It makes for stirring pageantry–uniformed people standing in front of banners, receiving orders, and publicly binding themselves to mission. It happens in plush auditoriums. It happens in humble outposts.
Commissioned—it’s part of our Army jargon.
Sometimes, the participants are cadets, ready to be deployed anywhere as officers. Many times, the participants are soldiers, committing themselves to a local community.
The lineage is heroic. Joshua, the original military man, is commissioned to “be strong and courageous” as he leads the people of Israel into the long–awaited promised land (Deut. 31). The Apostle Paul declares his service to the Church with certitude, “by the commission God gave me” (Col. 1).
In a sense, the “great commission” of Jesus extends to all who follow Him to “make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28). We are in co–mission with Christ.
In Church growth parlance, The Salvation Army is a sodality rather than a modality; we are propelled by a specific mission, rather than by a general presence. That mission is none other than the salvation of the world, a permanent mission to the unconverted.
The commissions of both officer and local officer use the same phrase, “the advancement of the Kingdom of Christ.”
Maybe in contrast to eking out a day–to–day existence, God has a daring commission for you?
This is your mission, should you choose to accept it.
by Colonel Richard Munn