08 Sep From the National Commander
Yesterday saw the announcement of the ‘Annual General Change’ in Australia effective as of 10 January 2018. For many officers and those who are a part of their ministry, this announcement sets in motion a series of conversations and actions leading up to and beyond January. With the responsibility to attach my signature to the appointment change proposals presented by the Appointments Board, there are many thoughts that run through my mind with the signing of each piece of paper.
It made me reflect on the course of my own officership journey, to the days when a phone call came announcing a change of appointment. There were occasions when in the immediate moment and, at times for months afterward, I struggled to see the fit and the rationale behind the new appointment.
I recall at our commissioning the cadet representative speaker declare in his speech before 2300 people in the congregation; “I am convinced there is nowhere the Army can send me that God…won’t eventually find me.” The lived experience in our appointment changes wasn’t always a matter of waiting for God to find me, but me choosing to find God in the appointment. It was then, and only then, that I could find focus again and the vision God had for the people where we had been appointed.
Although the appointment announcement names a place, I am reminded we are always appointed to serve people. We are appointed to live, love and fight alongside others; seeing Australia transformed one life at a time with the love of Jesus.
To officers who have received word this week of an appointment change, let me say thank you! Thank you for the service and leadership you have brought to the people in your current appointment and the leadership responsibility you embrace in these coming weeks as you prepare yourself and your people for a change of leadership. Thank you for choosing to live, love and fight alongside those who have been a part of your current ministry. Thank you for the sacrifices you have made to be where you are and willingness to accept and anticipate what God has in mind for your future appointment. Tracey and I know the challenge of change and empathise with you for what you will experience in these coming months. Know that we will be remembering you and your family and the many others affected by the change that lies before you. I am confident that God will find you where you are being appointed, and you will quickly find God as you seek Him with your whole heart.
To officers who have not received word of a change of appointment for the coming year, I say thank you as well. For some, it may be a relief to know that you are not moving; for others it is hard right now, knowing you are not moving this January. We understand that. I say thank you to you who are remaining in your appointment, for what you have done in serving and leading. The work, time and energy committed in prayer, faith and hope is fully known only by God. He knows and accepts the offering of your service and will continue to bless that work. We pray that God will continue to give vision and inspiration as well as the strength to do the deep work that extended time in an appointment allows. Thank you for what you will bring to the lives of the community you serve in the coming year. Your service makes a difference.
To those sharing life with officers in your Corps, centres and various social programs – thank you for caring for your officers and their families, especially during this week and the days ahead. Let me encourage you to let your officers know they are appreciated. Your expression of love and appreciation is more powerful than you might imagine in the life of an officer. Thank you for the partnership in this great gospel that we share together as officers, soldiers, employees and volunteers.