The Salvation Army in the United Kingdom recently experienced a revival, renewing its identity as a Christ-centered community through an annual national congress.
On Nov. 19-20, some thousands of Salvationists gathered at the Wembley Conference Center in London for the 2005 United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland Congress, according to a statement from the Salvation Army. Head of the Salvation Army International General John Larsson was present as the keynote speaker.
The theme of the event was based on the words of Acts 2:42, with people of all ages being invited to participate in worship, celebration, prayer, and teaching.
Kicking off the first day of the Congress on Saturday, General John Larsson challenged the congregation.
"An ACTS 2:42 corps is a God-centered corps that is loving, daring, learning, open to change, mobilized and saving," said Larsson according to the Salvation Army.
During the seminar teaching sessions led by Chief Secretary Lieut-Colonel Vic and Ros Poke, Majors Anne and John Read from Regent Hall as well as Majors Kath and Mel Jones from William Booth College, the speakers contrasted the modern-day Army to the 1st-century Church, Salvation Army reported.
There were also a wide range of other seminars offering different tastes and focus for people of all ages, demonstrating how the Christ-centered body is able to embrace diversity.
The second day of the Congress began with Sunday morning worship with Territorial Commander Commissioner Shaw Clifton welcoming everyone present, according to the Salvation Army.
Cliftons message echoed General John Larssons challenge of what it means to be a Salvation Army community. He listed three essential facets be Christ-centered, cross-conscious and compassion-filled. In addition, Clifton reminded the Salvationists to examine the true fellowship in the body of Christ.
In concluding the two-day conference, General Larsson directed the congregations focus to being an "Act 2:42 corps" in the 21st century, emphasizing God needs people to carry out His work of salvation in this era just as the time of the Early Church.
"Christianity is growing quicker today than at any time in history," the Armys international leader stated. "We mustnt get infected with Western pessimism."
"This is one of the most exciting times to be a Christian. There will never be a time when God does not want people to be saved. Its beautiful when our halls are open, when people come and are welcomed into The Salvation Army," the General declared.
The entire two-day conference has been led by continuous prayer before the congress and throughout the event. According to the report by the Salvation Army, a powerful petition for prayer was sent by Captains Kerry and Nick Coke on Sundays Congress. All Salvationists in the auditorium faced from north, to south, to east, to west, praying for needs to be addressed in different parts of the world.