Dear Salvation Army, Where Are We Going?

“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” -Michelangelo

This is more of a collective pondering today. We need your comments, thoughts and opinions in order to carefully and thoughtful answer the above question: Where Are We Going?

What is our vision?

What should our vision be?

How do we make that vision a reality?

What are some of the obstacles in our way of fully realizing that reality?

Who will it take (e.g. soldiers, officers, volunteers, donors)?

How important is accountability in such a large movement/organization?

How can we become more accountable to Christ within this Army? Where does Holiness belong in such a conversation?

I have disclosed numerous questions to ponder today…are you willing to take a chance at answering any or all of these questions? The larger scope question: Where Are We Going? In other words, if you were to envision where the Army SHOULD BE in 20 years, what would it look like? What would you want to see different, the same, the growth?

-If we have no plan or vision, then we will flounder and waver.

We look forward to your responses!

Something more for the Army to ponder today!

Vision without execution is hallucination.” – Thomas Edison

*Disclaimer: the thoughts and opinions represented here do not necessarily reflect the thoughts and opinions of The Salvation Army and are that of the writer of this blog, reader discretion is advised.*

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7 Replies to “Dear Salvation Army, Where Are We Going?”

  1. Wow! A vision for “the Army,” and 20 years out. That is a challenge.!

    A true vision has to be finite, measurable, you’re able to know when it’s achieved, For instance, in earlier days it could have been, “to be serving in XXX countries,”

    Most “vision” statements I see today are in reality only reworked or expanded “mission” statements … not measurable.

    I’d love to see a top level team of spiritual and organizational thinkers in a set of sessions facilitated by a qualified leader to deal with topic. This post will be a great place/way to start the discussion.

  2. I LOVE the fact that you are even asking these questions. As a lecturer in business, operations, management and marketing I have sometimes pondered similar questions. I have even considered a PhD in and around the ‘brand’, brand community and strategic direction of ‘religious brands/organisations’ including TSA as ‘a business’ I will continue to read this thread will intrigue. Well done for asking the question 🙂

  3. To quote Commissioner Peddle ” If you think the Army is not what it used to be; Well; do something about it” spoken to the amassed Congress in Harrogate 2017. We have tried and got nowhere.

  4. As a former officer, and a sildier all my life (64 yrs), I would love to see the initial goals revised to meet William Booths true dreams.
    We no longer go TO the familys home to reach out to them. We hand them a flyer that ends up in the same place as all extra papers.

    We also need to go back to doing/mentoring in what is best for the person/family, not what is best for the Army image/bankboom/or schedule.

    Also tried these things, to no avail.

  5. Q: What is our vision? What should our vision be?
    Response: I still find most resonance with John Gowans’ “Save Souls, Grow Saints, Serve Suffering Humanity’, both as a present and future vision.

    One caveat is, I don’t know – genuinely – how well that can work across multiply languages, so a further stripping down and simplifying to a more easily translatable of ‘Save, Grow, Serve’ might address that.

    Q: How do we make that vision a reality?

    Response: Salvationists should know – again in very simple terms what it MEANS to “Save Souls, Grow Saints, Serve Suffering Humanity’. Good teaching resources, with a contestant and cohesive global vision would help immensely.
    Everything we do could/should be seen through a “Save Souls, Grow Saints, Serve Suffering Humanity’ filter.

    Does everything we do either “Save Souls, Grow Saints or Serve Suffering Humanity’. If our programs, or actions as a Corps or corporate Salvation Army does not meet at least one of these 3 criteria in some way, perhaps they should be reconsidered?

    Q: What are some of the obstacles in our way of fully realizing that reality?

    Response: One of the Army’s big idiosyncrasies is that – in very broad and quite crude terms – most of the money is in the US, most of the people are in Africa and South Asia, and most of the power sits in the UK, at IHQ. It’s somewhat imbalanced. One of our greatest strengths is our unity in diversity. One of our greatest challenges is to stay united in the face of cultural differences. These differences are not always based on national or regional characteristics, but also conservative and progressive worldviews.
    Q: How important is accountability in such a large movement/organization?
    Response: I’m grateful for the work of The Salvation Army’s Accountability Movement, and would encourage more people to get involved

    http://accountability.salvationarmy.org/
    https://www.facebook.com/SalvationArmyAM/
    Q: In other words, if you were to envision where the Army SHOULD BE in 20 years, what would it look like? What would you want to see different, the same, the growth?

    Response: Here’s a few thoughts of somethings I’d like to see, and some things I can imagine happening:

    • An Army that aligns itself firstly to the teachings & person of Jesus

    • An Army that looks outwards as much as inwards, forwards as much as backwards
    • An Army reconnected with the marginalized, not just as a service provider, but also as part of integrated worshipping communities
    • An Army that revels in – and celebrates – it’s ethnic & cultural diversity
    • An Army brave enough to allow & empower the young – and women – to lead
    • An Army whose internationalism was more tangible and pragmatic – we are a global community, now able to be digitally connected on all levels. We can engage and mobilize together
    • An Army less wedded to the military metaphor
    • An Army that is less legalistic & dogmatic, but more compassionate
    • An Army that is administratively much leaner & more nimble
    • An Army more visible in broader society, and locally rooted in its communities

  6. The Army will never know where it is going all the time it fails to teachnew Officers … and those they minister to … the importance and urgency of receiving and USING the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Baptism In the Holy Spirit (being filled and frequently REFILLED with the Holy Spirit is God’s plan and free offer to EVERY willing believer … giving them the Power to preach the Gospel just where He leads them (us). All the time the Army turns its back on this essential source of God’s help, it will continue to be wandering aimlessly, writing plans, issuing Vision statements and , frankly, following its own customs and traditions, instead of hearing God speak. If He is welcomed and allowed, the Holy Spirit will speak words of Wisdom, Prophecy, Knowledge and much more in Services and other gatherings of Army people … and without that input, our Army will be depriving itself AND its members AND the unsaved all around them … of God’s guidance, warnings, teachings and POWER. The Founder led meetings that were interrupted by the Holy Spirit. Sometimes He (the Holy Spirit) was so powerfully present at thise meetings that people fell to the ground under His power and were transformed by what God did in them. Why are WE afraid of Him dealing with us in the same way.
    Pentecostal / Charismatic Churches around the world are built on just that Full Gospel … and they are strong and growing. They see the Preaching of the Word confirmed by “signs following”. We rarely or never do. Let’s wake up and ask God to sweep through our Army … and then use us as never before.

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