The New Albany, Ind., Corps is being reenergized by God’s Word. A mix of people who have grown up in the Christian faith along with a group of newer Christians, the corps is experiencing numerical and spiritual growth.
Captains Jonathan and Catherine Fitzgerald, corps officers, credit the growth in part to the excitement ignited by a recent series called “God’s Story” which took the corps through the whole Bible, giving context and a big picture of God’s work in the world.
At the beginning of the 90-day adventure, everyone was invited to take a new Bible or a journal to track their thoughts as they explored significant themes and passages from Genesis to Revelation through daily readings of three to five chapters. Visitors and occasional attendees also were encouraged to join the journey. A Facebook group was set up to post reminders of the readings and to provide a place to raise questions and discussions. Each Sunday, the adult Sunday school class discussed the previous week’s readings and the sermon focused on one of the passages.
“We found that the series came up everywhere,” said Captain Catherine. “Every day someone wanted to discuss the week’s Bible passages, and it also bled into other ministries like women’s Bible study. It was amazing to see people connecting personally with God’s story.”
One of the highlights was a series of short interviews with senior and junior soldiers during Sunday morning worship about how God’s story has intersected with their own.
Soldiers remarked how much they loved the daily accountability to get into the Bible and some chose to do the readings together as a family. Many enjoyed reading in a different translation than they are used to. One exciting result of the series was an increased interest in soldiership. An upcoming recruits class will provide the opportunity to learn more about The Salvation Army and becoming a member.
Captain Catherine concluded, “Our hope is that as we come to know God’s story more and more, we can truly embrace our own story and what God wants to do through us.”