girl upon the streets, I’ll fight; while there remains one dark soul without the light of God, I’ll fight — I’ll fight to the very end.”

Adding to this, I think our mission as God’s Army is best summed up by a phrase Phil Wall gave us at the Extreme Conference in Pasadena last October: “To include the world’s excluded.”

So there it is. Our mission. We are called to include the world’s excluded. But it is not enough to know our mission. We must be passionate about it. That passion must consume our thoughts, words, actions, and our very being so that with every breath we are glorifying God by fulfilling our mission.

If we truly have a desire to be passionate, then God will give us a match and light us on fire. Then we will have the exhilaration of watching that fire spread before Satan and his ranks cannot put it out.

I refuse to let the fire burn out in our Army. But if we continue to pour on it the buckets of criticism, materialism, and cynicism instead of the charcoals of passion, Satan will have the victory.

If we truly want to send the Holy Spirit’s flame throughout this world, we must put our passion into action where we are. Notice I did not say, “in our corps,” but rather, “where we are.”

If you are reading this in your home, that is where the passion lived into action begins. If you are in your school, that is where it begins. If you are in your corps building, then that is where living out the passion begins.

This isn’t just our parents’ Army anymore. WYF proved that. We are committing ourselves to action. Our generation has been called by God to be the next leaders–both officers and lay people in The Salvation Army.

If we truly want to win the world for Christ, we can no longer sit back and watch the Baby Boomers struggle through ministry without our hands-on support. We, the Breakthrough Generation, need to catch a passion for our mission.

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