Phil Needham // September 2016
This reprint of Community in Mission thirty years after its writing invites Salvationist readers to reflect again on who we are as a Salvation Army. The reflection is now aided by questions developed by members of The Open Table, a community of Salvationists in mission together in Southern California. The questions relating to the topic of the chapter and the author’s responses are found at the end of each chapter—Missional Moments (in conversation). The author’s responses in no way represent official Army position on the questions. They are his own reflections and opinions, and are designed not for total agreement but to stimulate conversation and prayer among Salvationists centered around their corps and its future. Additionally, questions for the reader(s) are provided at the end of each chapter—Missional Movement (in community). These are designed to inspire Salvationists to move together into missional action. Combined, these sets of questions will hopefully lead to greater clarity about the direction God wants for their life and mission together.
About the author:
Phil Needham and his wife Keitha now live in retirement in the Atlanta area following thirty-seven years of service as Salvation Army officers. Needham’s passion is for the Church to see itself as the missional people of God and to live out this understanding in life transforming ways. His skills are writing, teaching, leadership, preaching, and pastoring. In addition to Community in Mission, Needham has authored He Who Laughed First (Delighting in a Holy God), When God Becomes Small, and is co-author with Jack McDowell of There’s More to Life than Making a Living: Mastering Six Key Essentials on the Way to a Life of Significance. Phil’s formal studies were completed at the University of Miami, Princeton Theological Seminary, Emory University, and the International Training College for Officers in London, England. Commissioned as Salvation Army officers in 1969, he and his wife subsequently served in pastorates, officer training work, and administrative leadership, both in the Southeastern and the Western regions of the USA, as well as in London. For three years following retirement, they served as pastoral care officers for officers in the state of Georgia. For many years they have conducted marriage enrichment retreats and seminars. They have two daughters: Holly, a Salvation Army officer, and Heather, a social worker who with her husband and three sons, live in Atlanta.
“This work doubles as a textbook in mission and a personal guide for those lost, or those helping the lost. In these pages you will read and be challenged to live a life of full on discipleship which will make the world of difference to a dying world.” – Commissioners James and Carolyn Knaggs, territorial leaders, USA Western Territory