11 May 2024

Spiritual leadership: ‘If you don’t have the conversation, you’ll never know’

Major Mark Sawyer

Photo shows Majors Mark and Andrea Sawyer

Major Mark Sawyer talks to Salvationist about candidates and leadership.

You and Major Andrea Sawyer have been territorial candidates directors for almost two years now. What’s the best thing about it?

I’m so energised when I see people responding to God’s call. It’s a privilege to be involved at such a significant time in their lives as they seek God’s will and have a deep desire to discern his purpose for them as individuals here on planet Earth. To walk with them and give them help and encouragement, so that they can be in exactly the place God wants them to be.

What are your hopes for future spiritual leadership in the Army?

I thank God for the rich diversity of full-time ministry that there is today, but specific spiritual leadership is needed. My hope, desire and prayer is that people will see this, exercise faith and discover and enjoy pursuing God’s will and purpose for their lives. I pray that people will have the courage of their convictions. And that people apply common sense to searching for their calling.

If you’re in the Army and passionate about wanting to make a difference for Jesus, if you have a desire to love God and love others with all your heart, then it makes perfect sense that God could want you to be a spiritual leader within the Army. If it is the right way for you, doors will open. If not, God will show that too. But if you don’t have the conversation with someone, you will never know.

What’s got you excited at the moment?

The past two Design for Life weekends have been incredible – we’ve had more than 30 delegates at each. It’s always an absolute joy to be with people as they discover their spiritual gifts and to be part of worship and significant times of prayer as people encourage each other on their faith and life journeys.

What’s the most disappointing thing for you?

I’m disappointed when I see people not reaching their full potential, knowing that they will never be totally fulfilled until they have the courage and faith to let go and let God.

I have come across people who live with a ‘niggling regret’ that they never took the step of faith towards specific spiritual leadership, including officership. Of course, God still uses them and blesses them, but in their hearts and minds there’s always that niggling question: What if…?

What would you say to anyone exploring spiritual leadership?

Talk with other people. Your corps officer, someone at your DHQ, a colleague or friend, or contact the Candidates Unit – you can email us at vocation@salvationarmy.org.uk. Think about the people who inspire you, the leaders who impact you positively by what they do and who they are. Then ask yourself: could I do that? The answer is no, not in your own strength, but with God all things are possible! Let’s have some risk-taking, faith-leaping, courageous followers of Jesus step out and see where Jesus leads us together. There is an exciting future ahead for so many people – what does yours look like?

Discover more

Time to consider God's calling on your life.

Where is God leading you?

Here to serve and support all those in the territory who are exploring God's calling.

Introducing the new Territorial Candidates Directors and September’s Design for Life weekend.