30 September 2022

Commissioner Lyndon Buckingam addresses the delegatesFollowing a day of fellowship, international leaders began Thursday 29 September with a worldwide prayer meeting. Small group reflection continued from the reading in John 13:33-38 entitled ‘Follow you more nearly’ and based on the publication The Heart of God by Robert Street, prior to the first of the sessions focusing on current priorities for the leadership of The Salvation Army.

Chief of the Staff Commissioner Lyndon Buckingham thanked leaders for their willingness to re-engage with some areas of work which may have been interrupted by the global COVID-19 pandemic. He said, ‘There is more yet for us to engage in for the Kingdom. The Lord has more in store for the future of The Salvation Army. We are stewards of our resources. Today we consider what should be our global priorities as we march confidently into the future.’

Strategic priorities

Commissioner Lee Graves, International Secretary for Business Administration reminded delegates of the General’s existing strategic priorities of: Ecclesiastical matters; Expansion of The Salvation Army; Children in Army care; Stewardship of institutional facilities; Excellence in governance; International finance (NetSuite, IFAS rollout); Renewal and upgrade of technology (Office 365); The provision of senior leaders at International Headquarters territories and commands; Creating a culture of organisational gender equity; All officers to be on the full allowance; and the Army’s international COVID-19 response. He said, ‘Only Children in Army care and Stewardship of institutional facilities remain outstanding on this list, whilst other areas are still work in progress’. Delegates were invited to consider the status of this work. He asked, ‘Is it operationalised or does this work remain outstanding? And which global priorities require further consideration?’ He said, ‘We want to be intentional about recognising global priorities and focus on the fullness of The Salvation Army, not in-house matters.’

After the morning breakout session, Commissioner Graves asked delegates to consider those priorities identified by the ICL programme plus the General’s Consultative Council as possible priorities for the future. He also invited prayerful discernment of other matters that the Lord may have placed on the hearts of leaders. These were further distilled into an amalgamated list and shared with all delegates for further discussion.

Commissioner Mani Kumari Dasari, Territorial President of Women’s Ministries (TPWM), India South Eastern Territory said, ‘In our hour of need, we come together to share different perspectives and discuss The Salvation Army’s global priorities with a focus on where we are lacking.’

Stakeholder engagement

The afternoon was spent on stakeholder engagement, with leaders able to inform the future ‘direction of travel’ and contribute to the thinking for the preparation of the next chapter in the international Salvation Army story.

Commissioner Buckingham shared the list of priorities from work in the morning and invited delegates to reconvene in their groups to consider this new list of priorities and to distill the top priorities from it. He challenged leaders saying, ‘You will help shape The Salvation Army into the future.’

Closing the day’s work, Commissioner Buckingham shared the outcome from the group work with delegates and thanked them for their hard work. He said, ‘These are the results of the conversations we have had since Monday and from the General’s Consultative Council. Thank you for putting your best efforts into helping us identify where we need to put effort and resource. These identified priorities will be revisited again.’

Commissioner Yusak Tampai, Territorial Commander, Indonesia Territory said, ‘Today’s group discussions around the global priorities of The Salvation Army have been enriching, inspiring and affirming.’

Commissioner Verona Haughton, TPWM, Caribbean Territory agreed that the day had been fruitful, saying: ‘The day has been intense as we have been grappling with some really challenging subject areas on the global, territorial and divisional level. We have been digging deep into our thought processes to help The Salvation Army develop for the future.’

IHQ Communications

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