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Engaging Needham: The view from Australia Eastern
by Lieut-Colonel Miriam Gluyas


How well Needham captures what we need right now in our Salvation Army.


Culture can be defined as "the way we do things around here", or " the things we tolerate". We define it, we have buy in from our leaders and our people, we live it, we correct it when it's wrong, and we keep talking it up.


We were born to have this culture of "making radical followers of Jesus."


We were born to love inclusively, to serve helpfully and to disciple effectively.


And, this plays out in the community where we live....creating real community in every community. A place of loving and being loved, serving and being served, knowing and being known, and celebrating and being celebrated. (Gilbert Bilezikian)


Ours is a culture of the priesthood of all believers.


That's the way we "do things around here"


How it happens will be different in different places.


In PNG I saw people in very large open air meetings finding Jesus as Lord and Saviour. In  Australia, very few open air meetings are held, as people are watching TV, not hearing what is going on, out in coffee shops or on sporting fields.


We can't keep on with "same old, same old" if it is not working. We are still about being Spirit led and relevant in what we do.....for the purposes state above.


If in my nation the issues are a lack of hope, being strangers in our own neighborhoods, longing for real community, homelessness, addiction, mortgage stress, domestic violence, suicide, and the list goes on.....


Then what is needed is, for us as salvationists to...

         Love inclusively

         Serve helpfully

         Disciple effectively

         in every community that we live.


And as we do, make radical disciples of Jesus.


What we do will be shaped by that. And this very creative God will show us how to get beside people to do this in the very best way possible.


The mission is clear, the culture is clear, the vision for our place will become clear, as we seek Jesus, and then we will know how to meet needs around us and introduce people to Jesus, who in turn become radical followers of Jesus.


Great corporate and personal challenges by Needham.


Many would tell me that we have become risk averse. I think they are right in many ways. Where are the prophets and apostles? Many have left us. We need all. Apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and teachers. We have moved from the early days, from a predominantly sending church, where we still gathered ...to now being a predominantly Gathered church, where sometimes we send. We need to gather to encourage, inspire and grow, and then enter our mission field, really championing the priesthood of all believers. We are all on mission.


Are we really prepared to do whatever it takes to see this become the reality of what a Needham is saying?


I believe he is right. These are urgent and exciting days if we can grab hold of this. Yes, we need to honor and celebrate the past, we need to seek God right now, and we can have a glorious future, if we move this way. "Lord, please help us"










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