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Won by one?

bodyBuilder

by Terry Camsey, Grandfather –

If you bring the one next to you,
And I bring the one next to me;
In all sorts of weather
We’ll all pull together,
And see what we can do.
If you bring the one next to you,
And I bring the one next to me…
In no time at all,
We’ll win them all,
Yes, win them, win them
One by one.

How long is it since you sang an Army song from “The Salvation Soldier” section of the Army song book that sent shivers up your spine…made you stand taller…stiffened the sinews…made the hair stand up at the back of your neck…sent the blood circulating rapidly…quickened your resolve?

I’m sure it was more often that we do these days. For one thing we have taken ourselves off the streets and, as in the case of the above chorus, many such tunes were included in marches to and from open-air meetings. This chorus in a march, “One by One,” made us feel ten feet tall as we affirmed our commitment as the band marched past, with cymbals adding some steel to the message.

Then, too, we have lost the praise meeting where such songs played such a prominent part…and wind-ups following salvation meetings (remember those) which had pretty well the whole congregation—even new converts—taking part in glory marches around the hall. Talk about building commitment!

And here we are again, with a focus on inviting people to come join our Army, yet lacking the trappings of such—with very little that is militaristic—despite the fact that most of the population is proud of a secular military that still fights wars and protects our country.

Sure, special gatherings or congresses cause us to bring out the red, yellow and blue songs, flags, tambourines as we celebrate a past long gone in many places.

So what about the above chorus? What has it to say to us today?

Looking at the most recent statistics I have readily to hand, for the year ending September 30, 2007, there were 271 corps and outposts and an average Sunday morning (largest meeting in most corps) attendance per corps/outpost of 69. There were 16,442 senior soldiers—an average of 61 per corps/outpost.

Now, we know that most people first come to church because a friend, relative or acquaintance invited (and preferably) brought them. And since each soldier knows perhaps five or six un-churched people, the “potential congregation” (known by name, address, and a host of other details) is around 300. Now there’s a pool to fish in!

During that year we served 1,494, 801 people and, since those who “buy” one product from a “store” are more responsive to “purchasing something else,” this is another potentially responsive group. If we only won and enrolled 1% of those 1,494,801 people as soldiers, 14,948 would be added to the rolls. Some years ago, I suggested that this was a great target group to share the gospel with and encourage. One corps officer responded, “It’s all pie in the sky!”

Interestingly, a survey some years ago for the territory (conducted by outside consultant Schmidt) revealed that around 46% of regular attendees in Army meetings at that time had received social help from the Army. Connect those dots and what do you see?

So, we have two potentially very fruitful fishing grounds.

If you bring the six next to you,
And I bring the six next to me;
In all sorts of weather
We’ll all pull together,
And see what we can do.
If you bring the six next to you,
And I bring the six next to me…
In no time at all,
We’ll win them all,
Yes, win them, win them,
One by one.

What do you think?


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