Mission 2000 and Beyond
By Commissioner David Edwardss –
for New Frontier
In the New Frontier of March 14, 1991, it was described as the “most sweeping and challenging program of growth since the territory’s early growth boom over a century ago.”
It was launched as a “bold, faith-based venture to double the number of corps and corps officer/leaders, and to secure at least double the number of soldiers and Sunday attendances by the year 2000.”
I am, of course, referring to MISSION2000, which is now in its sixth year.
We were not here at the time of its launching. But, looking back over the years and evaluating the impact that this venture has had on the territory, one can only conclude that MISSION2000 must have been an act born of the leading of the Holy Spirit.
What was the inspiration?
At the launching of this initiative, (then) Territorial Commander Commissioner Paul Rader referred to the explosive increases in population of the Western states projected for the year 2000 and beyond, and observed that “even with the remarkable growth we have seen in the past decade in the number of corps in the West–we are not beginning to keep pace with the population. And there are scores of new communities springing up all over the West with no Salvation Army presence or witness.”
His call for us to “move to accept the challenge of MISSION2000” seems to suggest that it might have been this that inspired the vision: “new communities springing up where there is no Salvation Army presence.”
I doubt it, and certainly hope that it was not. For that would suggest a feeling of indispensability and an arrogance from which we ought to pray always ‘Lord, deliver us.’ I would like to think that that which inspired this vision of MISSION2000 was the belief of what God has called this Army to be and to do.
I believe that God has called this Army to be primarily a people with a vision for mission. A vision that we share with our Lord Jesus Christ. Like him, God expects us to be moved by our world’s need to the point that we always feel driven to do something about it. Our Lord’s vision took him to a cross.
A commitment to MISSION2000
Having read and digested the documents of MISSION2000 and without the benefit of discussing this matter of motivation with the human architects of this venture, the vision of MISSION2000 is consistent with the core beliefs we hold of what God wants this Army to be and to do. My wife and I here and now affirm our commitment to the ongoing pursuit of the vision of MISSION2000 and call on you, the officers and soldiers of the Western Territory, to reaffirm your commitment to the pursuit of that vision.
Given the fact that several of you reading this issue of the New Frontier might have become Salvationists since the launch of MISSION2000, I have asked the editor to publish those vision statements which first appeared some six years ago.
MISSION2000 has now gone past the halfway mark. So far, the territory has gone through two stages, the most recent being People Count!. Now we are about to start on the third and final stage. This is will be called DISCIPLES COUNT and will take us through to the year 2000. The intention in this final stage is to place emphasis on the personal spiritual growth of our people.
The efforts at planting new corps will continue. The efforts of one on one evangelism will continue, but there will be an even greater emphasis during this final phase on the spiritual life of our people. We want growth in numbers to occur at the same time as growth in the quality of our relationship with our Lord.
After MISSION2000, what next?
The final statement of vision for MISSION2000 says we will know our mission has been accomplished when…..
The Salvationists of the Western Territory are seeking the mind of God for 2020VISION. The momentum of MISSION2000 will be projected over the first two decades of the 21st century into Kingdom building ventures that are visible to the eyes of faith.
This is what we plan to do during this final stage–to begin this process of finding out from God what it is he wants our Army to be and to do beyond year 2000. As we march towards the new Millennium, whatever the challenges we are going to confront as an Army, we need to be ready for those challenges. We will begin a process of visioning that will engage not only the leadership but as many people as possible in the territory and through which, it is our prayer, God will reveal his will to us.
A Call to Prayer
Undergirding this final stage of MISSION2000 must be prayer. Just as when MISSION2000 was launched, I want to call the entire territory to be in prayer.
I have invited Lt. Colonels Mervyn and Shirley Morelock, the territorial evangelists, to be the coordinators for a territory-wide prayer initiative that will be called KEEPING IN TOUCH — a call to pray. You will be hearing some more from them about this, directly and through New Frontier.
KEEPING IN TOUCH was the name given to the prayer initiative in connection with the Victory Congress. We are going to keep that name. We intend to build on those previous initiatives. This is simply a call for Salvationists for the Western Territory to recommit ourselves to prayer.
It is our hope that as a result of this effort there will be an increased attention to prayer, that all of us will live our lives in the power of prayer. We must renew our thirst for God. We must seek cleansing where cleansing is needed. We must confess wrongdoing where wrongdoing has occurred. We must seek to heal our broken relationships. We must ask God for forgiveness, and for a fresh vision from him for our lives and for his Army.
For without his help and his power, we can do nothing.
To All Western Territory Salvationists and Friends:
As my wife and I assume leadership of the Western Territory, we are calling on you to join with us in a territory-wide effort to emphasize the vital importance of our being a people of prayer.
We firmly believe that God has called us to be an Army of people committed to prayer. God wants us to be a people who spend time regularly before his throne. God wants us to be a people committed to mountain-moving prayer. We call on all Salvationists of the Western Territory to recommit themselves to prayer.
This is not a new initiative. When MISSION2000 was first launched back in 1991 many of you became Power Partners. More recently, the Keeping in Touch prayer team was enlisted in connection with the Great Victory Congress. This call to prayer will seek to build on these previous efforts in that there are already people who have committed themselves to be continually in prayer for the territory.
We have asked Lt. Colonels Mervyn and Shirley Morelock to coordinate this renewed effort, and they will be in contact with you through the pages of New Frontier on a regular basis.
We will use the caption at the head of this open letter to identify this renewed emphasis on prayer. Prayer leaders will be appointed in each corps and institution. We aim to recruit a team of 2000 prayer partners who will covenant to pray daily for the needs of the territory, the world and each community. The New Frontier will carry a monthly column to focus on territorial and international concerns
It is our desire to encourage a passion for prayer in the hearts of all our people. We need to live our lives in the power of prayer . We need to seek for cleansing. Where we have done wrong,let us confess our wrongdoing.
Where there are broken relationships, let us seek God for healing.
Pray for the lost. Pray for committed soul-winners. Ask God for a fresh vision for you and for his Salvation Army. It is God who calls each of us to a renewed life of commitment and prayer.
May God bless you abundantly.
Our response to the Foundations and Imperatives of The Salvation Army’s mission find expression in the focused effort of the Western Territory known as
We will know that MISSION2000 has been accomplished when…..
The Western Territory has experienced phenomenal growth over the past decade. This growth has been balanced and reflects commitment to careful planning and prayerful obedience.
Prayer has become a mainline weapon in the spiritual warfare against growth. Gifted intercessors have been identified and affirmed in their vital ministry. All growth ventures are saturated with prayer.
Salvationists and corps in the Western Territory are characterized by a common orientation and commitment to continual growth. This is shown by the constant effort to plant new corps, to cause existing corps to grow, and by the involvement of Salvationists, soldiers and officers in growth
. Social Services in the Western Territory are more extensive and effective than at any time in the past. The significant lay leadership of Salvationists in caring for social and material needs has been the driving force behind this increased capacity.
The Western Territory has developed the practice of corps planting to a high level of effectiveness and has acquired a committed cadre of corps planters. The effectiveness of corps planting is facilitated by the constant search for additional corps planters and the intensive training they receive. Also the Territorial Corps Growth Department continues to provide effective oversight to ongoing growth efforts. The College for Officer Training includes growth-oriented curriculum as a basic component of its base catalog.
All decision-making and problem-solving activities are filtered through the priority of continuing growth. Growth concerns control every administrative decision, financial commitment, community involvement, program investment and personal contact.
Team ministries have become the norm for every Salvation Army community. The possibility of team ministries has been achieved by the acquisition of increased personnel resources, training in cooperative ministry and careful placement of personnel with regard to specialization and giftedness.
Self-support has become the norm for corps. As new corps have been planted, they have understood their stewardship obligations from the beginning. The importance of financial stewardship has been effectively communicated to existing corps.
The Salvationists of the Western Territory are seeking the mind of God for 2020VISION. The momentum of MISSION2000 will be projected over the first two decades of the 21st century into Kingdom-building ventures that are visible to the eyes of faith.