‘The Whole World Mobilizing’
New international initiative challenges intentionality, introduces discipleship technology.
By Christin Thieme –
The Whole World Mobilizing launches today at International Headquarters to prompt Salvationists toward community engagement.
It comes on the heels of The Whole World Praying and The Whole World Reading campaigns, which encouraged both activities throughout The Salvation Army leading up to the organization’s 150th anniversary in 2015.
“The third worldwide wave is a rallying call for us to be active; to get out into the world and into the communities we serve. Now is the time for us to be a visible presence in every community,” wrote General André Cox in an article for The Officer. “In too many places The Salvation Army has become anonymous and hidden. God is calling us out into the world to be a visible presence and a positive influence.”
The idea, according to campaign coordinator Commissioner Rosalie Peddle, World Secretary for Women’s Ministries, is to unite The Salvation Army across its 128 countries of operation via technology.
“We are challenging the territories, commands and regions to join us on this campaign in a united and intentional effort,” Peddle told Revive. “We endeavor to move every Salvationist beyond the walls of their corps buildings…sharing the gospel of hope and transformation that is only found in Jesus.”
Evangelism has been at the core of The Salvation Army since its founding in London in 1865. The Whole World Mobilizing takes that longstanding concept and puts it into a format people are familiar with today—a website and app featuring an interactive map that allows a user to connect with Salvationists worldwide in tracking daily prayer, Bible reading and outreach.
“This technology aims to give us the capacity to celebrate all the tiny moments on the same scale as the big ceremonies; to make transparent the most meaningful moments of sharing the gospel around the world,” said Angela McIntosh, USA Western Territorial Director of Digital Strategy, who led the campaign’s technology design. “The beauty of the gospel is that it must be shared in the small and genuine. It must be modeled in families and communities. But the aggregate of those moments is larger than we could have ever accomplished on our own.”
Beyond a tool for discipleship, McIntosh said a sub-goal is to help Salvationists connect with each other.
“A lot of people are already outside the walls of the corps working but the work feels invisible because it’s so remote,” McIntosh said. “We want those assigned to distant places, especially, to feel that they are not alone in the trenches. In a lot of ways, this app will acknowledge the work that so many people are already doing, and will acknowledge how big the work is.”
A user can scroll anywhere in the world to spend time in prayer alongside others, tell the story of what God is doing in the local community, or set calendar events for a bike prayer ride for refugees, for example.
“It’s like a fitness app for your spirit,” McIntosh said. “Even if I never saw everyone else’s activity, logging in somewhere every day to remind me to pray, to read and to push myself outside of my comfort zone in serving others challenges me to be conscious that I am a carrier of an important message.”
The site’s blog will offer daily tips on mobilizing. For example, McIntosh said, it might prompt you to scroll through your phone contacts, acknowledge that each person is someone God put in your path for a reason, and urge you to pray over each one, asking God if there’s anything you should do.
“It’s discipleship in your pocket,” she said.
McIntosh said the site was built to be “lightweight,” technologically speaking, to accommodate smaller data plans.
“We would ask for prayer about how to handle those areas where there isn’t free access to the Internet or social media,” she said, “places where it’s harder to leverage technology.”
Overall, the point of the campaign, as Founder William Booth would say, is to “do something.”
“It does not always require many hours of strategic planning; it does not always take great sums of money and other resources in order to grow the kingdom,” Cox wrote. “It does require true Salvation soldiers, and this is what The Whole World Mobilizing initiative is all about.”