Captain Candace Flanders | The College for Officer Training

by Warren L. Maye

I felt God’s call to officership when I served The Salvation Army in Camden, N.J. I worked at the corps and in the community doing various facets of ministry. In the process, I felt the Lord telling me that this is what He wanted me to do with my life. That call was scary, but God continued to pursue my heart. He taught me that this call might be “big,” but He was bigger. He can do “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine…” (Ephesians 3:20).

What excites me most about being an officer are those moments when I communicate the Word to people. I see the Truth click in their minds. It’s so rewarding to share the Gospel in ways that help them grow in faith. My most cherished accomplishment is leading children to the Lord during vacation Bible school.

As a Christian, I can’t pour from an empty cup. So, time with the Lord is an essential part of being a leader and a follower of Jesus. If I skip devotions or prayer time, I notice a difference throughout the day.

Officership is multifaceted. Sometimes it’s hands-on through preaching, teaching, or youth programs. Other times the responsibilities are less glamorous, such as doing paperwork, statistics, or reports. In all these things, I keep 1 Corinthians 15:58 in mind, which says, “So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless” (NLT).

There is an abundance of societal challenges that can become distractions in our walk with Jesus. I never want to ignore the world’s issues, but if I spend too much time on them, I will lose focus. I think of the writer in Hebrews 12 who reminds us to fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfector of our faith.

I try to go into a new appointment with the mindset that God has gone ahead of me. Before I even show up, He is present in that corps and community. Knowing that truth takes the pressure off and reminds me that “my” ministry is not about me or what I can accomplish in my own strength. If I remain open to His leading, He will continue to work through me.

At the College for Officer Training (CFOT), I have an abundance of learning opportunities. I do my best to make the most of Bible studies, chapel services, and guest lecturers.

I would be lying if I said that there were not days when the expectations of others did not weigh heavily on me. Even so, I try to keep at the forefront of my mind what the Lord thinks of me and who He wants me to be. I cannot be all things to all people, but I can certainly be who God wants me to be.

My husband, Jesse (Champions of the Mission 2023–2025 session), is a huge encourager. I’m so grateful for him. When he recognizes that I am carrying too much, his patience and practical help comfort me.

Some recent health challenges have impacted me substantially. But the CFOT community has offered practical and prayerful support. John Wesley once said, “The Bible knows nothing of solitary religion.” As we journey together at the CFOT, we’ll support one another as God intended.