Today I was privileged to be able to take a group of 9 people through a soldiership class. I looked around at these people, who have all come through our community program, and was deeply impressed by the challenges that they had faced to get here, as well as those that they were now considering. I see soldiership as a high calling, not because of all the things that you aren't supposed to do, but because of all the things that you are supposed to do.
I doubt that I'm the only one who once thought that becoming a soldier in The Salvation Army consisted primarily of learning the doctrines and signing something about not smoking, drinking, taking drugs or gambling. Yet the aspirational call of soldiership goes far beyond thou shalt not... Being a soldier in The Salvation Army is more than just church membership, it's about active participation in God's mission to redeem the world. This involves some high standards - perhaps even some standards that, if taken seriously, all of us struggle with from time to time. Yet it is critical for us to understand that in order to make a difference, we need begin by living differently.