World Changers – Catherine and William Booth

Listen to the Sermon Here: 2782124

World Changers 

Catherine and William Booth

“Lively music and short messages lead to conversions.”

Philippians 3: 17-18    NLT

17 Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. 18 For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ.

Founders of “The Salvation Army”

4 Emphasis of the Booths Ministry

  1. Understanding that things had to change continually in order to continue winning people to Christ.

“The devil has no right to all the good tunes” William Booth

William Booth in the mid 1800s realized the people he was called to reach were reluctant to attend “traditional churches, so he started meeting in rented circus tents and rented buildings.

“I would be a fool in the eyes of the world and lead the hallelujah band to save souls.” Catherine Booth

2.    Caring for the poor and underprivileged-those most of the world learns to overlook.

William Booth was part of the Wesleyan Methodist Church before founding the Salvation Army.

“By 1850 John Wesley, the founder of Methodism had been dead for almost 60 years. Originally Methodists had been known for open air meetings that welcomed everyone – including the poor and destitute. Evangelism and revivals were common. By the time William Booth arrived in London, however many Methodists were embarrassed by those traditions. Methodist churches were often rigid and stale, and people objected to evangelism – especially among the poor.”

So the Booths were tagged as radicals in the Wesleyan Methodist church, they were appointed to one of those places where no one wanted to be. It was termed “the perfect place to bury two trouble makers.” In the first year the church grew from 39 to 300 in average attendance and soon the 1250 seat sanctuary was filled on a regular basis.

John Wesley’s 11th rule began to haunt the Booths. “Go always not only to those who need you, but to those who need you most.”

“Come drunk or Sober” invitations sent out to attend revival meetings of Catherine & William Booth

“Soup, Soap, & Salvation” the Salvation Army caring for the whole person.

William Booth one day looked out over rows and rows of houses and asked Catherine, “How many people in those houses never mention the name of Christ?” Why am I here in this packed church house speaking to those who want to hear the gospel, I should be out there sharing the gospel with people who don’t want to hear it.”

3.    Women in Ministry

Catherine was a strong advocate for the unlimited involvement of women in all aspects of worship, teaching, and leadership in the church.

Catherine became known as “The Woman Preacher” throughout England.

Catherine started reading the Bible at the age of 3 and by the age of 12 she had read the entire Bible 8 times.

Written by William to Catherine before they were married:

“I would not encourage a woman to begin preaching, although I would not stop her on any account. I would not stop you if I had power to do so, although I should not like it.” “I am for the world’s salvation: I will quarrel with no means that promises help.”

The Salvation Army Presence in America was started by a Woman Preacher! It was a woman by the name of Eliza Shirley

The second meeting house for the Salvation Army was started by Eliza Shirley and a Female Convert… Hum, women in ministry, who knew???

The 1st person sent to America by the Salvation Army to help Eliza Shirley was George Railton & who but 7 womenwent with him…who knew???

Catherine was mentor to hundreds of women preachers. .

The Salvation Army today is the 2nd largest Non-Profit in America! –They started with nothing!

Catherine wrote two pamphlets that were widely read in that day on what the Bible says about Women in Ministry.

I Corinthians 11: 1-5 Paul addressing the Corinthians because they are having problems in the church. He offers instruction.

11:1 And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.

Instructions for Public Worship

2 I am so glad that you always keep me in your thoughts, and that you are following the teachings I passed on to you.3 But there is one thing I want you to know: The head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. 4 A man dishonors his head if he covers his head while praying or prophesying. 5 But a woman dishonors her head if she prays or prophesies without a covering on her head, for this is the same as shaving her head.

Joel 2:28

“Then, after doing all those things,
I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
Your old men will dream dreams,
and your young men will see visions.

Acts 2:17

17 ‘In the last days,’ God says,
‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
Your young men will see visions,
and your old men will dream dreams.

When the Holy Spirit came, The Spirit was poured out on ALL PEOPLE! Not just men. 

4.    Emphasis on making your commitment public

Those who attended the meetings were asked to make an immediate public commitment to Christ by coming forward and kneeling in front of all those in attendance. The meetings sometimes became very long as several appeals for a response was made. As the meetings grew longer, they often became very emotional, and this led to charges that people were being forced into irresponsible decisions for Christ, rather than being encouraged to make thoughtful and carefully considered ones.

Isaiah 58 has been referred to as the Charter of The Salvation Army.

One of our great modern-day tragedies is success which isolates us from people.

Many people cannot answer the question, “What difference have you made in another person’s life?”

“I want my life to count.”

Isaiah 58:5-12  NLT

5 You humble yourselves
by going through the motions of penance,
bowing your heads
like reeds bending in the wind.
You dress in burlap
and cover yourselves with ashes.
Is this what you call fasting?
Do you really think this will please the Lord?

6 “No, this is the kind of fasting I want:
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;
lighten the burden of those who work for you.
Let the oppressed go free,
and remove the chains that bind people.
7 Share your food with the hungry,
and give shelter to the homeless.
Give clothes to those who need them,
and do not hide from relatives who need your help.

8 “Then your salvation will come like the dawn,
and your wounds will quickly heal.
Your godliness will lead you forward,
and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.
9 Then when you call, the Lord will answer.
‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.

“Remove the heavy yoke of oppression.
Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors!
10 Feed the hungry,
and help those in trouble.
Then your light will shine out from the darkness,
and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
11 The Lord will guide you continually,
giving you water when you are dry
and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like an ever-flowing spring.
12 Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities.
Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls
and a restorer of homes.
2 things from this passage that we need to see this morning!

The first is a deep spiritual root. –  fasting.

God is not saying here that they should not Fast, He is saying there is no change on the inside, there has to be both.

How many today?

Go to church every Sunday?

Some even give money?

Have all the outward signs of commitment to Christ but inside they are ROTTEN

God says, we need to do the things to draw close to Him.

Prayer, Fasting, Study, Giving, Worship, etc…

The problem was that the Jewish people lost the heart and soul and depth and meaning for fasting. It became only ritual and going through the motions.

Does this describe our devotion? Does this describe why we attend church? Does this describe how we worship? Are we simply here just for the bowing, just for the humbling, just to look as if we are faithful and religious and we are Christian people? Is it just to go through the ceremony?

2nd is our actions toward others

Feeding the Hungry

Clothing for those who need it

Cutting trees for those who can’t

Helping a family move who can’t do it themselves

Sharing your story (your imperfections) to set others free

Matthew 25: 34-36.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

What are we doing to touch people’s lives?

If enough people got involved, we literally could solve all our social problems. It is not magic, it simply means getting involved.

What if families drafted a mission statement which says this: We are not just about ourselves. We are about making a difference.

What if we committed to do one act of service per week?

William and Catherine Booth started with nothing but Christ, so can you!

Pastor Ronnie

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