Our Reality – The Challenge and the Opportunity
The NSW/ACT Division has fewer and fewer people attending our corps but our social work continues to grow. The opportunities to engage with the communities around us continue to multiply. Through our social work, retail stores, fundraising and volunteering opportunities, we have countless connection points, where people from all walks of life meet and engage with us. These provide wonderful ministry opportunities.
However, we are trying to do more, with less and less people. As a result, we are in real danger of losing our mission.
The Salvation Army’s grassroots faith communities are the lifeblood of our movement and we want to see them healthy and multiplying. So what is the answer?
Our Strategy – Realigning Our Resources
To get there will require courageous action, including a radical realignment of our resources.
The idea is that within existing Hubs, we will form Corps Mission Clusters. Corps Mission Clusters are regional, collaborations of Gathering Worshipping Communities, Communities of Hope and Kingdom Tables. A Hub may have more than one Corps Mission Cluster within its mission area. The Corps Mission Cluster journeys together in Spiritual Renewal and Strategic Reimagining, as set out in the Hope Rising plan, and is to be facilitated by a Cluster Leadership Team (CLT) comprising of:
- Corps Officers/Faith Leaders
- Selected local leaders (if appropriate)
- An Appointed Area Officer/s
The Cluster Leadership Team facilitates a Faith Expressions Leadership Community that engages all leaders of TSA Faith Expressions within the Corps Mission Cluster.
The Cluster Leadership Team is responsible for establishing a Jesus Culture and ensuring everyone of faith within the Corps Mission Cluster is given opportunity for engagement.
The Faith Expressions Leadership Community is a term to encompass all those with active leadership roles overseeing a Community of Hope, Kingdom Table or Gathered Worshipping Community within a Corps Mission Cluster.
Jesus Culture (JC)
The Jesus Culture is to be established on the principles of Jesus and will direct the way the Corps Mission Cluster people journey together.
The values, behaviours and interactions of the leadership group should be intentionally modelled upon Jesus and there should be mutual accountability to one another for continued individual and corporate growth.
Key Focus Areas
The Hope Rising plan has two key focus areas:
- Spiritual Renewal for Our People
- Strategic Re-imagining of corps life – 21st Century Corps Engagement
Within these two focus areas, there are a number of critical success factors to support the overall Hope Rising plan.
1. Spiritual Renewal for Our People
For Spiritual Renewal for Our People, the critical success factors include:
- People of prayer – ‘On their knees’
- Focused training and action that creates local and regional prayer movements to facilitate our people in released prayer engagement in their cities.
- Personal encounters – ‘Spirit-filled’
- Encourage opportunities that facilitate Holy Spirit personal encounters that bring about repentance, healing and empowerment.
- Living authentic missional lives – ‘Convinced of their calling’
- TSA faith people understand the significance of the mission, their place in the mission and are mobilised for living their lives through our mission.
We want to help every person of faith be:
- Encouraged to find and live a rhythm for mission.
- Enabled to find a place (a context) where they can engage in mission.
- Led by the Spirit in listening to the name/s with whom we walk alongside more intimately to share the love of Jesus. Mission has a name. To be on the mission is to know the name of the person/s we are intentionally walking alongside.
2. Strategic Re-imagining – 21st Century Corps Engagement
Critical success factors include:
- Collaboration – ‘From silos to teams’
- The motto of ‘No one should have to go it alone’ shouldn’t just apply to the people we serve, but it needs to apply to the way we go about ministry. This makes demands not only of how we think about ministry but also how we structure ourselves for ministry.
- Innovation – Re-imagining Faith Engagement – ‘From limited pathways to diverse opportunities to engage’.
- We must help our people move past asking, “What do I want?” to ask two much bigger questions: “What is the Father doing?” and “What does the community need from us?”
- Enlarged vision, serving our cities – ‘From pastoring our patch to broader, city/region/town/community-wide transformation’.
- There must be a movement in our focus from the expending of our energies on leading the corps to taking our place in the wider of body of Christ, being responsible for the expansion of the Kingdom of God within the city we have been sent to serve.
Hope Rising is a five-year plan that will be implemented from 2017. Each Mission Cluster has a different timeline, depending on their current journey. Key milestones include:
- Officers fellowship in March 2017, where all corps officers receive a full briefing
The Hope Rising plan will involve several key areas of measurements, so we can learn, improve and celebrate what God is doing.
- Numbers of Faith Expression meetings.
- Numbers of people engaged in the meetings.
- People engagement, the extent of collaboration (TSA, Community, WBC).
- Markers and how they are being engaged in each of the gatherings.
- Missional life of people of faith.
- The impact in individual lives resulting from their engagement with TSA.
- How engagement with TSA has enhanced community life.
We’ve shared the plan, now we need our local people to put flesh on it and bring it to life in each specific context.
The divisional team will be working with Area Officers and Corps Leadership Teams to determine what to keep, drop and start. Together, we will discern God’s preferred future in every area and be brave enough to move towards it.
We will train, mentor and coach.
We will plant and replant many ministries.
We will match people to ministries.
We will build spirituality and character.
We will welcome those whom God calls back to healthy mission.
We’ll have your back as you join us in boldly stepping out.