Over 100 Delegates Seek God’s Will at 730 Weekend
By: Kristin Mudge
This year’s 730 Weekend—“The Journey”— looked different. In years past, this weekend has included the official welcome of the incoming session of cadets, causing those cadets to leave the event to attend rehearsals. This year the territorial leadership decided to move the welcome of cadets to the territorial Bible Conference. Territorial Commander Commissioner Kelly Igleheart tells us this was meant to, “take the pressure off of this weekend so that those who are coming can actually experience the college.”
As over 100 delegates began arriving Friday afternoon, cadets were on hand to greet all, ready to provide special attention to the handful of attendees they were assigned to host. They were available to provide encouragement and prayer, and to allow space for the Holy Spirit to work.
The atmosphere of fellowship and the feeling of space to be open, inquisitive, and seeking was palpable from the moment delegates arrived. Campus began to teem with life and excitement. Even those who appeared uncertain were immediately welcomed and engaged with cadets, officers, and other delegates.
At mealtimes the dining hall was packed. There were no assigned tables, and delegates took the opportunity to seek out people to ask questions, engage in meaningful conversation, and discuss their own personal journeys.
On Friday night delegates received a briefing before being split into small groups to experience real hands-on ministry by serving meals from canteens or walking the surrounding neighborhood to pray with residents.
Saturday began with a cadet-led chapel, leading straight into class sessions where delegates learned about financial readiness, personnel, and preaching the doctrine. After a short break, classes continued with Salvation Army history, spiritual health and wellness, and a session on family life while in training. Delegates then came together for a panel discussion featuring four current officers, ranging from a new lieutenant in a corps appointment to a Lt. Colonel serving as a divisional leader. Delegates asked about struggles in officership, dealing with family dynamics when entering ministry, and the differences in serving as a local officer and in full time officership. The panelists answered with honesty, providing wisdom and guidance.
After lunch, delegates returned for a panel discussion with a mix of first and second-year cadets. The questions kept coming from favorite and least favorite parts of training, leaving other careers, homework, and advice for those on sobriety journeys. They were asked how training has changed them, and if they are ready to be sent anywhere in the territory. The panelists answered with transparency and good humor, saying that if you trust the process, God will transform your life for His use.
Delegates then attended breakout sessions on the callings of Moses, Esther, Paul, and the disciples, and then sessions going into more detail on what a calling is, discerning, and responding to that call.
Throughout the day one could overhear conversations about how God was speaking, people asking each other for mentorship and prayer, real life advice on education and getting out of debt. And present through it all was a feeling of peace, of joy, and an undercurrent of energy.
Major Anthony Juliana, president and principal of the EBC, said, “What energizes me is just watching the place come to life. Having people around and hearing their questions.” He continued, saying that the territory will be seeing the fruits of this weekend for several years to come.
Captain Jervonne Hinton, territorial candidate’s secretary, commented, “The Spirit has been moving. People have been asking a lot of questions, engaged, they want to know more… This weekend confirms for people, it solidifies. They hear God’s voice and then they’re ready to move forward.”
Commissioner Kelly said of the weekend, “For me it’s been incredibly rich… This may be the largest crowd ever… The glory of that goes to God and for these faithful people who have been praying diligently for the Lord to send forth laborers into the field.”
The pinnacle of the weekend came during Sunday morning worship. Commissioner Donna Igleheart gave an inspired message saying, “You are a direct result of people in this room and throughout this territory and beyond who have been praying that God would send the workers. That God would send hearts that are so tender to serve Him in this way.” Circling back to the theme of the weekend, she said, “Officership is a journey you’re sent on. It isn’t one taken for the sake of one’s enjoyment. There is purpose.”
Nearing the end of her message Commissioner Donna said, “As Jesus reveals the path that He has for you, take Him at His word. Believe fully what He is speaking. He will equip you.” The altar was packed with delegates, cadets, and officers seeking for God’s guidance and praying over each other’s spiritual journeys.
At the end of the service Captain Jervonne addressed the delegates saying, “Thank you for your obedience. Thank you for trusting in God and allowing Him to lead you and to direct your steps.”
There will be opportunities for small “boutique visits” to the EBC campus in January and April for those unable to attend 730 weekend or for those seeking further clarity. If you are interested in attending one of these visits, please contact your corps officer.