Our Purpose Here
In the first of a few posts I want to explore our purpose here, our connection to Salvationism, the Salvation Army and the wider Church. Today we're going to start with our purpose and mission here.

Our mission is summed up well in the mission statement at the top of the blog:
To push back the darkness and claim the land for God
To Save Souls, Grow Saints, Train Warriors and serve suffering humanity.
I took a quick look over the posts I've made and I was really surprised to see that in the initial rush I never posted anything about our original vision, so let's start there:

We need to go back to about 6 months-1 year before Lucy and I were married. At that point when we were planning our future (where we were going to live, what jobs we were going to do) and were undertaking marriage preparation classes a word was given to us.

I was living in Reading where I was finishing my degree but we didn't really have any intention of staying there. Lucy was from the country and I prefer the country having grown up there, that's what we wanted to go to when we married. Lucy particularly likes the South West but as a realist I was also looking north for a good combination of jobs and low cost of living. I was looking for (and applying) for graduate jobs in Cornwall, Reading (and surrounding areas) and Leeds.

The word was this: "Take St. Martin's road"

It came from a very respected friend of ours. We truly believed this was from God! So I looked for St. Martin's roads in all 3 areas, but due to the lack of jobs in Cornwall didn't really pay much attention to that part of the search.

Anyway, strangely I got a job in none of those places but close enough to Reading to commute (if you like commuting). 6 months later things appear to be going well and we're starting to settle, living the life that everyone else was living (spending all your time getting to/from work and never having time to enjoy the great money you're earning).

Not long after we had moved there the true meaning of the "rat race" started to dawn on me and it was particularly depressing for someone who feels their true vocation in life is full-time ministry. I started to beg God:
"Call me now. Please? If not Officership yet, how about envoy-ship?" (Envoys are non-ordained lay leaders who give 3 years of their life at a time to full-time ministry)

Then a recurring dream and day-dream started to happen (at least to me): quite simply it was Lucy and I standing on a street corner in Salvation Army uniform. Between us we usually had a flag, a drum and a brass instrument of some type. The street corner was in a quaint sea-side village. The calling seemed pretty clear so we started to pray about it, we prayed over maps of Cornwall and we asked a few trusted other people to also pray for this decision.

We eventually found a St. Martin's road in Looe which was our route in. In order to get into Looe we'd have to take "St. Martin's Road". We prayed more, but it seemed clear that this was the place (this has definitely been confirmed since we arrived).

Once we decided that we were going to follow God's call, we had to make some decisions. Our rental contract was up for renewal in August, rather than sign up for another 6 months it seemed like this was the opportune time to go. Why waste time when God is calling?

We didn't think anyone would understand. We hated the thought of having to explain this to our parents. Would they understand? 3 of them are Christian, but we still weren't sure. We prayed that God would tell them for us... He didn't do quite that, but He did prepare the way and most people we told were excited and encouraged us.

Lots of things happened on the way, but we ended up here. First and foremost our mission, as stated in the first post, is to fulfil the great commission to "go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I [Jesus] have commanded you." So that's the "Save Souls" bit of our mission statement.

We think it's possible that we may end up starting a new congregation or network of congregations along the lines of organic church/simple church/informal church. That covers the "Grow Saints" and "Train Warriors".

We also both feel very strongly about actual spiritual warfare and facing some stuff head on, so we may get involved in some of that if/when necessary. That's the first line "To push back the darkness and claim the land for God".

There's also the serving of suffering humanity, which we'll do as and when.

Finally it's worth mentioning that we're not here to compete with or clash with any of the established church congregations here. If someone else is doing something better we'll work with them and point people in their direction. There's no point duplicating and fighting with other Christians. But I guess this leads nicely into my next post about our relationship with The Salvation Army and the Church universal...
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