THQ Clarifies Its Role
Local Corps Empowered to Set
Their Own Goals
by Major Terry Camsey –
What an exciting journey this is turning out to be, especially since we have no road map for the process and no trail to follow, either. This is virgin territory we are in, folks, and while the “bottom-up” process has its serendipities, it has its unique challenges as well.
The Territory will seek to aid in meeting those challenges by assuming a facilitative role designed to support corps as they identify and move toward goals drawn from their own individual vision statements.
I cannot get two old Salvation Army songs out of my mind. The first… “When we cannot see our way, We must trust and still obey; He who bids us forward go, Cannot fail the way to show.” And the second (a chorus actually that doesn’t even appear in the present Salvation Army Song Book) “My Lord knows a way through the wilderness, all we have to do is to follow.”
Now let me clarify that. We do actually have a map in that we know exactly where we are going to the vision. And we know exactly where we are now (from the Schmidt corps survey and from the “blue sheets” returned with corps visions indicating how they felt the territory and divisions could help them realize their vision). What we also have is some uncharted terrain between the two. Uncharted because I am not aware, personally, of any other Salvation Army territory that has pursued the vision in quite the same way we have.
One of the serendipities I refer to is the number of reports we have back affirming that the territorial vision does reflect the visions generated at corps level. It’s not really a surprise because, as we have reported, the territorial vision is a distillation of the essence of all corps visions. It is, however, humbling to see how God has had a hand in the whole process thus far. That is why we trust him as we go on into the future.
Even as I write, corps are working on strategies to accomplish their local vision. Those strategies will include specific goals (S.M.A.R.T. goals we call them in the Vision Action Planning Guide, a Preparing for the Harvest tool for turning corps’ visions into action… Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timed…and written!). There is no doubt that these will serve as the foundation for the territorial goals as a whole.
Part of the territorial headquarters’ role will be to gather in (reap) that harvest of goals and examine them against the territorial vision to be sure that all aspects are covered. The process will be somewhat similar to that used in “wringing the essence” out of local visions to create the territorial vision. In this case, however, I imagine that local goals will be categorized under the four major aspects of the territorial goal: Biblically Authentic in Motive and Mission; A Relevant and Vibrant Expression of Christianity; Culturally diverse in Methods and Ministry; and, Compassionately Active in Serving Humanity. Each of these phrases is amplified and clarified in the vision statement.
Another role will, surely, be to examine how headquarters can become the ideal support system to corps in pursuit of the vision. Empowerment is a vital dimension of the overall strategy, but with it, of course, comes accountability.
Getting that balance right is a major challenge to be addressed. We need the ongoing guidance of the Holy Spirit in that area, but we do believe that Our Lord knows a way…even through that wilderness… all we have to do is to follow Him.
May God continue to bless this territory and quicken our passion for the unsaved… helping the helpless, offering hope to the hopeless and bringing healing to the hurting in Christ’s name.