It has been an interesting year here at Army Renewal. Since picking up blogging here again in the last 5 months, there have been more hits than in the previous 7 years combined. Part of that will be due to some changes in technology, but I hope too that there is something of worth in what I continue to write. I genuinely desire to see the Army renewed, re-captured by its vibrant spiritual and missional DNA and forging ahead to win the world for Jesus.
The thing that continues to hang in the air is my part in it. We’ve been warmly welcomed by a local corps here and are able to engage with them, although my other Kingdom commitments in this season of life make it difficult to invest fully there. But I have to say, in the words of a Salvation Army chorus ‘Just where he needs me, my Lord has placed me’ and it is clear that the larger part of my Kingdom commitment will manifest itself amongst the Trinity community, which I will lead more hands on from February for a season. So, I continue to be fully engaged with a very different detatchement of the King’s Own Army.
In my Christmas stocking, I received ‘Road to Missional’ by Michael Frost – a prophetically challenging book that urges those who play at mission to delve deeper and fully engage. One of the challenging things it presented was the idea that when one claims Jesus as Lord, one automatically signs up to advance the Kingdom and extend the rule of God. I was reflecting on the fact that this isn’t always the case in our Christian communities…many folks just ‘join’ churches and nothing further. Yet, this happens in The Army too as an insiduous form of membership pervades the movement. This is something relatively new to The Army, though. Converts were traditionally quickly enlisted in the mission in a variety of ways. Soldiership was never a destination, it was the beginning of the journey. Both in the Army and where I fight day by day, this issue is crucial.
I believe more and more that the renewal of the Army lies within the rediscovery of this kind of active, missional soldiership. By this I mean those who allow the Kingdom of God to entirely reorient their lives when the Lordship of Jesus is established, propelling them OUT into the world to make disciples. This takes our fight outside the realms of what we do in the Army hall in ‘Salvation Army sanctioned’ activities, to the every day encounters of our lives. It moves our Salvationism beyond uniform wearing, tithe giving and musicianship to the life-long, front-line, everyday warfare of love. The Kings Own Army, in every shape and form, can no longer afford to be content to call people with steeple bell, but to march out and announce/flesh out the Kingdom where people are.
I also believe that the renewal of the Army will simply be a by product of a movement which seeks above all to be true to Jesus and to make his fame known among the nations. We live not for ourselves…this is not about The Army. Those who seek to save their lives will lose it, but those who seek to lose it will find it. This is the Kingdom paradigm.
So, thank you for re-tuning in to Army Renewal in 2011. I’ll continue to blog through 2012 as the Lord leads. May God bless you with Kingdom vision for the fight on your front.