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The Year That Changed Nothing
by Lieutenant Erik Johansson


Do you remember 2020? The year of the pandemic. The year when people talked about how everything was going to change. “New normal” was the phrase on everyone's lips, and everything, from the climate to discipleship, was going to be so much better because of all the lessons we had learned during 2020.


We all know that didn’t happen. People said that the era of flying all around the world was over - instead, the first years after the pandemic, the travel industry boomed like never before! Never before had people been so keen on travelling fast, often and long distances! Experts also predicted that the era of the office was dead - everyone would keep working from home, having gotten used to it during lockdowns and restrictions. Instead offices became more popular than ever - apparently the desire for coworkers and coffee machine chatter were big in people! And they said the era of global trade was over - no more relying on goods from all over the world. Of course, the complete opposite became true.[1] Since the vaccines that finally put an end to the pandemic were discovered by an international group of scientists, and distributed through an intricate chain on worldwide logistics, global trade agreements and free markets became the buzz of the decade![2]


Now, in 2030, when world poverty has been eradicated, we can look back and be glad that 2020 was nothing but a little bump in the many decades of global progress that had started at the end of the 1900’s.


But it wasn’t only the society around us that was going to change, they said. 2020 was the year that was going to change the way Christianity, at least in the western world, operated. Gone were the days of “going to church” culture - now we were all going to be the church! We were going to be friends with our neighbours and embrace small groups, wards and cells. But, we all know what happened. As soon as the pandemic was over people forgot all about those things. We had a few years when music festivals, big gatherings and Christian concerts had a revival not seen for many decades. Those who didn’t join that craze continued to stay at home browsing the internet for live streamed meetings from all over the world. Christians consumerism had never been stronger.


Yet here we are, with an Army that has advanced significantly since 2020, fighting in many new countries, cities, towns and neighbourhoods. So what happened?


After the first years of post-pandemic craze, we began to focus on the two things that have always been the essence of our movement: Salvation and holiness. And that changed things.


After the General issued the challenge to every Salvationist to bring 5 new people to God during one year we realized that we needed to get to know our neighbours. The festivals, concerts and rallies - no matter how much we liked them - were simply deemed inefficient. And after the global call to Holiness we quickly realized that it’s easier to be accountable in a small ward than in a big crowd - not to mention how impossible it was as a holy army to justify the costs of big buildings when we instead could meet in our homes and release more money for the actual work of bringing salvation to the world.


And today, in 2030, we see the results. The Salvation Army is soon to have invaded every country in the world, Salvationists have doubled in numbers since 2020 and we are finally getting back the spirit of winning the world for Jesus and ushering in the good times coming.[3]


What can we learn from this? Pandemics don’t change people - holiness and salvation do.


[1] https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/why-2020-was-the-fourth-best-year-in-history

[2] The first approved vaccine was developed by a Turkish born German, living in the USA and produced by an American multinational company with a Greek CEO.

[3] http://www.armybarmy.com/JAC/article12-83.html








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