New model targets vision action
BY SHEILA BRADLEY, MAJOR –
The recently organized Territorial Vision Action Team (TVAT) met in San Pedro, California to begin the process of putting into action the six strategic priorities set out by the territorial cabinet for implementing the Territorial Vision:
- Make the field a priority
- Promote holistic ministry
- Make ministry to youth a priority
- Cast a global vision
- Identify, train and develop leaders
- Direct resources to mission
The three-day event was set into motion by Lt. Colonel Donald Bell, chief secretary, who gave the challenge to TVAT to empower the Divisional Vision Action Teams (DVAT) who in turn are to empower the soldiers in their respective divisions to “put feet on the vision.”
Bell reminded TVAT that these strategic priorities come out of the visioning process the territory has been involved in for the past four years, emphasizing again that the territorial vision is a composite of all of the corps’ visions.
“It is time to ‘make the future in the present’, to put feet to the vision and take action on the groundwork that has been laid to take the gospel message to our individual world. In the words of General John Gowans (R), it is time ‘to save souls, to grow saints, and to serve suffering humanity’.”
Bell spoke of our identity and calling, and reminded delegates that we are: A saved people;
Christ centered; Spirit-filled and Spirit-led; culturally diverse and Spirit-united; a worshiping community; people of prayer and the Word; motivated by sacrificial love; social activists; militant evangelists and world citizens.
Major Carol Seiler, assistant chief secretary for strategic planning, demonstrated to the group how to work through challenges that face corps, how to go about developing S.M.A.R.T. (Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Time related) goals and how to strategize problems.
“The importance of focusing on mission requires some change in thinking,” said Seiler, “looking at whether the activities and resources are being used in such a way to impact the spread of the message of the Gospel and the meeting of needs. Another way of thinking about it might be to ask: “If the Army and its staff were to leave this community, would it matter to the community?” We should be worried if we can’t show our impact as light and salt in this world.”
The second day was given to working in groups. The 23 members of TVAT formed small groups to identify what it would take to “put feet” on these strategic priorities; they also considered how to enhance communication with DVAT in developing local vision action steps. The round table discussions were peppered with moments of intense dialogue and laughter as delegates grappled with issues and challenged each other to think outside the box.
On the final day, TVAT members reported to Lt. Colonel Ray Moulton, territorial secretary for program, on the meeting and on their personal impressions of TVAT.
Comments included: the delegates’ commitment to share with those who had been skeptical of this process; their excitement in discussing future plans with divisional leadership; and how God had placed on their hearts the need to help, inform and encourage the soldiers of their division to put their vision into action–possibly by the use of a newsletter or web page.
At the conference’s conclusion, Major Charles Gillies, TVAT liaison, and territorial secretary for evangelism, prayer & spiritual formation said: “If we were in agreement about anything it was the need to keep these four issues before us: spirituality, prayer, empowerment and accountability as we implement the vision.”
Members of TVAT want to encourage every soldier to be responsible for taking part in “giving feet to the vision.” We have been called individually, by God, to make a difference right where we are. What difference are you making in your local community?
TVAT will meet again May 1-3, 2003.