Ask an Officer

Ask an Officer: March 2019

Ask an officer anything. An officer in The Salvation Army is an ordained minister of Christian faith.
Ask an Officer
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What’s the difference between an officer and a pastor?

Not much and a whole lot. A Salvation Army officer’s first purpose is to love to win souls, which is also the first purpose of a pastor. In these areas of salvation, discipleship and shepherding a group of people, there really isn’t a big difference between Salvation Army officers and the local pastor in your town. The differences come when we get to The Salvation Army being a service-oriented organization as well as a church. Salvation Army officers not only are pastors, but they are also store-managers, fundraisers, community leaders, lawyers, HR professionals, accountants, IT professionals, janitors, mail sorters, music teachers, architects, social workers, counselors, statisticians, and a million other roles that they have to fulfill each week. The local pastor in town doesn’t necessarily have to do all of this. So, while officers and pastors share much in common, they are also light- years apart.

Captain Matt Satterlee
Tampa, Florida

The music in church doesn’t relate to me. What do I do?

The church offers us so much more than enjoyable music, hopefully. The church in which you choose to worship should be a family of believers who love and support you, and also spur you on to more good works (Hebrews 10:24). You should be challenged by messages and Bible studies, enjoying time spent with friends and feel accepted and included. If your church is fulfilling those things, then the worship can’t be the end all, be all. You can listen to “relevant” music on your way to work and at your house. I challenge you to ask the Holy Spirit to show you the message in worship music that may not be your style. Some of the old hymns have the most inspiring and anointed messages, even if the tune seems unrelatable. Being a part of a Christian community is a really important part of your walk with God—don’t miss out on the gift it yields you (Hebrews 10:25).

Captain Caroline Rowe
San Francisco, Los Angeles

How do I know the Bible is true?

For me, it’s about knowing that God is real. The Bible is God’s voice, spoken through ordinary people just like any of us. It speaks of God’s redeeming plan for humanity. I believe in God, and I believe that a book written over thousands of years, by over 35 writers, is a way to know the heart of God. Now these are historical facts, but what makes the Bible real for me? It has transformed my life. The Bible has allowed me to appreciate God’s creation, His love, His sacrifice and His son Jesus. Truth is a relative term, but for me, the Bible is truth in my life and my relationship with God.

Captain William Geracia
Tuggerah Lakes, Australia

The Salvation Army is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. An officer in The Salvation Army is an ordained minister of Christian faith. They dedicate their lives, skills and service completely to God. Submit your question to an officer at peermag.org/contribute.

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