Isaiah 61

Isaiah 61:1-4

Anyone who knows me will realise that when it comes to scripture, Isaiah 61 has always been important to me. I’ve had it on my wall, in my wallet etc for a long time. For me its just a perfect picture of ministry in the power of the Spirit in the name of Jesus for the glory of the Father. Jesus was happy to quote it as his mission statement and its why we’re happy to be doing the same here at Torry.

Poetic, idealistic, romantic, strong, powerful, heroic, passionate, transformational…its all those things and much more. Yet the words on the page are but a shadow of a glimpse at its Author. John the gospel writer tells us that we have in Jesus the fulness of this word as ‘The Word’ incarnate. We want to talk up this ‘Word’ as much as we can…not because he needs the publicity, but because everyone should know him.

Lets be all about Jesus in all that we do. The world needs him, I need Him, and so do you.

Vision


I went to the doctors a couple of weeks ago to have a medical done so that I can drive our minibus here at the corps. I just, only just, passed it because my eyesight, without my glasses on, is only just on the required figure.

“Your vision is only just good enough” said the good doctor.

In my heart, my vision is huge. The struggle, with any vision I think, is how to get it out of the heart, onto the paper and more importantly, into action. I’ve spent these last months since end of July doing very little other than trying to listen to the Lord. The enemy has intercepted some of this time with annoying distractions such as health and other stuff, but its been a valuable time of listening to God and to others in the community.

I’m going to start speaking hypothetically here, because although we have a few firm plans for development on our Torry front, we have still so many gaps. What I’m writing now is certainly what might be how Torry and our work here looks, but its mainly what is on my heart as a Salvation Army officer and how I see ministry.

I guess, in terms of values and ‘ideology’ my framework is very much that of the 614 network although, as you’ll see later, when it comes to methodology I may differ in vision slightly. The 614 network hinges on the passage of scripture in Isaiah 61, but verse 4 specifically

They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.

In that context of the city, we want to be making plans to give people a hope and a future…not just for heaven, but here on earth (cf Jeremiah 29:11).

Rebuild, restore, renew, plans, hope, future.

Discussions are already underway in Torry becoming 614 Torry to identify ourselves with that theological framework. The netork is quite diverse in expressions of corps, although there are two or three who are what you could call ‘primitive salvationist’ which is much of where my mission ‘pattern’ lies. There are, of course, strong cross overs in any ‘stream’ attepting to capture the essense of The Army.

Primitive Salvationism is ‘charismatic-flavoured, mission-focussed, heroism.’

“charismatic-flavoured…”
– its about operating in the strength and power of the Holy Spirit; fully open to all the the Holy Spirit might accomplish in and through us, believing on Him for more, being free to engage in mission as the Spirit enables!

“…mission-focussed…”

– it is about recovering a heart for the lost and a passion for the gospel. It is about the desire to move beyond maintaining the status quo to being driven by our God given mission.

“…heroism!”
– it is about recognising that we are to be voices for the oppressed and suffering as well as being lifters up of the fallen. The world is in the grip of hell…we are sent to the rescue!

In very practical terms: committed to evangelism, outpost planting (through initiatives such as mmccxx to see corps/outposts started in 2000 cities in 200 countries within 20 years), strong commitment to prayer, focus on authentic Christian community by building cell/ward corps, incarnational ministry to the poor, with a strong commitment to training up covenanted warriors to engage in the fight.

With all that as my own personal sort of ‘vision for ministry’ there then simply comes to the questioning as to how the Lord wants to see it in the front I’ve been deployed to. Thats the exctiting bit. Its where the tyres hit the runway!

So, there you have it, my vision for my officership…this is what God has been forging in my heart for these last 13 years as a Salvationist and I thank God for it. If I could keep sight it it more clearly, I’d do better, but by the grace of God I’ll win!

(Credit to Lieutenant Peter Lublink at pointful.ca for the artwork used here)