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Servants Together

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SALVATIONISTS pride themselves on being ‘doers of the word and not hearers only’, and the emphasis we place on rolling up our sleeves and getting on with it is one with which I heartily agree. But action without reflection soon becomes mindless routine; we must continually review what we are doing and why we do it. There is, of course, an even more fundamental need: to examine in the light of Scripture who we are as a people, and where The Salvation Army fits into the historic Church – that mysterious ‘Body of Christ’ which God uses, in his mystical mercy, to continue the work of his Son in the world.

This need was recognised by Salvation Army leaders meeting in conference in Hong Kong in 1995, when they recommended, ‘That the roles of officers and soldiers be defined and a theology of lay (non-officer) priesthood be developed to encourage greater involvement in ministry’. General Paul Rader, my distinguished predecessor, asked the International Doctrine Council to address this recommendation, which they have done with thoroughness, wisdom and care to produce the volume now in your hands.

This book is not, of course, Holy Writ. It represents rather a helpful bringing out and gathering together of the theology that many Salvationists would agree underlies and informs the particular view we have of ourselves and our work. It is my great hope that all who take up Servants Together will be enlightened and stimulated as they read, but even more that they will indeed be led to greater involvement in ministry.

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