By Bob Docter
One for All (Frontier Press, 2011), by Commissioner James Knaggs and Major Stephen Court, contains three separate titles advancing a “collective though”–one salvation for all the world.
The first of the three books, One Day, emerged from a list of hopes, dreams, visions or prayers concerning the future of the Army–that, one day “in its entirety, the Army will be what God wants it to be,” Knaggs said. A different individual writes on each of Knaggs’ 45 prayers for the Army and ends the thought with “brainstorming” questions.
Second, One Thing, “puts the dream into perspective: to win the world for Jesus,” Knaggs said. “It’s not my objective to keep The Salvation Army alive, or simply to maintain a fine organization. My goal is to advance the cause of Christ.”
“God will keep the Army around as long as he has a purpose for us,” Knaggs said. “In many places we’ve become institutionalized as a lovely outfit. That only leads us to perpetuity. I don’t think that’s where God wants us to be.”
Knaggs said this focus on winning the world for Jesus means confronting other cultures to the extent that Jesus did. “When I drive by a mosque, I wonder how I’m going to tell them about Jesus,” he said. “Yet remember, Christ didn’t come into the world to condemn it but to save it. My role is to tell about the wonderful love that comes to mankind through Jesus and let people come to their own decision. At the same time, Jesus didn’t make a lifestyle of segregating himself from others.”
Third, One Army, Knaggs said grew from his perception that the Army has become fragmented. “Our administrative structure is no longer serving us well. It seems to me, it is due for a major overhaul,” he said. “We must explore other models that lead us toward creative collaboration. Instead of commanders, we need architects.”
In the forward to One Army, General Linda Bonds writes that Knaggs and Court, “present our ideal mission focus. They explain integrated mission. They look at Salvationists as made in the image of God. And they celebrate global connectedness. It’s timely…and for the whole Army.”
Knaggs said he wants the Army to be a movement–alive, vibrant and moving together in the same direction. “Let’s take the streams of our service and make a river; we must be a force together,” he said.
“This is not a classic,” Knaggs said,” but it is a useful tool for today. It’s not a hammer. It’s not intended to be judgmental of the past, but to look at ways to move forward and demonstrate Christ in a convincing way.”