Second Gathering meeting stresses our mission
The second main meeting of The Gathering 2012 focused on the second part of General Linda Bond’s vision for the international Salvation Army: “One Army, One Mission, One Message.”
Massed music and worship groups including the Seattle Temple Band started the evening with a rendition of “The Power of Your Love,” followed soon after by an Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) chorus of men singing “Redeemed.”
Every year the ARC graduates 2,500 men, Territorial Commander Commissioner James Knaggs said; “It’s my prayer that they’ll find a home at our corps.”
Knaggs introduced and prayed over the 2012 Service Corps teams and announced the West’s World Services contribution this year: $6,905,762.
General Linda Bond enrolled 350 junior soldiers, senior soldiers and adherents—the most, she said, she’s ever enrolled on one stage at one time.
In a surprise presentation, Bond admitted Warren Johnson, soldier of the Tustin Ranch, Calif., corps to the Order of the Founder, the highest honor a Salvationist can receive. “It has to be a soldier we think William Booth would say, ‘now there’s a soldier that goes above and beyond,’” Bond said. “We believe you are such.”
In her message, Bond spoke from Mark 10:46-52.
“People around The Salvation Army world are taking mission very seriously,” Bond said. “Whether you’re 98, whether you’re moving into a poor village, or whether you’re in the very rich Western Territory, there is mission to do. Now, what are you doing for The Salvation Army?”
Bond said mission requires action. “I want to say to every Salvationist here tonight,” she said, “what are you doing with your life?
Mission, Bond said, also calls for vision.
The story of Bartimaeus, Bond said, changed how she sees life. “I wonder if everyone here needs to see ourselves as Bartimaeus?” she asked. “In doing mission, sometimes we can be condescending—we think that we have it together and they don’t…but we are the hurting, the broken, the lost.”
“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see” (Mark 10:51 NIV).
“We need to see the world as God does,” Bond said. “We need to see every man, woman and child as one person for whom Christ died.”
Bond said sometimes the world is so dark that when we look at doing mission, we wonder what we can do. “We need to see that God can use the candle, the match, the light in our life to do something amazing and bring light to the darkest of places,” she said. “We are an Army because we are a missional people of God.”
In concluding the altar call, Salvationists sang “Storm the Forts” (SASB 696).