One Army Live
by Nick Coke
How many people could you fit into your home for a Bible study? Well, I suppose it all depends on the size of your house! When we gathered for the first of five One Army Live sessions we knew that there would be at least eight or nine members of Raynes Park Corps gathered to pray, study the Bible and use the One Army teaching resource. By the time we had finished that evening, we discovered that there had in fact been as many as 500 people from 30 countries who had joined our group! They had logged on through the International Headquarters website and taken part in the discussion through comments online. Our home, it seems, had grown in size to accommodate Salvationist brothers and sisters from right across the globe!
For the group physically sitting in our house it was a rather humbling experience to realise that so many others were sharing our conversation and reflections, and praying along with us. Actually, it would be true to say the same for every One Army group that meets – the resource itself reminds us that we really do belong to a huge, global Salvation Army family. Whoever we are and wherever we meet, the teaching on grace, purpose, love, hope and more is really a shared experience across continents and culture. Judging from the online comments, the prayers and discussion in our London home are echoed in India, the USA and South Africa.
Over the five weeks there have been several highlights. There was the moment that one of our members prayed in his native Danish, only for someone to comment online that they were listening in from his corps ‘back home’. There was the time a young couple posted a picture online of their new-born baby to aid our reflections on making the most of the ‘one life’ God grants to each of us. The discussion about ‘saving souls’ generated lots of online comments as we wrestled back and forth about how to share the gospel in various contexts. The moment of all, though, came when a 10 year old prospective Junior Soldier and his father joined in online. As two of the group testified to their lives being completely transformed through meeting Jesus, the father’s comment came in - ‘I have been listening to the discussion and have decided to give my life to Christ’. As we in the room rejoiced and praised God, others from across the world rejoiced with us.
You see, the One Army material is not really about the Army at all - yes it draws us together in calling, yes it draws us together in purpose - but ultimately it is about a loving heavenly Father who sent his Son to give us life and empower us with the Holy Spirit. Now that is a discussion about which no Salvationist the world over could ever tire.
Tags: Using One Army, One life, In calling, In purpose