Every Salvationist At Some Stage Needs To Consider Officership

Released 18 July 2010

COMMITMENT to officership was the specific focus of Commissioner Sue Swanson's (World Secretary for Women's Ministries) lively and pertinent barrier-piercing message on the Friday morning of the World Youth Convention.  

With great delight she announced that, ‘today I get to talk to you about officership – an obvious subject for committed Salvationists yet one that is often ignored by them for as long as possible’.

And following her straightforward, no holds barred challenge many delegates headed for the candidates tent seeking more information about officership.

Throughout her frank explanation regarding the need for every Salvationist to seriously ask God if officership is for them,Commissioner Swanson used a pile of newly washed and folded (but inappropriately dumped) towels. The towels were obvious to everyone but nothing was being done to either use them or put them in their correct place.

The commissioner said that is what happens with God’s call to officership. ‘It is obvious that every committed Salvationist will need at some point to work through whether they have been called by God to officership or not. But even though it is obvious it is ignored.’

Commissioner Swanson read from Salvation Army Orders and Regulations that, ‘Officers are soldiers who have quit secular employment in response to a spiritual call so they can concentrate all their time to the service of God and the people,’

She said that there are some general indicators when it comes to working out if officership ‘is for you or not. If it is for you the call will become increasingly obvious and strong. God’s Word will direct you to it, circumstances will lead you to it, applicable spiritual gifts will start to come alive and others will say to you that they can see you as an officer.’

And Commissioner Swanson also had some advice for those not yet called to be officers. She said that, ‘Every soldier is a candidates’ secretary. If you recognise that another Salvationist is being called to officership it’s your responsibility to assist them to take the step.’

Following the commissioner’s confronting, yet at times humorous, message Australia Eastern candidates’ secretaries, Captains Craig and Donna Todd, who coordinate the candidates tent at the convention, invited everyone to drop in to see them.

Report by Major Laurie Robertson

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