Junior Soldiers are young people who choose to worship and serve God through the many avenues and opportunities offered by the Salvation Army. The Junior Soldiers’ Leadership Team at Chatham is led by Sam Wood with Martin Castle and Julie Lenton as Assistants.
L to R: Sam, Martin, Julie
Before becoming a Junior Soldier and making a decision, children go through a preparation course called Activate which covers a number of topics, each relating to different parts of the promise they will eventually make. The sessions are:
- God Loves me â€“ helps the child understand that God loves them and they are unique, and that God made it possible for us to be his children.
- Choices â€“ To show that we have to decide whether to choose forgiveness and follow God.
- Growing as a Christian â€“ to understand that we need the help of the Holy Spirit to grow spiritually.
- More about growing â€“ to recognize the importance of prayer and Bible reading to Christian growth
- Living for Jesus â€“ to encourage young people to think about every aspect of their lifestyle
- Getting to know the Army â€“ to understand something of the mission of the Salvation Army and how we can be involved in it.
From completing the Activate course â€“ we hope children will understand the incredible, amazing, almighty God, who created the whole universe and them as individuals. They have the choice to then be enrolled as a junior Soldier. Here is the promise they make:
The teaching doesn t end once they become a Junior Soldier, it changes to a discipling programme called Mobilise â€“ encouraging children to take part in the mission to win the world for Jesus.
Mobilise is designed to help children grow in their faith as disciples of Jesus and to fulfil the promises they made to him. We want to nurture their personal experience of Jesus and to equip them to spread the good news of God s love in the world. It has four elements: The Bible, Doctrine, Christian lifestyle and The Salvation Army.
Alongside the teaching, children have the opportunity to work towards achieving awards of Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. The award work helps integrate all aspects of being a young Christian and children have to complete a number of tasks in categories of Worship, Being Together, Reaching Out, God and me.