17 February 2024

Belonging and Believing: Continuing the conversation

Lieut-Colonel Drew McCombe

A photo of two people in conversation at Riverbank 2023.

Lieut-Colonel Drew McCombe shares an update on the Membership Working Group and what to expect from Belonging and Believing: The Big Conversation.

I want to start by saying thank you! More than 2,000 people responded to last autumn’s membership survey, and hundreds more took part in group conversations facilitated by corps and divisions. The data is currently being analysed by the Research and Development Unit and we’ll be presenting the initial findings at The Big Conversation (1–3 March).

This weekend at the University of Warwick will offer further opportunities to listen and explore how the UK and Ireland Territory can shape exciting discipleship, with a radical vision of belonging, committing and serving the Kingdom of God.

As the Membership Working Group has journeyed together over the past year, we have been reminded of our need for Holy Spirit wisdom as we move forwards.

We need to create safe spaces where people can express different views with honesty and sensitivity, respect and kindness, especially when feelings are strong. This isn’t easy, and in recognition of this we will be making space over the weekend to lament the times when we have got this wrong and to hear from God about how we can do better. We encourage you to pray into this, to continue to share what God is laying on your heart, and to be mindful when you are listening to and speaking with others.

We want to engage a diverse range of perspectives to help inform the Membership Working Group’s recommendations, which will go to territorial leadership this summer. Over the weekend we will be considering themes such as Jesus and discipleship, membership and the body of Christ, and calling and covenant. We will also look at the subject through the lens of the territory’s vision, mission priorities and shared values, and hear personal stories of belonging to The Salvation Army.

While the event is now fully booked, you can join the conversation wherever you are. Articles in the 2 March issue of Salvationist will follow topics from the event programme, and audio recordings and papers from speakers will be available to you after the weekend via salvationist.org.uk.

I look forward to continuing the conversation together!

Written by

A photo of Drew McCombe.

Lieut-Colonel Drew McCombe

Secretary for Mission, THQ

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Belonging and Believing

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A weekend for all ages to explore belonging, discipleship and membership within the Kingdom of God and The Salvation Army UK and Ireland Territory.

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Secretary for Mission Lieut-Colonel Drew McCombe (THQ) reflects on what it means to belong to Jesus.

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