Our Connection to The Salvation Army
Having reiterated our vision and mission here in Looe, the next big question to address is our relationship to The Salvation Army.

This is a question we've been asked quite a few times in several forms since we first announced our plans. Are we doing this with the Army? Have we left the Army?

The short answer to both is No. We're not doing this with the Army, but neither have we left. The long answer gets a little bit more complicated, but I'll try and break it down a little.

1. We're Salvationists
First of all, we're both Salvation Soldiers. That means we're covenanted soldiers in an Army of Salvation. Our covenant is not just with The Salvation Army, but more importantly with God Himself.
Our covenant has led us to this point and is in some way guiding our actions, so is our knowledge of Army history - although we're doing stuff a lot slower than the Army pioneers worked. They would've started from day 1 and have a large corps or 2 planted by now...
One other thing, since I am called into full-time ministry as a Salvation Army officer it would be useful to maintain my status as an enrolled soldier, otherwise I will need to renew that enrolment at such a time as we return.

2. We're serving God
It's important to keep reiterating the fact that we're here because God called us. God doesn't care so much about denominations and stuff like that. We are designed to be a single Body of Christ, so He doesn't mind who we come representing, as long as it's Him!
It's not like we've abandoned God and the Church universal and have become heathens. We're not lost sheep, we've just relocated temporarily to a different flock...

3. We've not abandoned the Army
We both love the Army and although it is going through a time of strife, particularly in this country, we believe that God still has a plan, a hope and a future for The Salvation Army - but only as and when it returns to purpose.
Importantly, we both believe strongly that there is indeed "sin in the camp"1 and this must be removed and/or otherwise dealt with in order for The Salvation Army to move on - this must be done by all Soldiers and leaders!
We miss parts of the Army, but on the other hand, the freedom that has come by worshipping "out of our comfort zone" has enabled us to move closer to God and understand other Christians better.

4. Our ministry will have a Salvationist flavour
The people we reach will be "Saved to Save" and "Saved to Serve". Those that want to will be taught extensively about Salvation Army history and mission, those that don't will be drip fed Salvationist ideas...
People will be well educated in the urgency of their mission; they will be trained and disciplined using Sword and Knee drills; and they will be invited to take up covenant (perhaps even soldiership).
We'll help our converts to see "Heathen England", to become "Love Slaves" and to engage in "Aggressive Christianity".

I often think that it might be entirely possible that if the group that forms around us are willing, they may well become a "society" (a recognised group not led by an officer) and be the future of a corps here in Looe. Somehow I can't see that happening in our time, but it might.

1. http://beyondthebrook.blogspot.com/2009/07/sin-in-camp-from-top.html
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