Okay, so the quirk itself isn’t the appointment, it’s the grueling process one must endure in order to get the appointment.
For those of you not familiar with The Salvation Army’s appointment system, it is like being given an assignment – you are assigned to a certain position in a certain location. As an officer, you can be moved anywhere at any time without any notice.
Now the most fun appointment is the very first appointment. In the USA Central Territory, the new Lieutenants have no clue as to where they are going to be assigned. Although some of them have made elaborate charts in order to narrow down the options, they could still be sent anywhere. The best part is that they are told where they are going in front of 3,000+ people at the annual Commissioning and Ordination weekend! Yes, thousands of people get to see your raw reaction to your first appointment.
If that isn’t scary enough, the Commissioner will often let you sweat it out a few minutes. You’ll be called up to the front, and then the Commissioner will talk a little bit about you, have a chat with your kids, make a joke or two – all the while, your mind is saying, “TELL ME WHERE I’M GOING! TELL ME WHERE I’M GOING!” Yes, the Commissioner has the best job! He gets to torture you in front of thousands of people and you can’t do a single thing about it!
I have yet to experience my first appointment, but as a spectator, I often can feel the gut-wrenching eagerness that the Lieutenants feel. As an officer, I will be happy wherever I may go, but I kind of wish I could be a Commissioner at some point just so I can have my stab at making the Lieutenants go absolutely nuts!
What would you do on stage if you were the Commissioner? Let me know in the comments below!