JAC Online

Return To Me
by Captain Jessica Welch-Tursi

When thinking about the Salvation Army today, 1 Corinthians 12:26 comes to mind, “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it…”.


There is no way to ignore the malaise affecting officers in recent years: many of us are burnt-out, overwhelmed, and disenchanted. Quite a few have handed in their resignation. How do we go forward?


The body is suffering and at the same time there is as big a need as ever, if not more, for covenanted warriors to serve suffering humanity in His name. The forced standstill caused by the pandemic was in many ways an opportunity to pause and regroup and yet, our need to be Martha saw us galloping ahead relentlessly.


God’s desire was to “allure [the Salvation Army]” and “lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her” (Hosea 2:14): “Martha, Martha… you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one” (Luke 10:41). “Return to Me,’ declares the LORD Almighty, ‘and I will return to you.” (Zechariah 1:3).


In trying to keep up with trends, statistics, reputation, and donors a huge burden has been put on the new generation of officers. We were called to be shepherds in the wilderness, led by the Spirit to become ‘all things to all people’, walking closely and intimately with Jesus under His yoke and we find ourselves instead like hamsters in a wheel, torn between our calling and the expectations of our leaders. Why are they conflicting? Why does officership hurt? Why do we feel not heard and broken to the point where, as much as it pains us, some choose to leave?


I think the enemy has managed to make us believe that we are fighting alone and that things are hopeless. They are not.


‘Return to me’, return to the wilderness. The time is now.


To stop the hemorrhage of the Body, we need to tend to the wounded and ask them questions. We need to take a moment to pause and seek Him away from distractions.


Very shortly, leaders from around the World will meet to elect the new General of The Salvation Army. He or she (!) will determine our path for the next years. How do we pray? The Lord’s prayer seems fitting.


Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name

You are the Holy One, Creator, Preserver, and Governor of all things.

This holiness movement was birthed from Your heart - set it apart once again.


Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.

Your Kingdom come in our ranks, in our covenanted lives, in our Corps.

Your will be done by each one of us, individually and as an Army.

Your will be done as leaders gather to elect the newest General.


Give us today our daily bread.

We need You.

Give us hunger and thirst for You, only then, will we be satisfied.


Forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors.

Fill our hearts with the Spirit of forgiveness.

Give us courage to put our egos to death, to not get easily offended, to turn the other cheek, and offer second chances.

Give us the humility to support those who come ‘under’ us, to equip them, to share the burden and serve joyfully alongside them.


And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Jesus, we want You. We repent of the times we have sought anything else. You are our reason for being. Close our eyes to temptation. Purge our hearts from evil. Give us clean hearts, Jesus.


For yours is the Kingdom and the power and the glory for ever and ever. Amen.




1 Corinthians 12:26 does go on. “if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it…” And so, if Jesus is honoured (valuing Him for who He really is) as the head of the Body and of this Army, if each covenanted warrior is honoured (ascribed weight by recognizing real value) we will be able to fulfill our calling to serve suffering humanity and advance God’s Kingdom on earth and in each one of us.


We have a divine war to fight and we will claim the victory if we tend to our wounds, purge our hearts of sin, and fight together!


Let’s persevere in this sacred covenanted life and let’s win the world for our Jesus!
















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