SALVATIONISTS and friends from around the world are invited to share in the launch of two significant new books that have been published by International Headquarters (IHQ). The live-streamed event will take place on Thursday 1 July at IHQ, under the leadership of General Brian Peddle, and will feature music, praise and testimony from around the world.
Called to be a Soldier – Exploring the Soldier’s Covenant is the long-awaited successor to Chosen to be a Soldier (also sometimes known as Orders & Regulations for Soldiers). Compiled with the support of the International Theological Council, the book’s easy-to-read content focuses in turn on each of the statements of intention that form the Soldier’s Covenant by outlining the possibilities and opportunities of life as a Salvation Army soldier. The covenant is set in the context of Salvationist theology and practice, showing how the promises made in response to God’s call are also Articles of War – a set of regulations which guide the conduct of an army.
Published as a companion to Called to be a Soldier is Day by Day – Call to Mission, written by Commissioner Robert Street, which considers what following Jesus looks like now and asks: Is it different? Is it essentially the same as always? Or both?
Basing its considerations on General Peddle’s Call to Mission, Day by Day addresses these questions and encourages readers to come up with their own answers, either as individuals or using the content as a basis for group discussion and study. The main purpose, writes Commissioner Street, is to ensure that Jesus and his teaching are always at the heart of our endeavours.
The General has decided that every Salvation Army soldier around the world should have the opportunity to own a printed copy of the books, which contain spaces for notes and personal thoughts. English-language files have been provided for local printing and 50-plus translations are currently being prepared – a number that is likely to grow. They will be distributed to Salvation Army corps (churches), societies and outposts worldwide in order to be given to every soldier. At present the books are not available electronically.
‘Called to be a Soldier,’ says the General, ‘is timely as it challenges us to engage personally in an active, obedient faith. We are becoming increasingly aware of the ways in which our world is interconnected. How we relate to each other as individuals, communities and nations is crucial for our society and environment. It is my conviction that Called to be a Soldier will provide a most helpful framework to think about these matters, and more.’
He describes Day by Day as taking his Call to Mission and making it ‘personal’, acknowledging that his global call will only succeed if ‘our soldiers step up (are available) and step out (are ready to serve).
‘Out of a heart made right by God stands our Army, not resigned to the trenches but advancing by his grace, bringing good news, shining light into darkness and, yes, challenging the injustices of an all-too-tolerant world.’
The General concludes: ‘The greatest fulfilment of his call is found in each of us becoming – day by day – the person God intends us to be.’
The Called to be a Soldier Day by Day: Launch event will feature recorded testimonies from senior and junior soldiers from around the world, together with live content including prayer, music, praise and words of challenge from the General.
The live-stream will start shortly before the meeting begins at 2 pm British Summer Time (GMT+1). For the latest information, a link to the stream (or to watch again afterwards) and to download publicity posters, go to sar.my/called.
Report by IHQ Communications