Between hearing Commissioner Linda Bond at Unlimited in Sydney and then Commissioner Hope Mungate at the Eastern Divisional meeting last night I'm convinced that God is speaking to the Salvation Army about authentic discipleship.
What this means to us isn't some new idea - it's an old, simple truth that simply needs to be enacted... we just need to 'do it.'
I was able to spend some time with Commissioner Mungate's who are champion officers currently leading The Salvation Army in the DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo) and they tell of the hard realities of being officers in the Congo and yet they are filled with joy. They personally have opened at least two other countries for The Salvation Army and have plans for more!!! yeah God.
The thing is their methods are not rocket science... it's evangelism, visitation - practical support, hard work - meeting together... the standards for a Corps in the DRC are hard (check out armybarmy.com for details) and yet they are growing them all over the place!!
I've talked with people in 'the west' and they insist that those 'old fashioned' things don't work anymore... but I beg to differ. Visitation and evangelism still work - we just don't like doing them. In our new Corps Plant some folks went door to door in our neighbourhood last week (and again today) and the reception was amazing with over 60% of homes being open to visits by people from our community... many of them receiving prayer... the same was true of a godly woman who decided this week to take some muffins to the legal brothel in her neighbourhood... they let her in - she met all the women, took their birthdays down so she could send a card and asked if she could come back... the answer? yes!! I've prayed with two people on planes in the last month - one to receive Christ who took a Bible to read and the other a young student who wants to start The Salvation Army in East Timor (we aren't there yet!!) who is a catholic by birth but wants to learn to love Jesus more... he wants to be a disciple.
Add all this to my accountability partner telling me about her conviction to be more spiritually disciplined so to be ready for the war and it resonates deeply within me... not just as a judgement but as a need and desire... so here's a quick list of why that doesn't happen in my life:
lack of discipline
So, I'm repenting of those things - changing my mind about how the kingdom advances... and applying myself to simple disciplines rigorously - wholeheartedly... may God's Kingdom come. Want to join me?