Living our mission
Living our mission
12 January 2022
Darren McGhee was sceptical when asked to complete a Local Mission Plan for Salvation Army mission expressions.
It was late 2018, and the Army’s Youth Outreach Services manager in Brisbane was concerned the Local Mission Plan would be just another time-consuming reporting tool that had little practical impact on frontline mission.
Three years on, and Darren is a convert. He describes the plan as a fantastic resource that helps prevent ‘mission drift’.
All Salvation Army mission expressions now develop Local Mission Plans with their teams. Below are just some examples of the positive impact they are having:
The Local Mission Plan keeps us attentive and focused upon the God-directed mission goals that our faith community has committed to pursuing, as well as the collaboration we are seeking to build across Salvo mission expressions in our community. It’s important to review and update the plan regularly. We do this at our bi-monthly leadership meetings to see how things are progressing and what may need adjusting. That can be challenging among all the corps officers’ tasks but necessary for the plan to have traction and impact.
The Local Mission Plan is priceless. It’s the road map for all we are working towards for our clients, community, corps, staff, and volunteers. When I worked on the plan, I had a constant vision of building on what we were already doing. It was a great exercise to write down all that we had envisioned and how it aligned with our mission and values. I wanted to ensure that our service wasn’t just supporting and empowering clients, but we were giving the same energy to our staff and volunteers and joining the [Playford] corps in its vision to make the centre a great environment for everyone who walked through the door.
We have many Salvation Army workplace-prescribed plans and frameworks: Continuous Improvement Plans, State Strategic Plans, Risk Management Plans, Models of Care Frameworks Plans and Accountability Frameworks. As a leader of employees working out a faith calling and other staff who desire to use their gifts to accomplish meaningful work, the Local Mission Plan makes a difference in the world. The Local Mission Plan can reflect what we are being guided to do according to our mission. Also, it ensures spiritual accountability. The Local Mission Plan is a tool that can prevent ‘mission drift’.
Local Mission Plans are great, as they set an intention for the year ahead and keep our team accountable. However, the process of creating the plan was most exciting for me. The feeling and desire amongst the team to collectively plan to see the mission come alive within our service was energising and inspiring.
Most clients who come through our Gateways program build a connection with staff and other residents, helping to build relationships and trust. I am also eager for our clients to build a healthy relationship with our local corps. My vision is to ensure that all clients connect with a community and a place they feel welcome when they exit our program. From our Local Mission Plan, we are currently working on a shared mission agreement with Boronia Corps to use two properties on this site to house a family and three single adults. These clients will have the opportunity to engage in corps-based activities and develop relationships with the congregation, offering community connection and a place of belonging.
Seeing the benefits of LMPs
The benefits of developing a Local Mission Plan as a roadmap for Local Mission Delivery are beginning to flow for Salvos around the country.
Over the past four years, Local Mission Plans have become an integral part of the process for living out the mission across Australia. They are now a valuable tool to help leaders and their teams work out how they strategically engage in the mission and vision of the Army in their area.
The plan asks local teams to set a goal for each element of the mission statement: caring for people, creating faith pathways, building healthy communities, and working for justice – and three actions to help achieve each goal. The Area Leadership Team then looks for ways to collaborate to attain those goals.
It articulates how they will work together to fulfil the Army’s mission statement and become the way we help realise our vision ‘to transform Australia one life at a time with the love of Jesus’.
For more information, read more HERE