by Major Chick Yuill –
Many readers of New Frontier will be aware that Bob Docter, the editor of this publication, is also the Corps Sergeant Major at Pasadena Tabernacle. For the benefit of those who are not Salvationists, I ought to explain that this designation–usually abbreviated to CSM–indicates that he is the senior layman in the congregation. Bob and I have a very healthy and robust relationship. We’re pretty close politically, we sometimes have different perspectives theologically, we occasionally disagree, we often share mutual encouragement, but we never flatter each other! So, when Bob says, “Hey Chick, that was really good; put that in your next New Frontier article,” I take notice.
That’s exactly what happened in our Vision Discovery group at the TAB recently. We’d had some previous discussion on the difference between Mission and Vision, and I’d tried to give it some thought in order to help clarify matters for the group. This is what I shared with my colleagues to the delight of Bob Docter:
|Purpose for existing Current reality
Who we are
What is our purpose?
Locks on to target
Something to live for!
|Pursuing a direction Desired future state
Where we’re going
How do we get there?
Leads to goals
Something to die for!
What I came up with obviously owed much to what others had taught me; but, while recognizing that nothing is truly original, I think the last couple of categories are my own, at least in the words I have used to express the contrast.
The one I like best is the last one of all. It probably says a lot about the kind of person I am. I became a Salvation Army officer because I believed in the Army’s mission–preaching the gospel, reaching upwards to the holy life and outwards to a needy world. That’s something worth living for. But over the years I’ve often longed for someone to cast a vision that would be worth more than life itself. And increasingly, I felt it laid on my heart to seek to cast such a vision for others.
Without such a vision, ministry degenerates into a career, and mission drives into a cul-de-sac. Without such a vision, an army loses its focus on the battle and becomes preoccupied with the trivial concerns of peacetime. You never really taste life in all its fullness until you discover something more important than life itself.
So let’s be clear about our mission and passionate about our vision. Let’s cast a vision for The Salvation Army that will attract men and women who will give their lives for a lost world. After all, that’s just what the Docter ordered!