26 Jun From the National Commander
Our business is people! The Salvation Army is a Christian Movement dedicated to sharing the love of Jesus, and we share this love by caring for people, creating faith pathways, building healthy communities, and working for justice. People were Jesus’ business too —and still are today. And so, as we follow him, people must be our business, too. William Booth confirmed this mission for The Salvation Army when he stated, “we are a salvation people—this is our specialty—getting people saved and keeping them saved, and then getting somebody else saved.”
Over the course of our 150 year history, the Army has seen many changes. Changes in the world in which we fight the good fight as well as changes within the movement. The journey of Australia One is a journey of deep change on many levels. Changes that will lead to an Army positioned with a united voice, aligned vision, increased innovation, stronger partnerships, better stewardship and a greater impact. A Salvation Army positioned for a fresh movement of God through the Army, across Australia, and around the world.
“In our organisation, there is a desire to improve the future, and a willingness to disturb the present in order to achieve that improved future.”
I have often heard Catherine Booth quoted: “There is no improving the future without disturbing the present.” We know that to be true, and it is easily quoted and welcomed by so many people. In our organisation, there is a desire to improve the future, and a willingness to disturb the present in order to achieve that improved future. However, that willingness can be greater when it is someone else’s present we sense might need disturbing, and perhaps a little less so when that change hits closer to home!
We understand that the journey of Australia One will mean that the present state will be disturbed for some in order that the future may be improved for many. This will include some employees who will find their position has changed significantly, and in some cases no longer exists. Officers may find their appointments concluded and a change required to what they thought their future officership would be; as well as others who find their reporting and resourcing lines have changed. As leadership, and as a movement, we must remain sensitive to these realities and the impact felt by our people.
Throughout this change we must all be guided by our organisational values of compassion, respect, integrity, diversity and compassion, and, as disciples of Jesus, the ethics of the Kingdom of God. I appreciate that there will be those who will feel hurt by the outcomes of decisions made on the Australia One journey that directly affect them, and as leaders we empathise with them. Leadership has a responsibility to seek to do no harm, while recognising that leadership is unable to always prevent hurt.
I remain confident that the promise of God for his people recorded in Jeremiah 29:11 is true for both individuals as well as groups of people and organisations. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Australia One is about people. It’s about the people we serve and support, and the people who serve and support them. It’s about today’s Salvos and about those who will find life in Jesus in the years ahead. Let us continue together to journey with one another, supporting and serving one another as partners in the gospel.
Now, as ever, our business remains people—“getting people saved, and keeping them saved, and then getting somebody else saved.” Let us continue to always be about our Father’s business.
We are a salvation people – this is our specialty – getting people saved and keeping them saved, and then getting somebody else saved…look at this. Clear your vision. Halt, stand still and afresh and more fully apprehend and comprehend your calling. You are to be a worker together with God for the salvation of your fellow men. What is the business of your life? Not merely to save your soul and make yourself meet for Paradise?… No, you are to be a redeemer, a saviour, a copy of Jesus Christ Himself. So consecrate every awakened power to the great end of saving them. Rescue the perishing. They are all around you everywhere, crowds upon crowds, multitudes. Be skilful. Improve yourself. Study your business. Be self-sacrificing. Remember the Master. What you lose for His sake, and for the sake of the poor souls for whom He died, you shall find again. Stick to it. Having put your hand to the salvation plough, don’t look behind you.
– William Booth