Even though almost every male in Singapore had gone through National service, only a handful went through the few elite forces in the military. Those who made it knew what the boot camp is like. Whether it’s the Commandoes or the Guards or the Divers unit, the initiation training is not only tough and gruelling but is also life-changing. Like they say, there are only two outcomes: pass or fail.
At the end of it, the colour of the beret says it all. When they arrived for the boot camp, they were apprehensive, insecure, and to each his own. When they leave, they feel confident in their ability, committed to the men they trained with, and with a sense of responsibility for their fellow mates with a certainty that their comrades feel the same for them.
What made the difference?
In their training, they are made well aware that the world around them is full of danger. The comradeship they forged is the only safety that they have. Without which they would not survive the dangers of the world around them. They have to function and thrive as a team not as individuals.
In today’s world, whether in businesses or organisations, the dangers they face are both real and perceived. There are ups and downs that will affect the performance; there are new technologies that challenge their thinking and ways of doing things that may erode the entire operational model completely. There are social upheavals that shake to the core of their relationships with one another. Moreover, there are competitors that frustrate their effectiveness and disrupt their capacity to fulfil their expectations and goals. These odds and dangers are a constant. Most have little control over these influences that cause their stability to fluctuate.
When these dangers are real, and to add to them the disunity the
organisations themselves face, they would not survive.
It’s the same with the church. The church is God’s instrument and tool to change the changing world. And when members of the church are not united; instead of being change agents they become victims of change instead.
Perhaps if the church takes a look at their “boot camps,” how do their participants emerge from them? How do they ensure that their initiation process produce committed and responsible members? How can they hold up the banner of Truth, the word of God and be committed to the church which is the body of Christ?
The Church is God’s solution to the fallen world, and is the only hope God has. Will we come together and let God use us as one to ensure we become effective agents of change?