2 March 2024

Belonging and Believing: Territorial Leader’s Message

Commissioner Paul Main

A photo of territorial leaders Commissioners Jenine and Paul Main.

Commissioner Paul Main invites us to join in The Big Conversation this weekend.

Commissioner Jenine and I are indebted to the Membership Working Group under the chairmanship of Secretary for Mission Lieut-Colonel Drew McCombe for their preparations for the Belonging and Believing: The Big Conversation event that is taking place at the University of Warwick this weekend. A lot of work, engagement and conversation has already taken place in various settings to prepare for this important weekend, for which we are sincerely grateful.

We encourage you to join in the conversation wherever you are, as we explore how we can shape discipleship that is exciting, with a radical vision of belonging, committing and serving the Kingdom of God through The Salvation Army in the UK and Ireland Territory. Materials will be made available in this week’s issue of Salvationist and at salvationist.org.uk/bigconversation2024 to enable as many people as possible to help speak into what it means to belong and believe in the 21st century, in today’s Army.

We appreciate that there will be a diverse range of perspectives and suggestions, which is good and welcomed, because not only do we need to listen to each other, we also need to listen to what the Spirit of God is saying to our Movement at this time in our history, through and in each other.

The key Bible text for the weekend is Ephesians 2:19 – ‘Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household’ – and considering what that looks like alongside the changes in culture and society and the Church in this post-Covid world.

What does it mean today, to be a follower of Jesus in this world? Or a member of his household? I am hoping and praying that this will be a time of openness, discovery and rediscovery of what it means to be Christians, to be the Church, to be the Army, to be authentic disciples of Jesus in today’s world.

Be assured we are not talking about changing our vision of fullness of life for all with Jesus, or our mission – to share the good news, to serve others without discrimination, to nurture disciples of Jesus, to care for creation, to seek justice and reconciliation – or our values of passion, compassion, respect, mutual accountability, boldness and integrity, or our calling: to follow Jesus. Rather, we are talking about how we live this out together through discipleship that is radical and inclusive.

It’s a great time for us to be the Church, God’s people today!

Written by

A photo of Paul Main.

Commissioner Paul Main

Territorial Leader

Discover more

Tatiane Del Campo (Sutton) shares how she is part of the body of Christ through the Army.

Major Kerry Coke talks to Salvationist about her session at Belonging and Believing: The Big Conversation.

Salvationist shares the headline findings of the Membership Working Group’s survey and conversations.

Colonel Julie Forrest talks to Salvationist about her session at Belonging and Believing: The Big Conversation.