On Saturday, June 10th, The Salvation Army USA Eastern Territory mobilized into action. Its mission: to spread the ‘Good News’ of the Gospel to as many people as possible in the city of White Plains, New York.
Since the start of The Salvation Army’s international campaign, The Whole World Mobilizing, the Eastern Territory has been intentionally looking for ways to incorporate the objectives of the campaign into the milestone events that take place throughout the year.
When it was announced that White Plains would be the venue for the territory’s commissioning and ordination of the new lieutenants, the question was immediately posed, “How can we share the message of Salvation with the people of this community?”
The decision to partner with the soldiers and members of The Salvation Army in White Plains was an easy one given their support in making this event happen. Though supported by the territory it was a grass-roots led movement with local Salvationists, stepping up and taking responsibility. The invitation was also extended to soldiers and officers from throughout the territory to take part and many did. The diversity of those assembled to go out and do mission, happily reflected the diversity of the city of White Plains.
The theme, “Experience Joy” (based on Nehemiah 8:10) was chosen as this was an opportunity to share the joy of the Lord in the White Pains community through acts of kindness, simple words of testimony, and offers of prayer. After gathering together in the corps for a time of worship, prayer, and practical instruction, 100 Salvationists hit the streets of White Plains.
Divided into smaller groups called ‘Go Teams’, every corner of the city was impacted by the Gospel. Some of the ways the Go Teams engaged the community include:
- Giving out water and Experience Joy branded giveaways under a Salvation Army tent at the city’s Juneteenth Festival
- Sharing a message of hope in the surrounding neighborhood, offering prayers, and an encouraging word to local residents
- Going out to local parks, engaging people in conversation, making them aware of The Salvation Army in their community and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ
- Hosting a kid-friendly open air event on the grounds of the corps with fun inflatable Salvation Army characters, and lively crowd-drawing music
- Free car window squeegee wash with the added gift of an Experience Joy branded air freshener
- Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the historic Doughnut Girls ministry in WWI at the local mall by dressing in period costume, distributing free doughnuts and sharing what The Salvation Army is doing locally in the community
- Giving out free lemonade and frozen pops along with offers of prayer, personal testimonies, and Bibles on the city’s main thoroughfare
Though each Go Team was equipped with an ample supply of Gospel tracts, Bibles, as well as ‘How to Experience New Life in Christ’ bookmarks, and ‘Experience Joy’ branded give-aways, the preferred method of contact was one-on-one engagement. Indeed, many of our Go Team members experienced joy themselves as they shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with people for the first time through uplifting, personal conversations. The day’s activities were also live-streamed on social media extending the event’s reach far beyond the community of White Plains.
In the short span of just two hours, hundreds of people received prayer, heard a testimony, or were encouraged to seek out a relationship with Jesus Christ. Many people became even more aware of the work of The Salvation Army in their community, and two people made a first-time commitment to Jesus Christ. In all, the work of our Go Teams resulted in over 5000 Gospel encounters! And for that we give God the glory.
If your corps, division, center, command or territory is looking to put on a similar evangelistic event in keeping with this year’s focus on The Whole World Mobilizing, feel free to download and use the Go Team logos and graphics. They can be placed on hats, t-shirts, and many other give-aways. Download these graphics here.
We look forward to one day reaping the harvest of faith that was sown that day in White Plains, New York. No matter where in the world you find yourself, let us all take up the challenge given to us by our General to get out of corps buildings and into our communities. Let’s work together to bring the world’s people to the feet of Jesus Christ.