So, I mentioned a few posts back the whole junior soldier and senior soldier thing. 10 senior soldiers and 20 junior soldiers. To be more exact, we’re especially talking 10 adults and 20 children saved…whether they reach soldiership during the course of the year is not quite as important, so long as they’re saved and recruits.
God’s really confirming it for me and my faith is building alongside the prayer. Growth has been slow here at Wick in recent years, conversion growth that is. All you Wick readers, are you praying already as we prepare to launch this vision in the new year?
Report of Our Current Strength
I’m not sure exactly the reasons for lack of growth in recent years, I don’t want to offer any conjecture, but to put it bluntly, apart from transfers in (that doesn’t really count as growth, but I’ll tell you we’ve transferred 5 in), we’ve enrolled 2 soldiers since 2000 and lost at least 9 that I can make out due to promotion to Glory, backsliding etc. An overall loss of 7 soldiers in 7 years. The transfers in dull the reality, I suppose.
Of our 41 soldiers, 7 aren’t able to regularly attend due to health or having recently backslidden in the months running up to when we came here. Of the remaining 36, there are possibly 6 who are under 60 years of age. Of that remaining 30, maybe about 10 of them are between 75 & 80+. In that 36, there are varying ranges of engagement with the mission of the corps.
As for Junior Soldiers, well, we have…wait for it….none. Yet, we have 200+ children on our JAM Club registers, all hearing the gospel every week. In that regard, our problem is integration, discipleship and sustainability.
As I’ve blogged before, we do have a history of major revival with 500 people seeking the Lord in the space of around two months. We’ve also had subesequent ‘mini-spurts’ of growth. A salute to Captain Grace Gordon for one particular season during her time here.
So, that’s where we are at the moment. Here’s hoping that by the time this date comes round next year, we’ll have good things to report for the Lord. People like to quote the old phrase ‘its God that does the saving.’ I say thank God for that, but we do find in the New Testament the idea of ‘going out to save people’, especially from Paul. Jesus spoke too about ‘catching people.’ Jude speaks about snatching people from the fire. I’m all for it. It simply means bring people to the Saviour…taking our part in the process. The fish won’t jump into the net by themselves. ‘We don’t wait until people want to hear about Jesus, we go to them otherwise we’ll be waiting a long time'(to paraphrase Catherine Booth.)
Our methods? Do as much as we can, to the most we can, in the best way that we can, in order that we might reach but some. If it falls into that category, we’ll be doing it in 2008! You recognise that here in Wick, ALL evangelism is friendship evangelism, no matter what you do, because nearly everyone is in some form of relationship with us. Here in Wick, we don’t carry out our mission in isolation from being an integral part of the community.
The Lord has confirmed prophetically that he is bringing a harvest out of season for us. Its out of season because we’re not ready, it doesn’t seem possible, I’m still just sharing the hope and dream, but I feel some sort of move in my spirit.
Now…where did I put my fishing net…