Pursuing greater impact
Pursuing greater impact
27 June 2018
"Bramwell, we need to do more for the homeless ... and we need to send a team to start the work in China. Promise me you will ensure we do. Mind, if you do not, I shall come back and haunt you!”
As a frail 83-year-old, William Booth, founder of The Salvation Army, sat in his armchair and shared what would be one last conversation with his son, two things were apparent. First, his sense of humour was still very much intact! Second, even in his final days of life, he was absolutely focused on how The Salvation Army could have greater impact.
Despite the spectacular influence The Salvation Army had already had, General William Booth spent his final, private moments on this earth thinking about how the movement could see even more lives transformed with the love of Jesus. Inspiring, isn’t it? Today, The Salvation Army in Australia is pursuing greater impact too. Greater Impact is one of the six ‘whys’ of the National Transformation journey.
Australia’s National Commander, Commissioner Floyd Tidd, introduced these ‘whys’, (sometimes referred to as Australia One objectives) in a video message in June 2016, saying they were “about greater impact; greater impact in the lives of vulnerable and suffering Australians, greater impact in solving the issues that keep people trapped in homelessness, poverty and addiction, greater impact in communicating the message of Jesus and greater impact in seeing the will of God done on earth, as it is in heaven.”
So how is this happening? The local mission delivery operating model is one way. Implemented in divisions across Victoria, Queensland and NSW/ACT from January 2018, the model is an integrated approach to frontline mission, where all Salvation Army expressions work in close partnership. Captain Vannessa Garven, Area Officer, South West NSW, believes the model brings huge potential for greater impact.
“From my perspective, the biggest strength of the new (mission delivery) model is actually working in teams together. It’s crossing those boundaries, getting rid of the silos of corps and social so that we’re just delivering mission together. We’re one Army, with one voice, and that’s really exciting. As a team, with all mission expressions working together, we’ll be able to help more Australians in transforming their lives, whether it be spiritually, emotionally or physically.”
According to National Secretary for Business Support, Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart Evans, another way the national transformation will fulfil Greater Impact is through more effective systems and reduced duplication. “Streamlining processes and addressing inefficiencies will enable us to direct more time, energy and resources to the frontline for even greater impact.”
Salvos expressed their confidence that the transformation will lead to increased impact in the April 2018 Pulse survey*. Released periodically, the Pulse surveys are used to capture feedback about the national transformation journey, from Salvos throughout Australia.
More than 80 per cent of participants in the most recent survey said that they agree or strongly agree that they “understand how a united Salvation Army Australia Territory will benefit the people we serve”. One respondent commented, “I feel optimistic about the evangelistic opportunities that will come from combined resources and a united vision. I look forward to the Army no longer having ‘island’ corps or social programs ... (I envisage) that everyone will be connected and full of energy for what The Salvation Army was raised up for.”
Another respondent said they were excited about “the possibilities of creating a new system that will allow for innovation and growth”. Like William Booth, Commissioner Tidd dreams of The Salvation Army moving into places we have not been before, and sees us being even more effective in the work we are already doing.
“Our vision calls us forward,” he says. “We are boldly pursuing God’s very best for The Salvation Army in Australia. I am excited when I think and pray about what lies ahead. I see a united, focused, strong Salvation Army, bringing hope to places of hardship and injustice like never before, seeing our nation transformed one life at a time with the love of Jesus.”
*More results from Pulse Survey 3 will be available in coming weeks through the National Transformation Updates.
Claire Hill is Communications Coordinator for the Tranisition Support Team.