Called to Cultivate Faith
We call Salvationists worldwide to explore new ways to recruit and train people who are both spiritually mature and educationally competent; to develop learning programs and events that are biblically informed, culturally relevant, and educationally sound; and to create learning environments which encourage exploration, creativity and diversity.
We affirm that our mission demands the formation of a soldiery who are maturing, and are being equipped for faithful life and ministry in the world. In strategic and supportive partnership with the family, the Christian community has a duty to provide opportunities for growth into maturity by means of preaching and teaching, through worship and fellowship, and by healing and helping.
—Commissioner Robert Street, Called to Be God’s People
It is important to notice the verbs used in the Call to Cultivate Faith, such as “explore,” “develop,” “create,” and “encourage,” writes Commissioner Robert Street, author of Called to Be God’s People.
In this 10th “Call,” he says that such words summon us to intentionally grow our faith. This call to cultivate faith requires the assimilation of a personal, spiritual growth plan for our lives.
Mind & heart
To cultivate faith, Street says, one must be open to new ideas and concepts. The Christian who makes faith a matter of mind as well as of heart will eventually be able to give logical and convincing reasons for possessing faith. Street writes, “The Apostle Peter encourages us to always be ready to give a reason for the faith we hold dear (1 Peter 3:15). The Apostle Paul promises that if we stay close to God, His peace will guard both our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).
“Intellectual laziness has nothing to commend it, yet the very busyness of Christian service can sometimes appear to encourage it. Almost imperceptibly, what began as Christian service can become activity for activity’s sake,” warns Street. “The heresy of trying to earn or work our way into Heaven takes over and is never satisfying—because it can’t be done.” At this point, life becomes a roller coaster of discontent.
Therefore, “quiet times, study of the word of God, consistent openness to learning more about our great God and His ways, are essential to spiritual development,” Street writes.
Culturally relevant teaching
“Where our faith is weak, our biblical understanding is exposed as being weak too,” writes Street. “The challenge to make learning programs culturally relevant calls for imagination and a real understanding of the world in which we live. The intellectually lazy or self–centered will not accept the need for cultural relevance. But it is essential if the Army is to make any meaningful impact at local level. And just what is culturally relevant is best decided at corps level—but always with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.”
by Major Lauren Hodgson