The international leader of The Salvation Army is elected by a High Council comprised of more than 100 of the Army’s most senior leaders from around the world.
In this book the author invites readers to step inside a typical High Council in session at the Army’s conference centre in Sunbury - on - Thames to observe what happens. His role is that of a tour guide, explaining and giving the background to the various stages of an event that lasts a week or more.
Drawing on the recollections of previous Generals and little-known historical data, the author weaves the material into a fascinating factual and human-interest account of what takes place when a High Council meets.
The book is a sequel to the author’s 1929 – A crisis that shaped The Salvation Army’s future, which deals with the dramatic events of the first ever High Council held in that year.
General John Larsson’s fascinating and fast-moving book 1929 – A crisis that shaped The Salvation Army’s future – whetted the appetite of its readers for a sequel. In that book we felt the tidal flow of change and shared the vision of those who, reluctantly but rightly, believed the still-young Army had outgrown the precedent of a leader nominated by his/her predecessor and, instead, should have a leader elected by his/her peers. This book fulfils the need of a sequel admirably and, in the process, dispels lurking assumptions that the High Council is a dull but necessary institution. Like its predecessor, this book is compelling reading.
Members of High Councils have always been people just like us: flawed and redeemed. Like us, their wide experience gained in Salvation Army warfare and their mature judgements owe much, if not everything, to the Holy Spirit. As we read these chapters it’s clear that the blending of human experience with the guiding presence of the Holy Spirit is a supreme element in the work of the Council. Did not God create our Movement? Has he not continued to own it? By prioritising faith, prayer, wise questions, thoughtful answers and presentations each High Council has aspired to achieve our heavenly Father’s intentions. Inside a High Council reveals how sincere that longing is, as the sense of destiny with which each member votes demonstrates.General Larsson makes clear that each High Council reflects the growth and development of our Army: essentially, its members are forward looking, intent on facing the future in partnership with God. This long-established institution therefore, is not sterile, but progressive and has served us well; any backward look to previous High Council minutes is for reference only. When the General-elect has been declared how fitting that he/she should have the support of every member of the Council! It is fitting also, that every member signs the Certificate of Election and Appointment which, on completion, is presented to the General-elect.
This book is a must-read book for all who are linked with our Army. It is a treasure.