Called to Minister

by Commissioner William A. Bamford III

There are many telling moments in the life of individuals, many of which are difficult to describe. And while they may be hard to explain, they are profound and life altering. God’s call upon one’s life is such a moment! This moment has come to a point of reality as we welcome the newest session of cadets to the USA Eastern Territory’s College for Officer Training. We welcome the Champions of the Mission!

These 18 individuals, who have entered the college with a desire to follow God’s calling on their lives to be ministers of the Gospel, join together from different backgrounds, varying life experiences, an array of cultures and abilities…yet they all share a love for the Lord and a call to His ministry, specifically within The Salvation Army.

The word “calling” has a deep personal, spiritual meaning. It is more than a desire to do something, more than a purposeful use of certain skills and talents, although that is often intrinsic to a calling. By virtue of the very word, a calling involves two parties. One cannot “call” oneself to a task or mission. For us as believers, ours is first and foremost a call FROM God, calling us directly TO Him. Once we answer that call into relationship with God, He continues to lead and guide in our journey with Him.

Through this medium of communication, I want to specifically celebrate all of the officers, envoys, and lay leaders of this territory who serve daily in response to God’s calling on their lives. You are impacting individuals and communities in a meaningful way. Be encouraged; He is in control. We thank God for you! Thank you for the seeds planted, the soil that you nurture, the fruit that is harvested as a result of your ministry.

Everyone has someone who speaks into their life. I invite you to take a moment to acknowledge those who pastor you and those around you. Thank them for daily heeding God’s call and impacting lives in His name.

I also offer a challenge to each one of us to continue to maintain our own God-centered focus that enables us to discern His voice amidst the distractions of the world around us. He may even speak something new into your heart and life. Be bold enough to hear Him, brave enough to trust, and available to respond. Whatever the Lord has in store for you…you’ll never be the same!

There continues to be a resurgence of activity within the Eastern Territory. For this we are grateful! People are coming to know the Lord because of faithful ministry. Thank you!

Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest.

Hebrews 3:1