The Salvation Army has always been committed to holistic solutions that address the needs of the whole person, mind, body and soul. William Booth’s understanding of the scope of the gospel developed throughout his lifetime, and since 1890 The Salvation Army has embodied the social gospel in word and deed. Salvationists around the world promote the cause of the most marginalised and vulnerable people. Salvation Army social action must always be an outworking of Christian faith and belief in practice.
The Salvation Army recognises people's need to participate in their own community development and the importance of integration. To achieve the SDGs, there needs to be a focus on solving problems as well as serving people. Just as God created people as integrated persons with ‘body-soul for relationships’, so those seeking to participate in God’s mission to save the world should not fragment services or treat only the body while ignoring the soul and spiritual healing.
Achieving the SDGs will not be easy. It relies on the active participation of not just governments but also private industry, community organisations and people of faith. The goals are universal, for every nation. Now, seven years into the SDGs, we stop to reflect on the first five of the goals; No Poverty, End Hunger, Good Health and Well-being, Quality Education, and Gender Equality. What has happened in the world since the goals started, what has The Salvation Army contributed to the goals, and what can we do to keep reaching for the targets during this decade?