you'll most likely read this on many blogs. But it's worth repeating:
A Spiritual Statement to All Salvationists
The recent International Conference of Leaders, held in London, culminated in every member of the conference being invited to consider prayerfully the following Spiritual Statement.
On the final full day of the conference, a Sunday, those present signed the personal recommitment and rededication in the presence of one another, many doing so at the Mercy Seat.
A Spiritual Statement to Salvationists everywhere from the International Conference of Leaders gathered at Heathrow, London, England, 7-13 July 2009
Conference theme: 'Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever' (Hebrews 13:8, New International Version)
A Spiritual Statement to the Salvationists of the world from the General, the World President of Women’s Ministries, the Chief of the Staff, all officers holding the active rank of commissioner, and the territorial and command leaders of The Salvation Army gathered in the name of Jesus Christ and by the grace of God in conference in London, England, on 7-13 July 2009.
WE have gathered in the sacred name of Jesus from every corner of the world. In a spirit of humility we have given time to waiting upon God for his guidance for our own individual and personal lives and also for our sacred responsibilities as Salvation Army leaders under God. We have spent time seeking the will of God in plenary sessions together, in small groups focused upon the Scriptures, and in solitary prayer and meditation. Our subject matter has included the following large themes and topical issues for the whole Army:
– a reaffirmation of the role of the Army, of all Salvationists, and not least of Salvation Army officership, in the building of God’s Kingdom here on earth;
– the building up of God’s Kingdom through an ever-deepening commitment to Christ and personal confidence in the power of the gospel;
– working for Kingdom growth through the Army’s numerical growth and through the establishing of Army work and witness in new lands;
– the Army’s God-given role in working for social relief, social justice and human rights on every continent;
– the challenges of financing the Army’s global mission at a time of global recession;
– the challenge of working in Muslim cultures today;
– understanding current societal trends in relation to postmodernism, issues of gender, the younger generation, and our relations with other Christian bodies;
– the ever-urgent need to win and disciple children and whole families for Christ;
– the constant need to prepare the future leaders of the Army on every continent.
Most importantly of all, we have prayed together with earnest and seeking hearts, asking God to reveal to us with new clarity all he is willing to accomplish through us despite our failings, both personal and organisational. We have pleaded for a renewed spirit of humility, surrender and submission to the divine will for us and for the Army.
We have pondered again before the Lord, who is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8), a vision of the worldwide Salvation Army kneeling in repentance, prayer and rededication at the Mercy Seat. We have spoken together of all that this might mean for the Army, seeking new grace, new spiritual power, new divine prompting, and asking for and receiving afresh God’s mercy.
As we keep this vision before us, we give heartfelt thanks to God for his blessing upon his Army. We thank and honour him for souls redeemed, lives transformed, and a growing Army of Salvationists offering selfless service across the world. We praise God for the growing number of countries into which he is leading us. We pray for heavenly resources of wisdom and ability in order to meet the many new challenges and opportunities he is giving. We thank him for his constant provision and sustaining grace.
Also we affirm our conviction that, to be truly useful to God, the Army needs to be pure and free from sin, and that senior leaders must, by grace, be effective role models in this. We feel the urging of the Holy Spirit to examine our own hearts afresh to see if there be any wicked way within us. We want to yield again to the demands of divine love, to return to first things, to cast aside distractions unpleasing to God, and to be in a relation of entire obedience to the Father. We acknowledge our constant need of grace.
We renew our sacred vows and covenants as both soldiers and officers of the Army, thanking God from our hearts for the privilege of the calling he has placed upon us. We declare again our availability and our readiness, as senior officers, to go anywhere to do anything at any time under God and within the structures of the Army, seeking only the advancement of his Kingdom.
We acknowledge our humanity and weakness, seeking the unique strength that God provides when we are weak and he is strong. We confess our limitedness, knowing that God is all sufficient. We abandon explicitly any desire that has sprung up in our hearts to place self first.
We ask for the prayers of our fellow Salvationists to help us in this renewal of our covenants as soldiers and as officers, and in so doing we recognise our vulnerability and our personal need of divine help.
In sharing this Spiritual Statement with Salvationists everywhere, it is our hope and prayer that it will be received with humble and understanding hearts, and that by the abundant grace of God it will be used to inspire and prompt others to seek with us repentance, with renewed purity and holiness in Christ.
My Personal Recommitment and Rededication
By adding my signature to this Statement, I wish to identify personally with the spirit of repentance, humility and availability shown by my comrade Salvationist leaders gathered in conference with me in London. With renewed confidence in God, I pledge myself afresh to these shared goals of personal holiness and of seeking to do only his will in all things.