17 October 2017
This time, we take a look at the third line of our National Vision Statement – “alongside others”.
“There are different ways to serve the same Lord, and we can each do different things. Yet the same God works in all of us and helps us in everything we do” (1 Corinthians 12:5-7 CEV).
If there is one thing that Salvos have always been good at, it’s getting in and working together to do what needs to be done. We see this evidenced every day, from our corps and social mission expressions to our divisional and territorial headquarters support services.
Regardless of where we serve in our Salvation Army, we’re not afraid to get our hands dirty so that we can get the job done. Looking at the third line of the National Vision Statement you could so easily read “alongside others” as an “easy win” on our journey to see our vision become a reality, because we already work alongside others every day.
It’s only upon looking further into the placement of these two words within our statement that we discover a subtle, deeper challenge to acknowledge that there are different ways to serve the same Lord; that we can each do different things, and that these different ways and different things may not always be direct expressions of The Salvation Army.
The opening line of the National Vision Statement – “wherever there is hardship or injustice” – is far-reaching.
If we were to try to place ourselves in every place that hardship or injustice exists, we’d be spread so thin that we would risk becoming ineffective, or invisible to those that need us the most.
This is where the third line of the statement becomes apparent as an integral part of our vision. It opens us up to the possibility that we might broaden and strengthen our partnerships with others – churches, community groups and professional services – outside The Salvation Army in ways that we might never have imagined or considered.
The simple phrase “alongside others” encourages us to value each expression of The Salvation Army in Australia while expanding our ranks by working alongside those outside the Army, combining the wonderful gifts and resources that God has given us.
Living, loving and fighting this way, alongside others, we will see the transformation of Australia one life at a time with the love of Jesus.
Ben Ward is the Communications Manager for the Australia One Program Office.
Read the first article in this series.
Read the second article in this series.