'Catching' the vision
'Catching' the vision
1 October 2019
For the fielding team in cricket, the shout of “Catch it!” results in shots of adrenaline, focused eyes, all attention on the one person moving into position, hands tracking the ball, muscles tensed but hands soft and, ultimately, growing hopes of a wicket.
A caught ball is cause for celebration; a dropped ball causes people to drop their heads, look the other way and rue a missed opportunity.
After three months in our roles, there are two aspects of The Salvation Army in Australia to which we want to shout a very loud “Catch it!” They are mission delivery at a local level, and values (with their associated behaviours).
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Holistic mission is based on a biblical and holistic view of people. We were created to be whole; body, mind, spirit and relationally (Luke 10:25-28). Jesus came not merely to save souls but to make people whole. He said: “I have come that they might have life to the full” (John 10:10). He usually started with where people were and with the need they presented, whether physical, intellectual, emotional or spiritual.
The Australia Territory Local Mission Delivery model is about positioning our front-line services to work together to achieve holistic care and support for people as they progress towards reaching wholeness. As we’ve travelled around Australia, we have seen excellent examples of healthy mission expressions where the presenting need(s) of the individual or family are being met and the other aspects of their wholeness are also being engaged with.
This includes discovering ways of warmly welcoming people into the development of their faith and in many situations connecting with a faith community within The Salvation Army. This is mission delivery at its best and exactly what we want to replicate around the territory.
The Local Mission Delivery model is consistent with the vision and mission of The Salvation Army in Australia and, for the Salvationist, it is also consistent with one of our key commitments from our Soldier’s Covenant: “I will be faithful to the purposes for which God raised up The Salvation Army, sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ, endeavouring to win others to him, and in his name caring for the needy and the disadvantaged [emphasis added].” It is a ‘both/and’ commitment: sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ and caring for the needy.
Our second cry of “Catch it!” applies to values and behaviours. No matter who
we are or what we are contributing, it is vitally important that every Salvo behaves according to our stated values of:
Compassion – hearing and responding to pain with love;
Diversity – embracing difference as a gift;
The Salvation Army is an expression of the Kingdom of God on this earth. Our behaviours towards those we serve must reflect the extravagant love that God has for people. And, as Salvos work together in mission, our behaviours and attitudes towards each other must reflect what it means to be part of the family of God.
For the Salvationist, these behaviours are consistent with two of our key commitments from our Soldier’s Covenant: “I will make the values of the Kingdom of God and not the values of the world the standard for my life. I will maintain Christian ideals in all my relationships with others: my family and neighbours, my colleagues and fellow Salvationists, those to whom and for whom I am responsible, and the wider community.”
For all Salvos, we commend the Renew Culture resources that are being distributed around the territory. These will help us to converse and develop our behaviours towards the high standards of living that honour God.
So, we encourage and implore every Salvo to hear our cry of “Catch it!” for our Local Mission Delivery, and values. While there are many things that call for our attention, our sense is that these are the most critical for us to achieve the very purpose for which God raised up e Salvation Army. Please join us to make these our priorities, and transform Australia one life at a time with the love of Jesus.
Commissioners Janine and Robert Donaldson are the territorial leaders of The Salvation Army Australia Territory.