Thursday, August 20, 2015

No Soldiers - No Army

JAC Online
by Commissioner Wesley Harris

Thumbing through the Army Year book we can come to pages which kindle enthusiasm. They record more soldiers in our Army. They could be read as statistics or we could see beyond the print to lives reborn and committed to active service for King Jesus. Unfortunately there are other pages which indicate decline and loss. Secularization is taking a toll and all Salvationists should be aware, concerned and ready to accept the challenge.

In fact, in some Corps there is a fatalistic acceptance of what pessimists might regard as an inevitable “sign of the times.” Around the edges of many Corps I have found many good folk who might be soldiers but no-one has thought to ask them.  There are believers who could be active in the Corps if the right niche could be found for them and they were able to share with other committed comrades.

Sometimes it is not realised just how vital the role of the Recruiting Sergeant can be in nurturing, encouraging and training soldiers. In the early days of the Army it was not usual to extend recruit-ship too long.  Nowadays it can sometimes be over extended - even over many years, which may not be helpful.

Young people need to be carefully encouraged to consider the commitment to soldiership and take seriously what it involves. But older people should also be considered; ageism should not be a barrier. In one Corps we had a very large Home League with a very able secretary who asked her Corps Officer to join her in broaching the matter of soldiership to some of the members. A good number responded, attended preparation classes and became very effective soldiers.

Major Stephen Court - Journal of Aggressive Christianity shares; Commissioner Wesley Harris' book explores prayer, holiness, Salvationism and mission.

Writing the Vision is easy to read but hard to ignore. The tenth book written by Commissioner Wesley Harris includes articles taken from the online magazine Journal of Aggressive Christianity, stories categorized as Truth—Stranger Than Fiction, a series of imaginary letters to the Apostle Paul inspired by an unlikely dream and selected poems that reveal the motivation of the writer to “Write the vision and make it plain” (Habakkuk 2:2 KJV)

A former territorial commander of the Canada and Bermuda Territory, Commissioner Harris responds to the challenge effectively. He spins conventional wisdom with God’s wisdom, weaving in lessons on prayer, holiness, Salvationism, mission, attitude, innovation and the Bible.

Commissioner Harris is a rare breed. He is a dedicated Salvationist, a widely read wordsmith and a three-time territorial commander. Upon his retirement 22 years ago, he began teaching religion at the local public school, a volunteer role he filled for 15 years.

He also represents a connection to our earliest days as his mentor served as private secretary to General William Booth (a story you can read about in his book).

Writing the Vision has something for everyone:
• busy people will appreciate the concise and pithy chapters.
• veteran Salvationists will be reminded of what The Salvation Army is all about.
• newcomers will encounter a wide-ranging introduction to the Army.
• young people will get a taste of history and inspiration from a true enthusiast.

Writing the Vision is “full of simple, yet often startling, insights and down-to-earth common sense,” says General Eva Burrows (Rtd). “It’s a book to treasure and return to again and again.”

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