Founders Day 2012 was an opportunity to reflect on The Salvation Army, its history, its ministry, its highs and its lows.
I preached from these above notes recently at Palmerston Salvation Army (NT, Australia).
The Greatest Challenges Facing The Salvation Army Today
I must confess... These are my insights, from my perspective, at this point in my ministry journey, and in this particular moment of time. Maybe you will agree with some of these challenges, and maybe you can help me refine them, and possibly add some others.
I spoke of the following challenges that The Salvation Army faces globally today:
- The ability of The Salvation Army to adapt its methods in an ever-changing society to fulfil its God-given mission, while retaining the unique personality of The Salvation Army and the fundamentals of its belief system.
- Pressure to conform The Salvation Army's theology to more inclusive, relaxed theologies, that potentially 'water-down' or compromise its core beliefs. (This may get you talking!)
- Communicating a BOLD vision. Why is this a challenge? Failing to communicate and embrace a holistic, sold-out, biblical vision for the future, will breed apathy and complacency. Keeping the mission, vision and values of The Salvation Army at the forefront helps us keep our eyes fixed on what matters and to not be too distracted by the peripheries. With a bold vision that inspires, soldiers, officers, employees and volunteers of The Salvation Army are more likely to stay focused on the mission, and be able to celebrate when they witness the vision unfolding around about them!
- Anti-Christian ideals make it difficult for The Salvation Army in some contexts, for example, having a long-lasting impact upon some Islamic countries, is a challenge.
- Financing the work of The Salvation Army is a global challenge. Much of the first-world funds the third-world. How do we ensure longevity of Salvation Army ministry in places where finances are hard to come by?
- Lastly, William Booth's was quoted as saying:
- 'In answer to your inquiry, I consider that the chief dangers which confront the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, and heaven without hell.'
The Salvation Army amongst other faith communities, as well as businesses, non-for-profits, sporting groups, etc, all face challenges. This is a broad stroke that attempts to capture some of the challenges relevant to The Salvation Army, from my perspective, at this moment in time. You may have some ideas to add to this list, or elements that you would refine.