30 January, 2013

The Thinking Salvationist


by Casey O’Brien BSoc.Sci(Crim), MPICT, MISS
The Salvation Army International Social Justice Commission

The Salvation Army today exists in 125 countries. Its 15, 765 Corps are made up of a total of 1,132,823 soldiers. That’s 1, 132, 823 individual minds who have committed to the principles and practices of The Salvation Army as a movement, and who claim to follow the ways and teachings of Jesus in their everyday lives. Those 1,132,823 individual minds each hold the capacity to make their own decisions and form their own opinions on everything from their favorite meal to their governments. Each of those 1,132,823 individuals live separate lives, in differing environments with a variety of conversations, engagements, meetings and makeup of each day. 1,132,823 minds, created by God, with the capacity to think, engage and form ideas – that’s not something to be sneezed at. However, for these minds to be a strong force in a world which so desperately needs new ideas, they must be active and willing to think. They must be ‘thinking Salvationists’.

In his 2004 lecture at William Booth College, General Shaw Clifton asked ‘What does it take to be a thinking Salvationist?’ (Clifton, 2010). In his exploration of this question, he paid tribute to the life of General Frederick Coutts, taking a look at what it was that made this man worthy of such a description. General Clifton points out that in order to be a Thinking Salvationist, one must have both a knowledge of his history as a Salvationist and a knowledge of the present day. He writes, “Unless we know where we have come from, we cannot know who we are today… a Thinking Salvationist has a knowledge of our past, a sense of our history, so that she or he can think intelligently and in context about the present and the future… a sense of history and a working knowledge of our past are crucial to being a modern thinking Salvationist”. He emphasizes the importance of being simultaneously aware of the world today, writing “A sense of history is not enough on its own. A sense of the social, moral and political trends of the present day is also crucial to the Thinking Salvationist. Keeping in touch with, and understanding, the world beyond the often introspective confines of The Salvation Army is absolutely central to our soul-saving and soldier-making mission under God” (Clifton, 2010 p. 19).

Today, globalization and the internet have made the accessing of information and knowledge, and therefore the capacity for the world to form opinions in a split-second, much easier. On a daily basis we are bombarded with information, facts, propaganda and issues – watch the News for half an hour and you will likely feel overwhelmed. Too often, when a current issue comes up in conversation, we hear “Oh I don’t know enough about that to be able to comment”, or “I figure someone must know what they’re talking about, so I’ll just leave the decision-making up to the decision-makers”. It is all too easy to be so caught up in the goings on of our daily lives that we simply ‘don’t have the time’ to look outside our immediate view. As Salvationists, we must challenge this attitude of accepted ignorance. We must be aware of what is happening in our world and be prepared to inject a Christian perspective into conversations. We must be ‘teachable’ thinking Salvationists (Clifton, 2010).

The beauty of today’s fast-paced, information-accessible world is that that information is readily available to us too. Ten minutes a day spent reading the headlines and delving into those topics to which God draws your attention, will slowly dissolve the ‘I don’t know enough about that to comment’ urge. When prayerfully considered, God will use our minds by developing thoughts, opinions and perspectives on issues which we previously knew nothing about. While this prospect is exciting, it must be noted that this may be uncomfortable at times and General Clifton’s call for Thinking Salvationists comes with a warning. He writes “It sometimes takes enormous moral courage to be true to oneself. Let all aspiring to be a ‘thinking Salvationist’ note this. There may be a price to be paid. You may often be misunderstood’ (Clifton, 2010, p. 24). Yet as our calling to be a Salvationist came with the warning of self-sacrifice for living counter-culturally and speaking the words of God, we must be ready to experience such misunderstandings at times for the importance of speaking God’s truth into a messy, chaotic world.

Romans 12:2 urges us to no longer be conformed “to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind”. We need Salvationists to consistently challenge the thinking of those around them through intelligent, scripturally-based conversation, and that cannot be done until Salvationist themselves are challenging their own thinking. The ISJC’s resource, Jesus and Justice, is a great place to begin to challenge one’s own thinking and the thinking of those around them. It can be used as an individual study or as a group study and provides a starting point for the exploration of world issues. Additionally, the website of The Salvation Army’s Ethics Centre in Canada provides a list of issues which can be explored and the New Zealand and Tonga Territory’s Moral and Social Issues Council website provides Discussion Documents for the same purpose. Through the ISJC, I have developed a series of papers which are designed to challenge Salvationist thinking on issues of war and terrorism, and the way in which we as Christians respond to it.

While reading this, some ‘Thinking Salvationists’ whom you know may spring to mind. The Salvation Army is blessed with many intelligent, educated people who are contributing to academic debate across the world. However it is my belief that The Salvation Army is full of Salvationists who hold the knowledge and capacity to contribute to conversation on social justice issues in their own areas of life, yet are simply staying quiet. The circles in which you move and the things on which you think are your God-given area of expertise, and the knowledge and lessons you have gained through moving in this area are unique to you. We need Soldiers, Future Officers and Officers to recognize that whatever it is they are called to do, that ministry is inextricably linked with their calling to be a Salvationist. Whether you are called to be a Lawyer, a Receptionist, an Exercise Scientist, a Courier, a Salvation Army Officer or an Information Technology specialist – God has a plan for you to use that calling in your ministry as a Salvationist. Soldiers of The Salvation Army are strategically placed by God in all areas of life to speak into all areas of life!

Let me share a little from my own experience. Upon completing a Bachelors Degree in Social Science (Criminology), I felt a strong calling to undertake further education. This had not been in my planning for my future, and I was largely unimpressed at the concept of more years on a student’s (lack of) income and the thought of writing more essays. My plan was to work as a Criminologist for a few years in prison reform, and then enter the School for Officer Training to fulfill my calling to be an Officer. However, this new calling for further study was unmistakable, so I began to explore what it could be that God was asking me to study. Through a series of events, the answer became clear – I was to study a Double Masters program – a Masters in Policing, Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism and a Masters of International Security Studies. What? I wrestled with this concept and questioned how God could possibly use a Masters in Counter-Terrorism in ministry in The Salvation Army. However, acting on the wisdom of a number of people around me, I began to study and slowly but surely understood that God did, indeed, have a plan to use this degree. I began to pray about this overwhelming task. As issues of power, war and conflict were discussed in classes, I began to sense very clearly God's desire for His truth to be spoken in these discussions. I became aware of a common mentality among some of my classmates which I as a relatively young, non-military background, Christian female did not have. I realised that by challenging this mentality through my essays and class discussions, God was using me to be His mouthpiece and inject His perspective into an otherwise unchallenged conversation. I often found myself to have a completely different perspective within that context and this fact was  noticed by Lecturers and students. The challenging of perspectives went both ways - As I was learning copious amounts from my colleagues, they were being challenged by my own views on what they were teaching me. I am so grateful for this time and for these perspective-expanding conversations with some knowledgeable and wise people. Having completed my degrees, God has given me a very clear vision as to how they are to be used both within and external to The Salvation Army.

We need strong Christian voices who are aware of not only their own contexts but of situations in the broader world, and are prepared to speak truth into these situations. Before we attempt to speak truth into the world, we must be one hundred per cent sure that the truth we are speaking is, in fact, God’s truth. As General Clifton states, “‘Being a man of God transcends any thought or aim of being a ‘thinking Salvationist’. We can hold all the views we like on Army history, Army personalities, Army policies, Army methods, Army theology, or the Army’s future and still not be godly. The greatest need is our personal holiness” (Clifton, 2010, p. 25).

In our ever-changing and growing world, we as The Salvation Army must be prepared to form God-inspired, counter-cultural opinions. Let us be vigilant in keeping up with the movements of the world in an effort to stay ever-relevant, intuitive and entrepreneurial in the way in which we share God’s love with the world. Let us be present where God has placed us and use the knowledge which He has given us to educate others about what we know. As General Clifton stated of General Coutts, let it be said of us that we are a holy people who place our mind, brain and thinking capacities all at the disposal of our Lord. Let us be Thinking Salvationists.

So what can I do?...

• Pick a topic which affects people outside your sphere of influence to educate yourself on. Choose something that you find interesting. If you’re looking for ideas, take a look at The Salvation Army’s in Canada’s Ethics Centre website (www.salvationarmyethics.org/issues/), or the New Zealand and Tonga Territory’s Moral and Social Issues Council’s Discussion Documents (www.salvationarmy.org.nz/our-community/church-life/masic/).

• Stay tuned for the ISJC’s upcoming articles on ‘The Thinking Salvationist, focusing on issues of war and terrorism. (See below for full articles). 

• Stay up to date with current world issues. Each day, spend ten minutes catching up on world news. Alternatively, subscribe to an email update that will send you an email each morning with summaries of current issues. Foreign Policy, CNN and Stratfor are good examples of these.

• Download “Jesus and Justice”, the International Social Justice Commission’s bible study resource on understanding Social Justice as a lifestyle, rather than a series of acts. It can be accessed under resources at www.salvationarmy.org/isjc

• Surround yourself with people who are passionate about different issues and try to discover why they’re so passionate.

• Engage in discussion on issues that you don’t know about. Listen to the various points of view, ask questions and keep an open mind.

• Actually act in situations where you feel as though you need to comment or suggest alternatives to decisions being made. Write a letter to the government making those decisions. Start an online petition. Find out what the Army is doing about that issue.

About Casey: Casey O'Brien is a Salvationist from Sydney, Australia, who has recently returned from a twelve-month stint at The Salvation Army International Social Justice Commission in New York. Casey's background is in Social Science, Criminology, Policing, Intelligence, Counter-Terrorism and International Security. She loves her Corps and seeing how The Salvation Army can influence the world at both a local and an international level, as well as politically. Casey is passionate about Social Justice, loves watching The West Wing and 30 Rock, eating cookie dough and reading Crime Fiction.

As part of her internship at the International Social Justice Commission Casey has written additional articles designed to challenge Salvationist thinking on issues of war and terrorism, and the way in which we as Christians respond to it. Each paper is designed to be controversial, to push boundaries and to encourage critical thinking with the aim of encouraging discussion. These topics are merely examples of areas in which Salvationists can challenge their thinking - they are a starting point from which Salvationists everywhere can begin to challenge thinking within their own area of interest. The papers are designed with the average Salvationist in mind in the hopes that Thinking Salvationists will rise up from every corner of the globe, acting as catalysts for innovation within The Salvation Army. Just Salvos highly recommends you take the time to read them.

Download here: 
1. The Thinking Salvationist (extended version of the article above)
2. Thinking Big - This article explores the importance of The Salvation Army challenging not only the obvious symptoms of the problems it faces in society, but also challenging the root causes of these social evils on a daily basis.
3. Western Consumerism - This article challenges Salvationists' thinking about the way in which they use their money. 
4. Informed - This article asks Salvationists to step outside their everyday thinking and explore new areas of thinking.
5. Terrorism - This article, based on the Author's area of interest, raises questions about how The Salvation Army and Christians alike should view issues surrounding Terrorism.


Clifton, S., ‘Selected Writings Vol. 2, 2000-2010’, 2010, Salvation Books, London, United Kingdom.

21 January, 2013

Let Justice Flow & Jemima's Lullaby

Just Salvos have been talking to 'Others' about some of our work and thoughts on issues of Social Justice. You may have seen our article in the latest edition the Onfire. For extended versions of the articles, read on!

Let Justice Flow

'Others' talks to territorial social justice secretary Major Marion Weymouth and former TSA International Social Justice Commission interns Amanda Merrett and Casey O’Brien about moving from individual to collective action.

Others: Any innovative ‘how to’ suggestions to engage people in justice initiatives?

Major Marion Weymouth: We can use our partnerships to steer businesses and not-for-profits; we can also work through our grassroots responses and apply pressure to politicians and provide guidance and resources to communities. Street parties, community groups, councils; helping and integrating with neighbours, work one-on-one…

Amanda Merrett: Gen Y and others generations live for evidence of ethical responses. We can tap into their drive if we can show them that we are capable of such; that we have a transparency in how we run our businesses and treat our employees. People will sign on to assist an ethical body.

Casey O’Brien: Engagement with justice comes with understanding of justice; our understanding of justice as individuals and as an organisation is often weak. We can utilise activities and engagement opportunities to help people see beyond their own experiences and think big. Better engagement and commitment comes from thinking outside the box.

Others: The Salvation Army, influencing Australia to be a just nation – is that real or imagined?

Marion: It’s real, not the JustSalvos teams but the whole TSA. We are poised to be able to make a huge difference with correct policies and a unified voice. We don’t need all the answers, but we need to be able to lean on other people. At the moment our influence is a little bit imaginary. We have now been empowered by both TCs to make progress on Indigenous issues; we need to be confident and believe.

Amanda: It’s real, mostly at a grassroots level. People’s lives are being changed. At an advocacy level, well, it sometimes happens. There is a lot of room for improvement.

Casey: We have the capacity to have a genuine national impact; we can do better at influencing on a governmental and therefore a national level.

Others: Australia – a strong influence on the world as a non-veto-wielding UN security council member: again, perception or reality? What’s the nature and potential of the role?

Marion: Our national laws protecting children and preventing child labour are not universally enjoyed by all countries. Our commitment to the UN concerning refugees needs review. We need to get that right, and also to address Indigenous rights.

Amanda: In terms of possible advocacy, we need to stand up for women in countries where rape is a weapon of war and a government policy. It would we great to see Australia champion this issue, and other issues such as landmines.

Casey: Australia is one of 10 non-permanent (non-veto) members, alongside the five permanent (veto-carrying) members. It’s not the most powerful position, but it is powerful and a big responsibility. It’s the fifth time we have ‘been there’ in this role, holding a seat on the Security Council. It is also important that the winning of this membership is not considered to be a validation of Australia’s security policies - many of which (including its policies on asylum seekers) should concern The Salvation Army on a social justice level. I have serious concerns that we are too heavily dependent on US positions and policies. We need to independently speak up on issues which concern Australians, and for countries and peoples that don’t have a voice.

Others: How can TSA encourage Australia to use its influence for the greater good; to become a more responsible global citizen?

Marion: I’m impressed with how Micah Challenge meets with local MPs, leading into the federal election. TSA can be a bit savvier in lobbying politicians and make presentations in partnership with others. ‘Please,’ MPs have told us, ‘use your power in the electorate to write emails and make submissions of substance.’

Amanda: The Salvation Army needs to consider what it means to be a global citizen. Why is it important? Why value dignity? We can get a lot of momentum behind examples of sentiment backed by action.

Casey: I’ve just finished drafting a series of articles on the importance of individuals mobilising themselves – we all have skills in our own fields. Politically, yes, we can influence people. The Salvation Army has gained the trust of the Australian general public and the Australian government, as well as that of governments in many other countries. We all need to educate and inform ourselves further so that we can utilise that trust to bring about change for good.

Others: Futurist and author Hugh Mackay has often said Australians focus on the small picture due to feeling overwhelmed by the larger focus. How do we address that?

Marion: Our divisional social justice reps and coordinators know their priority issues. To get the timings right can be tricky, but we have to support each other and seek God’s will for our society and our communities. Feeling and being overwhelmed can be like living in an abyss. But go with kingdom values; believe that as we obey god we will be empowered by the Spirit. Find the biblical messages that are relevant today, and our theology and faith will drive us.

Amanda: We can’t change everything, fix it all, and save everyone; that’s okay. My passion is women’s rights, so my skills and efforts are largely in that field. I break the concept of social justice down to make it manageable for me. I network with others, get informed and develop my understanding and skills.

Casey: Start small, but think big. Everyone can read the paper or magazines, or watch TV or go online. Being informed is the first step to being empowered. Take personal responsibility. Also, as an Army, we need to positively utilise the skills sets and justice passions of our officers, employees and members. God often wants to use us right where we are. Justice isn’t optional.

When it comes to feeling overwhelmed, the answer is often to step out in faith and have the courage of your convictions. With this comes a responsibility to ensure that those convictions are prophetic and truly come from God.

Watch this space to read Casey's full article on The Thinking Salvationist.

Jemima’s Lullaby

Others: No spoilers here, but what’s the premise of Jemima’s Lullaby? Captain Rachael Castle: Jemima is an African okapi who wants to ‘own’ her community’s song, so that everyone sounds like her. She thinks she is being very helpful. It’s a learning experience for everyone, especially Jemima!

Others: To what would you attribute the impact and success of the previous pieces from Rachael and Nick in this series? Captain Mal Davies: First there is the artistic merit of Emmaline Rabbit and Walter Wants Wings. They are written and illustrated well and are quality children’s literature; they are clearly professional releases, as distinct from a self-published or ‘cheap’ production. Secondly, the books fit into a small sub-genre – children’s books with a ‘grown up’ message. They are cute and enjoyable stories, but they are also far more than that and carry serious teaching for children.

Others: What was the inspiration behind Jemima’s Lullaby? Rachael Castle: I wrote it for fun; it’s a labour of love. The fact that JustSalvos want to use it to promote inclusion is a happy coincidence.

Others: What themes do you grapple with in the story? Rachael: Diversity and inclusion – those two go really well together. Difference leads to exclusion in our society, so marrying the two issues makes good sense. Discrimination in Australia can be overt or subtle. The Salvation Army tries really hard to ‘do diversity’ well, it’s not easy. Our nation’s multicultural realities are rich and complex, but we try to be open and to connect.

Others: What’s the central message? Rachael: Everyone’s voice is important. Everyone has a contribution to make, to help our society be stronger and more just. I believe we can’t do enough when it comes to telling kids to embrace difference. Diversity is not something to be scared of, but something to foster. The more we can teach children not to fear or hate, the more we’ll see diversity as a good, creative aspect to life.

Others: Are the issues Jemima grapples with ones that have a cultural/historical/theological relevance for The Salvation Army? Mal: Since its inception, the Army has been about inclusion. William and Catherine Booth were motivated by a number of forces in establishing The Salvation Army, but one of the key ones was social inclusion and the offering of opportunity. Major David Eldridge used to talk of people who were ‘opportunity deprived’ in our society. Jemima’s Lullaby is about including people and allowing them to express themselves and be heard.

Others: Why do human beings suck at including those who are different; people who see life differently, or live differently? Rachael: It stems from fear. If we don’t understand it, we’re scared of it. We can share a healthy, inclusive message by our example. Children hear our words, read our platitudes, but more importantly they see what we do and how we live. Parents, friends, family, school, church, sporting clubs – it’s a whole of community issue. We have a great opportunity to show love to all and a responsibility to be welcome and inclusive.

Others: How important is the central message for children? Mal: Sometimes, unfortunately, children are treated like lepers or Martians - some sort of life form that isn’t fully human and doesn’t deserve our full respect or attention. It’s a bit of a hangover from the 19th century when children were considered second-rate citizens. I would hope this book will remind adults that inclusion affects all people (not just adults) and that it will teach children that their voices are as important as anyone’s.

Others: When do you think you personally understood the need to include those who are different to you, and to seek to be included? Rachael: I first realised that not everyone saw life as I did when I lived with my family in Hong Kong (from the age of nine until I was almost 13). I learnt how to be a friend and respond respectfully to other people’s rights to their beliefs and values, while maintaining my own.

Others: Do you field-test these pieces on your daughters? If so, how do you measure success? Rachael: Our girls always read through them; they are very encouraging but they are also honest, and let me know if something doesn’t ‘work’ in those early drafts. If they are laughing and enjoying the story I know that at least the material will help people connect to the themes. And if my kids want to talk about the issues raised then I begin to hope that the book will be a useful tool.

Also, Nick Wright’s contribution to the books’ successes is extremely huge – you only have to pass a book to a child to see them respond to Nick’s artwork; the characters and the colours. I am always excited to see Nick’s pictures for the first time.

Others: What steps do you take to try to live out this message in your parenting? Mal: Children can’t be walked over; they deserve to be heard and respected as individuals. I recall reading a book where an elderly man said that some people grow children; they don’t raise them. He said that just like you would feed, water, wash and house farm animals, some people think that’s all they have to do with their children. He concluded by saying that we’re not just ‘growing children’, we’re trying to raise them in a positive and life-affirming way. Hopefully, we’re raising our children well, not just growing them.

Others: What societal outcomes can we expect from following the Jemima message? Mal: While I hope it teaches children to be more inclusive (with other students, new kids at school, new kids in the neighbourhood, etc.), major potential outcomes from this book may not be seen for years. It might be that, as teenagers and adults, situations occur where individuals are faced with a choice of including/excluding someone – and that they remember this book from their childhood. It's a big call, but I hope the book is formational for people’s character and outlook.

Others: Where do you find hope when faced with injustice? Rachael: I can’t go past Jesus. He always stood against injustice and was there for oppressed people. We can learn a lot from his brave example of non-violent resistance. This may well be naïve, but I also find a lot of hope in children. Young people know innately what is fair and just, and they’ll tell you if someone was unfairly blamed or punished. They respond from the heart; I find that encouraging.
Mal: In the Bible and in Jesus’ life. There are so many stories of ‘rescue’ in the Bible, when someone faced injustice but was delivered either by God, by his angels or by his people. And Jesus conquered everything, including Satan and death, so I always find hope in him.

16 January, 2013

Poverty, Women and Changing the World.

The Salvation Army has a long-standing commitment ministering to the marginalized and oppressed of this world. Our history is flowing with stories in which individual’s challenged the status quo, petitioned for the rights of the persecuted and sought equality for those who had been disregarded. Today, this is a mission the Salvation Army still seeks to fulfill.

Women represent the majority of the poor and oppressed; in fact, 70 percent of the world’s poor are women (UN Women, n.d.). Due to systemic discrimination, women are more likely to experience poverty. This experience manifests as consistent challenges in acquiring healthcare, employment and assets. The consequences of these challenges mean that women struggle to ascertain sanitation, clean drinking water, medical care and fair employment (UN Women, n.d.). They are also at higher risk of violence and human trafficking (ILO, 2012; UN Women, n.d.).

Here is the good news: despite the struggles millions of women face in poverty, they play a key role in eliminating poverty.

Think about the role women play in your society, the particular gender roles they assume allow a unique and influential contribution to humanity. The same can be said for women all over the world – among other things, women educate their children and provide healthcare; they engage with communities and families in distinct ways, and therefore have the opportunity to engage in development and social change in distinct and unique ways (Myers, 1999).

The simple fact is this: when we empower and educate women, we stop poverty.

The strength in an organisation like The Salvation Army is in its people - its soldiers, adherents, volunteers, officers, employees and friends. As collective individuals, what are some practical steps we can take to empower women and eliminate poverty?

Just Salvos wants to draw your attention to two events aimed at increasing awareness about poverty and its impact on women.

Freedom Sunday
Women are at higher risk of becoming victims of human trafficking, particularly sex trafficking (ILO, 2012). Join the Salvation Army in praying for victims of human trafficking on February 17th. For more information visit www.stopthetraffik.org.

Half the Sky
The Salvation Army Camberwell is hosting a screening of the documentary, ‘Half the Sky’. Originally a book written by Nicholas D.Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn, Half the Sky shares the experience of women in Africa and Asia who have overcome poverty. Attend the screening of the inspiring documentary Half the Sky to learn more about the importance of empowering women and eliminating poverty.

Event details: The screening is being held over two nights, 25th January and 1st February
7.30pm at The Salvation Army Camberwell 7 Bowen Street, Camberwell.
Event details are also available on Facebook

  • UN Women, (no date). Women, Poverty & Economics. Retreived 13.01.2013 from http://www.unifem.org/gender_issues/women_poverty_economics/
  • International Labor Office (2012). Global estimate of forced labour Executive summary. Retrieved 15.01.2013 from http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_norm/---declaration/documents/publication/wcms_181953.pdf
  • Myers, B. L. (1999). Walking with the Poor. New York: World Vision International

03 January, 2013


Surrender 2013 - The Kingdom Next Door



DATE: March 15-17, 2012
VENUE: Belgrave Heights Convention, Belgrave Heights, Victoria
What if God’s Kingdom broke out in your neighbourhood?

What role would you play to see this vision become a reality?

How would it change the lives of those around you?

What impact would it have on you?

SURRENDER:13 invites you to explore what living out the Good News looks like in your local and global neighbourhoods and to live out Jesus’ challenging response to the question: “Who is my neighbour?”

The Significance of SURRENDER:13

The theme ‘The Kingdom Next Door’ grew out of the momentum stirred at SURRENDER:12 around seeing God’s Kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven. Aligned with SURRENDER’s value of living out the upside down Kingdom, this theme calls people to join with Christ in his renewal of creation starting with those who suffer in our local neighbourhoods. As our good friend, Maori elder Sam Chapman says, a fire starts at the bottom and burns upwards, similarly, SURRENDER:13 will advocate for joining with the Kingdom work of God ‘at the bottom’ of our societies and suburbs in practical, personal, lived out mission.

This year Salvo young adults (18 – 30…ish) will be camping together in the ‘Salvo Tent City’ @ Surrender: 13. Join with other young adult salvos from the Territory and meet with like minded Christians from other denominations to hear from some great and dynamic speakers.
Register through your division to receive conference registration, tent accommodation, breakfast and lunch for $150. You will need to bring spending money to buy dinner from the large choice of amazing food options onsite. A Salvo Registration form can be downloaded here.


Alexie Torres-Fleming

Founder, Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice

Years after “escaping” her hometown in a South Bronx housing project, Alexie Torres-Fleming returned to her neighbourhood and founded Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice. Using education and community development, YMPJ has helped young people discover that they can play an active role in shaping and improving their own neighborhoods.

Claude & Kelley Nikondeha

Amahoro Africa
Claude and Kelley Nikondeha are co-founders of Amahoro Africa, a network of emerging African leaders who are passionate about seeing the Gospel of Jesus bring transformation to communities across their continent. Claude and Kelley are based in Burundi with their two children, Emma and Justin.

CB Samuel
Fieldworker, TEAR Australia
Formerly a director of a Christian aid agency in India, CB provides unique insight into poverty and marginalisation. Currently a fieldworker with TEAR Australia, teacher and theologian, he is sure to provide fresh and challenging insights to our understanding of the Bible and social action.

Mick Duncan, Alongsiders
Ray Minnecon
Kyle Slabb, Jisas wantaim
And many more…

• Join in daily prayer led by the Community of Transfiguration.
• Hang out at the Village – a hive of activity hosted by the SURRENDER partners. Great food, space to chat, listen to music and much more.
• At the Info Hub, learn about how you can connect with organisations and get actively involved.
• Host a Conversation and hear compelling testimonies at Storytelling sessions.
• Try your hand at something new at a practical workshop.
• Hear stories from Indigenous elders.

Main sessions, workshops, Bible studies and conversations on:
• Mission amongst our neighbours
• Church at the heart of community
• Biblical reconciliation in Australia
• Personal engagement with the margins
• Inclusivity and disability
• Local and global mission
• Justice minded children and families
• Restoring young people

YOUTH LEADERS TRAINING DAY with Alexie Torres-Fleming
Thursday 14 March 10am-5pm

Belgrave Heights Convention Centre

SURRENDER:13 Youth Leaders Training Day is an interactive training session for passionate youth and young adult leaders, pastors and workers across Australia. This is an incredible opportunity to hear stories and ideas about equipping and empowering young people to become prophetic voices for peace and justice in their own neighbourhoods.

If staff or volunteers in your organisation work with young people, bring them along to this great training opportunity.

TASTE OF SURRENDER with Alexie Torres-Fleming
Friday 15 March, 7.00-9.30pm
Belgrave Heights Convention Centre
$10 at the door (or free full conference attendees)

An open night to encourage and inspire young people to respond to the injustice we see around us and join in God’s work of bringing the Kingdom next door.

If your organisation engages with youth and young adults, this is a great opportunity to expose them to the justice message.


Friday 15 March, 2pm and 4pm workshops

Belgrave Heights Convention Centre

Cost $50 (unless registered as part of conference)

Pastors, mission and ministry workers have the opportunity to attend a Professional Standards Workshop during the Friday at SURRENDER:13 with Mick Duncan. The two-part session will look at a model for wellbeing within ministry, as well as a framework for pastoral care that enables us to walk positively and helpfully with marginalised people

0403 177 995