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Believe in Good – but what is good?


The Salvation Army’s Andrew Hill (left) and Hope 103.2 radio presenter Ben McEachen.

Good. What is good? The Salvation Army’s General Manager for Community Fundraising, Andrew Hill, was recently interviewed by radio presenter Ben McEachen on Hope 103.2 about why it was time to reframe ‘good’.

 

 Andrew, here’s an easy question for you. What is good?

 

Well, we know God is good absolutely right up front, and we know that he calls us to do good in the world and to do good things in his name. So, in essence, that’s what good is. Everything that is good in the world comes from God. That’s what we believe. And with so much turmoil and confusion and distress that’s going on in the world, I think we want to point people back to what is good and being able to do good for others and to look out for their fellow man and look out for each other. So yeah, that’s what good is.

 

And Andrew, what you just said there, does that explain to some degree why Salvos came up with the Believe in Good campaign?

 

I think we wanted to start a new conversation. Certainly, there’s many older Australians that know who The Salvation Army are, and that goes right back to their experience of The Salvation Army standing alongside them in the trenches during the wars. But we are finding more and more that younger people or different cultures really don’t know who we are as much as that older generation. So, we wanted just to start a new conversation and be able to reach those people that maybe don’t know us as well as some others do.

 

And how do you think the Believe in Good campaign will do that? Because it grabbed my attention, but I already knew about The Salvation Army. So why do you think it would start a new conversation about the Salvos?

 

I think people are looking to see how can I actually reach out in my community? How can I look for what the opportunities to do something beyond just maybe sitting behind my device or just sitting in my own home? The ad and the whole campaign is saying, actually, let’s look out for opportunities to do good for each other. And you can do that through The Salvation Army. And we want to tell that story.

 

And did you hope to redefine ‘good’ along the way?

 

Yeah, absolutely. We saw that the word good as a lot of words like that, or similar to that have been watered down when you say, oh, how are you doing today? Yeah, I’m good. What does that actually mean? Let’s talk about that. What is good? Are you really good? And if you’re not good, let’s have a chat and maybe we can go a bit deeper. We want to reframe that word. Good.

 

And right at the start of this conversation, Andrew, you touched on how The Salvation Army is anchored in the things of God, the things of following Jesus. As you reach out to the broader community of Australia, and you’re talking about believing in good, how does The Salvation Army’s belief in a good God integrate with the rest of society who may not necessarily hold that position?

 

Well, I think it right comes back to how we were founded. Our founder, William Booth, he looked out onto darkest England. He looked out into London in the streets of London back there in the 19th century. And he saw that things weren’t good. There were people in desperate situations, but William Booth knew that he couldn’t go straight to them with here’s the gospel of Jesus. If they didn’t have food in their belly, if they didn’t have a roof over their head, if they were enslaved by prostitution or drugs and alcohol. So, the physical need and the discussion around the physical need needed to happen. And so, we need to, and we still do in today’s society, we want to see Australians and interact with Australians that are desperate for hope. They’re desperate for something good in their life. So, let’s address the physical need that they may have. That might be a mental health situation. It might be homelessness, it might be someone escaping violence. We want to talk about that physical need, that physical distress you’re in, and we want to help you with that. And along that journey. And as we do that and we come alongside you, then we can touch on what the real hope is, and that’s the hope of Jesus. But we’re not going to go straight to the hope of Jesus without actually going, well, actually something physical going on that we want to help you with.

 

Andrew, you’ve mentioned also wanting to change a conversation, spark a new one, also encourage people to get involved. What would a ‘believe in good’ movement look like in Australia?

 

It could look amazing. It would be a movement where everyone wanted to partner with us. Everyone wanted to come together to do good. So, I see our community, and it doesn’t just have to be a church. It can be anywhere where Christians meet, wherever believers meet, or people that just want to have a great community meet and share and converse and go deeper and just go beyond the surface of maybe where we are these days, which is maybe a text message or just an interaction that's very, very shallow, but where a community comes together and they celebrate what is good about that community. And that is maybe breaking bread and having a meal together. It might be just having a conversation over coffee and going a bit deeper and say, ‘Hey, what’s really going on?’ And how can we maybe go a little bit deeper by conversing and being friends?

 

 For more information on the Believe in Good campaign, go to

 

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