For Caleb Louden, ministry to the disadvantaged is not just about where a person sleeps or what they have to eat. As a Mission Specialist in The Salvation Army, it is also about sharing the message of the Gospel and connecting others to the spiritual resources of the Christian faith.
“What we do to the least of these, we do in the very presence of Christ, and God’s heart for the disadvantaged is consistent and present throughout Scripture,” Caleb said. “For us to serve the disadvantaged is to serve the very heart of God. Sometimes it’s difficult for people to hear the Good News of unconditional love and holiness and not see that message of love reflected in our actions, too.”
Although Caleb has only been in this role for about a month, he is a sixth generation Salvationist, living out The Salvation Army’s mission of sharing the Gospel while simultaneously meeting human need without discrimination.
“It’s great to be a part of an organization that provides social resources, but is still committed to offering the assurance of God’s grace and provision,” Caleb said.
Caleb seeks ways to fill the needs within the Brookhaven community, a city within Metro Atlanta, by developing programs for both teens and young adults. To do that successfully, he builds relationships with community leaders, non-profit organizations, and social outreach organizations in order to find gaps that still exist.
“A lot of people have been serving in Atlanta for a long time,” he said. “I’m fortunate to be able to attend different events that help me get a better idea of where the Salvation Army can continue to expand its services.”
Currently, he’s piloting a program called Young Adult Leadership Lab (YALL). YALL officially launches in January and is designed to help teens love God, be excited for their future and prepare them to enter college and the workplace. YALL utilizes Gabe Lyons’ 7 Channels of Vocation in order to provide teens with a big picture of potential vocations; these channels are the church, business, education, social sector, arts and entertainment, government and media.