Spiritual Life Commission: “pursue implementation”
BY CAPTAIN JUDY SMITH –
According to General John Gowans, the time has come for each territory to ‘pursue implementation’ of the 12 International Spiritual Life Commission recommendations. Across the Salvation Army world, each territory is being asked to review the recommendations that are contained within the report published by the Commission.
Originally, the Commission discussed and examined the following seven issues: The study of the word of God, the prayer life of the Army, public worship, Salvation Army ceremonies, the place of the mercy seat, the place of retreats, conferences, special meetings, spiritual direction and mentoring, and the place of other traditional spiritual disciplines.
The recommendations that have been approved for implementation procedures cover topics such as: the word of God being integral within Salvation Army ministry; the importance and freedom of worship; the use of the mercy seat in Salvation Army meetings; the use of the Articles of War in the Soldier swearing in ceremony; and the biblical model of servant leadership in all Army leadership.
The Commission recommendations also discuss topics such as educational/training programs; the possible establishment of soldier colleges; expansion of current training centers for officer/soldier development of leadership skills; the advisability of membership outside of being a soldier; the use of small groups for spiritual growth; and monitoring the spiritual life of The Salvation Army.
In his book entitled, Called to be God’s People, Lt. Colonel Robert Street, Commission chairman, stated “Simply put, it is time for us to take more seriously issues related to our inner life. We owe it to our people. It is essential to maintaining the engine of commitment and passion. Our mission is energized by our spirituality.”
Encouragement from Commissioner John Larsson, the Chief of the Staff, could not have come at a better time for the Western Territory. For this current year each corps and worship center is being asked to schedule a 10-week Holiness Emphasis between January and September 2001. The use of the Concert of Holiness material that has been sent to all officers will be of great use when planning this in-depth study of Holiness.
Also, the evangelism department has been given the task of exploring production of resource material for 2002 that emphasizes ‘preaching and teaching of the Word of God’ and making the word of God central in all that we do.
These two current projects help us to transition into the process of implementing, in full or in part, many of the 12 Commission recommendations.
We ask that God will bless our study and consideration of the International Spiritual Life Commission’s report and recommendations. And may we see the mighty working of the Holy Spirit throughout everything that our beloved Army does, today and in days to come.