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The Approach

“We are a salvation people – this is our speciality – getting saved and keeping saved, and then getting somebody else saved, and then getting saved ourselves more and more until full salvation on earth makes the heaven within, which I finally perfected by the full salvation without, on the other side of the river.” (William Booth)

 

In all that we do, for as long as we do it, unless it is about souls discovering and deepening their understanding and experience of God…and then be deployed to engage someone else’s soul on this journey – we’ve missed the point completely.

After all we are not human beings on a spiritual journey… but spiritual beings on an earthly journey. (Henri Nouwen)

Spiritual Life Development is about everything we do.

Under this banner of the mission intention, Making Disciples, the following thematic approach to spiritual development in the territory was established as a continuum, of Discover, Deepen and Deploy.

William Booth (Founder of The Salvation Army) said:

“This is our speciality: getting saved, keeping saved, getting someone else saved, and then getting saved ourselves more and more.”

 These are all the elements involved in Spiritual Life Development.

Discover

Discovery is about “getting saved”– that is helping people discover who Jesus is and helping them to make a commitment to follow him. Sometimes the starting point for this will be a desire to explore the spiritual or the inner life.  For others it might come about because they have reached the end of their own resources and know that doing life the way they have been is not working for them. It is about bringing people to faith.

This is a core purpose of The Salvation Army as a whole but is expressed differently in different settings.

To help people discover Jesus we need to honour different paths to discovery, taking account of age, environment, life experience and setting.

Deepen

Making a decision to follow Jesus is the beginning of a journey with him.

Deepening is about “keeping saved” and “getting saved ourselves more and more

Becoming a disciple of Jesus is not a destination but “… the work of a moment… and the work of a lifetime” (John Gowans). It is the lifelong transformative process of holiness.  When we regularly encounter God through Scripture and prayer, the only possible outcome is transformation by the Holy Spirit.

As this is a life long journey, believers will have different developmental needs at different stages.

New believers will need guidance in establishing their relationship with God and living out of this new relationship with others. This is about establishing the new Christian in the fundamentals of prayer, Bible reading and Christian living.

The local corps or social centre community are vitally important because it in these environments that grace and truth are lived out which enables new believers to discover and define who they are and how they want to live.

All believers need to engage in the Christian journey, going on to deepen their relationship with God, developing the inner life, and growing in holiness. The pursuit of holiness is the pursuit of Christ-likeness, becoming like Jesus in our character, behaviours and discernment. The classical spiritual disciplines provide the tools for this transformation process.

Deploy

Deployment is about “getting someone else saved.” Believers need to be equipped for service and find their place of ministry in the body of Christ. We need to think of this deployment in terms of whole of life vocation and service, as well as in what we do at the local corps and in our local communities.

Deployment it’s just about good works but about leading others into a relationship with Jesus.