Ten Salvation Army Corps Recognized for Excellence - Salvation Army Canada

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    Ten Salvation Army Corps Recognized for Excellence

    Increased growth seen in junior and senior soldier enrolments, attendance in Sunday worship and Christian education programs. March 28, 2011
    Filed Under:
    Territorial News
    In a communique with Salvation Army leaders, Commissioner William W. Francis, territorial commander, outlined some of the significant growth that occurred in the Canada and Bermuda Territory in 2010. He also announced the creation of a new honour roll to highlight those corps that have seen an increase in enrolments, church attendance and Christian education.



    "It is exciting to see the number of senior and junior soldiers enrolled and adherents recognized this past year," says Commissioner Francis. "We anticipate the positive impact these new, fresh commitments will make for the Kingdom and The Salvation Army in the days ahead."


    Honour Roll
    The following 10 corps (and community churches) will receive a certificate of recognition for growth in junior and senior soldier enrolments, and for increased attendance in Sunday worship and Christian education programs. The following corps have achieved increases in all four categories:

    Berkshire Citadel – Alberta and Northern Territories Division
    Edmonton Temple – Alberta and Northern Territories Division
    St. George's – Bermuda Division
    Conception Bay South – Newfoundland & Labrador Division
    Faith and Hope Community Church – Newfoundland & Labrador Division
    Gambo – Newfoundland & Labrador Division
    Springdale – Newfoundland & Labrador Division
    North York Temple – Ontario Central-East Division
    Meadowlands – Ontario Great Lakes Division
    Centre Communautaire Chretien/Christian Centre of The Salvation Army – Quebec Division


    Honourable Mention
    Honourable mention goes to the following 28 corps that have achieved growth in three of the four categories:

    Glenmore TempleAlberta and Northern Territories Division
    High Point Community Church – British Columbia Division
    New Westminster Citadel – British Columbia Division
    Penticton – British Columbia Division
    Glace Bay – Maritime Division
    Spryfield Community Church – Maritime Division
    Bishop's Falls – Newfoundland & Labrador Division
    Carmanville – Newfoundland & Labrador Division
    Lewisporte – Newfoundland & Labrador Division
    New World Island West – Newfoundland & Labrador Division
    New-Wes Valley – Newfoundland & Labrador Division
    St. John's Citadel – Newfoundland & Labrador Division
    Stephenville Community ChurchNewfoundland & Labrador Division
    Belleville – Ontario Central-East Division
    Cedarbrae Community Church – Ontario Central-East Division
    Kingston Citadel – Ontario Central-East Division
    Mississauga Temple – Ontario Central-East Division
    Orillia – Ontario Central-East Division
    Ottawa Citadel – Ontario Central-East Division
    Peterborough Temple – Ontario Central-East Division
    West Hill Community Church – Ontario Central-East Division
    Chatham-Kent Ministries – Ontario Great Lakes Division
    Hanover – Ontario Great Lakes Division
    Oakville Community Church – Ontario Great Lakes Division
    Owen Sound Temple – Ontario Great Lakes Division
    Simcoe Community Church – Ontario Great Lakes Division
    Haven of Hope Ministries – Prairie Division
    Swift Current Community Church – Prairie Division

    "God bless you as you continue to build the Kingdom of God and The Salvation Army through your ministry in 2011," says Commissioner Francis.

    Comment

    On Wednesday, May 11, 2011, Billy Jackson said:

    How is this a competition between corps? My son made the honour roll in High School this year. He is being recognized as such by the school and given a certificate for outstanding achievement. It has no reflection on the kids that didn't make the honour roll, it's just a recognition for a job well done on his part.

    On Friday, April 29, 2011, JLP. said:

    After reading all of these above comments,my question is When did the work of OUR GOD become a competition between corps?

    On Sunday, April 17, 2011, I am a Soldier too said:

    I read with much interest the comments about the creation of a new honour roll to highlight these corps that have seen an increase in enrollment, church attendance and christian education. Commissioner Francis said, "we anticipate the positive impact these new fresh commitments will make for the kingdom and the SA". What is wrong with encouraging these corps who have done something right? While at the same time I agree that maybe we do put too much emphasis on numbers at times,but it is wonderful that more people are coming to church and sitting under the gospel message. At least they are not involved in something of the world at that time. With much prayer among the comrades of the corps, these people could make a decision to take up their cross to follow Jesus Christ. Just last week I met a friend from one of the top ten corps and he told me the news. I was happy for them and asked him how they did it. This is what he said. "When the present corps officer came he asked the people what they would like to see in their corps because it's your corps and I will only be here awhile. You tell me and I will help you do it. People banned together and started to work to reach their goal. The corps officer.started to visit everyone in the corps. People were amazed because they haven't seen an officer visit them in years". With interest like that from the corps officers and the people of the corps coming together to work to extend God's kingdom, what do you expect? God is going to reward them,and more power to them. By the way these are young officers. Didn't Jesus tell us to go in the highways and byways and bring them in. Keep up the good work people and maybe God will help us to do the same. Congratulations to you all!!! H .

    On Saturday, April 9, 2011, Patricia Kennedy said:

    Congratulations to the Corps on the honour roll! Hopefully next year, there’ll be 100 Corps on the roll! Jesus told us to grow when He told us to go and make disciples!

    And enrolling soldiers, more people attending worship and Christian Education, more young people are indicators of spiritual growth. They obviously are not the only indicators; the number of candidates, the number of soldiers tithing, the number of times people look at the clock during the service can tell us about the spiritual condition of a Corps; but. souls being saved and discipled so that they can serve others and bring them into the fellowship indicates spiritual growth! In the New Testament, we read that many came to Jesus and He welcomed them! The church grew in number: Acts 2:47 “And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Let us recognize that the Lord is working in our midst!

    “Don’t we need to understand our mission in a battle before going out and getting ourselves killed, because we didn’t plan for all the things that could go wrong?”…understanding our mission doesn’t mean we won’t get killed…ask Jesus. Do we truly desire to follow Him? If so, there is a sacrifice but there is also victory! In the name of Jesus, let’s embrace our mission of saving souls and celebrate that God has saved us by sharing our testimonies.

    Also, don’t forget God’s roll, the book of life. He records the names and I hope yours is written there!

    On Wednesday, April 6, 2011, Kevin Osborne said:

    Pat, I respect your views. I echo your hallelujahs at the corps where numbers are increasing.This is to be celebrated in a time when church attendance is on the decline across denominations. I think you are confusing healthy debate with criticism. Those who have made comments like myself about focusing on numbers over the internal spiritual growth in our congregations have legitimate concerns.

    You can have a large church, but are all the people in place to maintain that growth? It's vital to have enough people to run the various ministries which take place in a church. If you focus merely on getting the numbers up without the people needed to run those programs, that church will not maintain those numbers. Church attendance will go down.

    Rick Warren wrote, "The key for churches in the 21st Century will be church health, not growth." When a congregation is healthy, it will grow spiritually and enjoy the benefits of a live, vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ. A healthy Christian will not find his strength or determine his weakness in the size of the church he attends.

    I agree with Rick Warren. We need to look more at the health of our churches as opposed to focusing on how many people we can cram into them.

    Pat, you say that in the time people put negative comments on this issue we could be telling others about the love of Jesus. This is true, but to use your Army terminology, Should we go out there talking to others about Jesus without a battle plan? You wouldn't plan an attack as a Captain in a platoon without a plan. Don't we need to understand our mission in a battle before going out and getting ourselves killed, because we didn't plan for all the things that could go wrong? We need a strategy. We need a plan of action before going out en mass telling others about Jesus.

    Do you think Christ sent His followers out without a plan of action? No. Our saviour was always giving the disciples advice and guided leadership. If you take time to examine the Great Commission in Matthew, chapter 4:18-22 Jesus said to His disciples in verse 19, "Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men" (NIV). In the words, "come and follow", these were required acts of obedience. In the word "make" we have Christ's promise that if we come and follow Him, He will make us fishers of men. Jesus promised His disciples that He would give them the tools, and train them to win others for the Kingdom. .

    Pat, I admire you being on fire for God. We need to have that kind of burning passion for souls if our great Salvation Army is to continue to be all that it can be for God. Don't let anyone take that love for souls away from you.

    I agree with Pat that we need to be united in this daily war for souls. Yet, at the same time, we need to focus more on the spiritual health of our corps, not merely playing a numbers game to see how many people we can shove through our doors, without having the people to support our various ministry programs..

    .

    On Tuesday, April 5, 2011, Pat said:

    Dissention in the ranks...Jesus warned of such things, we will never be able to focus on any one thing to further the kingdom until we can see ourselves and others through the eyes of Christ. Support the troops!! Way to go - if our numbers are increasing then I say hallelujah!! and again hallelujah!! WOoot! Fire a volley!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! now we stand a stronger force in front of the enemy. Now let's build each other up, disciple one another and immerse ourselves in the word of God. Numbers is a key part of the battle plan. Jesus said take the gospel to all the world...let's start counting...are we there yet????? P.S. in the time it took to write a negative comment on here, how many people could have been told of Jesus love????? Just sayin. Love you all!

    On Sunday, April 3, 2011, Kevin Osborne said:

    A wise mentor of mine forwarded me these comments on this issue concerning honouring those corps that are growing numerically. I have not added to these comments because they stand on their own.

    "These are not in themselves the best or only measurements of health and strength in the Army. What about the state of the corps leadership, the spiritual health of the members and the ongoing evangelism and discipleship ministries? Playing the numbers game can fill a corps in a short time but bringing a corps to full health and strength takes many years. Today's leaders are focusing on more substantial issues than top dog lists. Let's celebrate everyone's advances and spur one another on to rise to the full potential that God has placed in every corps."

    On Saturday, April 2, 2011, Kevin Osborne said:

    It's exciting to hear about corps where church attendance is on the increase as well as soldier enrolments. Having worked with David and Evelyn Sears in the Jane/Finch area extension ministry in the early 1980s, I got pumped spiritually when I saw our congregational attendance increase to the point we could move out of a school gymnasium and have our own building. I was part of a small dedicated team with some soldiers from North York Temple, who saw an outpost ministry in 1982 receive official corps status in 1985.

    When I attended the 10th anniversary of the Downsview church, which later became Yorkwoods Community Church, Dave, Evie and others shared in how God working in us had brought a small nucleus of faith so far.

    While it's wonderful to hear about the churches where numerical growth is taking place, it's also important to keep in mind that internal growth is vital to the survival of a church. You may have heard the story about the minister who was doing a series from the book of Ecclesiastes. He kept harping on the scripture that says all of life is vanity. The pastor started out with 450 members. When his series was done, he had 11 struggling yet faithful souls. Now, I wouldn't recommend that any one of us should do a series on Ecclesiastes, to see how many faithful souls remain in your church. My point is that growth in the spirit should be regarded as being important too.

    I would rather pastor a church that had 25 committed members than one of 400 uncommitted souls, who to use a phrase from a "Leadership" article "played at their worship and worshiped their play."

    I fear there will be hurt feelings among corps that aren't making the honor roll. The Downsview ministry in its infancy wouldn't have even got into two of the four categories measuring growth. This was no reflection on its dedicated leaders. A baby church takes time, nurturing, and consistent commitment from its membership to grow. It has to be watered properly like the plants in a garden, with just the right combination of spiritual nutrients.

    There are smaller corps where active community ministries are going on that feed the poor, and give hope to the hopeless. The work they do should also rightly be reported on as an encouragement to the faithful, who fight the daily battle for souls with determination and an unwavering faith.

    Let's encourage the corps who are struggling. Perhaps, they need to have Salvationists from larger churches to come and offer their giftings to them. I was asked to help out with the work in Downsview even though I was a member of North York Temple. Other dedicated souls gave of themselves from North York Temple to the ministry work being done in Downsview.

    Let's focus in The Salvation Army on building one another in both knowledge and depth of faith. We need to dedicate ourselves as being united in this task rather than offering criticism for those corps that are perceived as not making the grade.

    On Saturday, April 2, 2011, marinus huizinga said:

    The numbers in this context to indicate how the "Company Salvation Army" is set,
    which is an analysis which leaders can measure.
    on the human level, one would say at this time, there must be somewhere a reference point
    or in other words a fixed point in order to continue watching.
    The Spiritual World by God's Spirit is driven completely different:
    That is true: that it is only one soul to Christ lead a party in heaven
    , and NO LEADER on earth that can do to appeal to his or her functioning,
    to measure this, by simply praying: Lord make me an instrument
    IN YOUR HAND.

    On Friday, April 1, 2011, Concerned said:

    Interestingly enough, I attend one of the ten corps that received an award.

    I have since 1964.

    It is most certainly not the corps it was then...or even a few years ago. Oddly enough, there is no mention of the basis for the award. Growth over what period? the last year? The last ten? There is nothing in terms of how growth was measured.

    It is the same corps that has seen a marked decline in uniform wearing, the death of the Sunday night meeting, the continued shrinkage and decline of the musical sections and the virtual cessation of any outreach activity. These and other disturbing trends show no sign of reversal.

    The corps officer had to give a special sermon a few months ago on the dire state of the corp's finances. This issue remains on the "prayer list" in the weekly corps bulletin. Growth is great, but if the heat bill can't be paid..........

    I would perfer, if such commendations are to be given, a broader based assessment of the spiritual health of a corps. Are souls being saved? Are the hallmarks of Salvationism still vibrant and meaningful? Is it a "going concern" financially?

    Statistical measurement such as been set out herein is no indication of the spiritual health or witness of a corps. To think otherwise is dangerous

    On Friday, April 1, 2011, markbraye said:

    we can all agree God is at work and doing wonderful things in the churches/corps listed above. God is at work everywhere.

    i wouldn't go as far as to say this post/this honor is bad. i don't think anyone is tearing down the churches/corps or people involved. i think we're making observations and sharing thoughts.

    this post/honor is, however, a microcosm of our Army culture. we tend to focus on stats and the measurables more than stories and experiences. this may be one of few posts like this on Salvationist.ca. this notion of stats being important, though, has permeated just about everything we do.

    we can measure attendance.

    it's harder to measure love and grace.

    i think it's fair to comment either way on the above post. great thoughts from everyone.

    On Friday, April 1, 2011, Heather Allington said:

    In these days of frequent reports of declining church attendance, how encouraging to know that so many Army corps are experiencing numerical growth! We haven't seen any such statistics given in a long time. It's hard to see spiritual growth in members of your community if they are not attending your church. And once they are, how do you measure spiritual growth, anyway? That's not something for us humans to evaluate in any terms of measurement.

    I agree with "Army Comrade", Kerry, and others who find this a positive post by Commissioner Francis. I think it's a "given" that we all know that God is working in these corps. But God does expect us to do some work and not only pray for church growth.

    On Thursday, March 31, 2011, Jason Sabourin said:

    Congratulations to ALL ministry units experiencing numerical growth and/or commitment to ministry - God be praised!

    The unfortunate fallout from this type of statistical reporting and the naming it as the "honour roll" however is that it can appear to give more validity to some while those units that are left off the list for reasons that are too numerous to mention may come to feel that the work and hours spent in ministry for God has not been recognized, perhaps causing discouragement. Having said this I believe wholeheartedly that this is not and was not the intent of those who have instituted this new element. I am sure the purpose is to encourage and uplift.

    For those who may feel forgotten or undervalued by not making TSA "honour roll" take heart as in the eyes of God all work done in partnership with Him for Him will bear eternal fruit whether it is statistically recorded or not.

    On Thursday, March 31, 2011, army comrade said:

    I think we salvationists are just a hard bunch to please! We moan and groan that our work is not growing, not effective, etc... someone even said that the last high council was larger than the average corps attendance. Yet, when it is time to recognize and celebrate the corps among us that are receiving the "blessing of numerical growth", we rant again that numbers aren't everything.
    I totally agree with Kerry in Calgary, behind every stated statistic is a success story of faithfulness, obedience and service to God and the community. Webeditor, i hope you will do a series on the listed corps, sharing their ministry ideas, war tactics, and testimonies of soul-saving success. Those of us in small struggling corps, dont lose heart, just remain faithful, PRAY and work! God bless

    On Thursday, March 31, 2011, Beyond STATS said:

    I'm encouraged that I'm not the only one who is really troubled this honour roll nonsense and it is nonsense. It focuses the church and its leadership on the wrong things. Focus on the spiritual growth and your church will grow as a result of that spiritual foundation. I’m sad to say that my own corps in on the honour roll but a quick survey of the corps will show you that for the first time in its history people are hurting and hurting bad yet the leadership is consumed with the numbers and not the number of souls who are truly hurting.

    The leadership knows how to play the game though in that knowing that the Army's focus is always on the numbers they know as long as the numbers look good to DHQ and THQ they will stay. Unfortunately this will crush the people of the corps who are the church and will be there long after they have been promoted to DHQ. The numbers can show growth but what if your leadership does not visit it people, has not knelt in prayer with a seeker in the entire time they have been in the corps, is never around and rarely attends any activity at the Corps including the Christian Education night they created when they arrived, missing service to attend their own children’s (since their children do not involve themselves in anything in the church) other functions and only preaches and prays occasionally during the meeting. When the word among faithful after worship is “I feel discouraged" things are not good. Where is the honour roll for that!!

    Alas the numbers look good so everything must be good!

    Our Lord is not happy with this why? Because when we focus on numbers we miss the impact we can on the lives of others if we are truly spiritual fed and led.

    On Thursday, March 31, 2011, Kerry in Calgary said:

    I too, offer congratulations to the Corps who have shown growth and re-iterate the sentiment that we should share their stories across the Territory. To the person who says "I would rather have 10 people in my corps who are soldout for Christ, than 110 who come to see the latest and greatest program/preacher/etc." I would suggest that if you only had the 10 and not the 110, then the 10 are not doing their job!! The job of the 10 is to get the 110 into the fold because that's where the warfare happens. It's not about having the best people, it's about winning the war. General Patton once said (and I paraphrase). "You don't win a war by dying for your country, you win a war by making the other guy die for his country". It's about winning the battle within the souls of every person who comes through our door and stealing them from the enemy. I think our job is to get the 110 in the door, then The Holy Spirit gets to work!! Behind every one of the stated success stories are people who are "soldout" for Christ and the Commissioner's article congratulates them on the fruit of their labour. That's reason to celebrate!!

    On Thursday, March 31, 2011, Geofrey sibanda said:

    Thank God for this

    On Wednesday, March 30, 2011, Nicole said:

    I don't think this post suggests that we only measure fruitfulness in numbers, nor that we neglect to recognize Spiritual Depth or quality. I think the Commissioner and others would agree with you all that the depth and quality of growth is very important.

    But with numbers you can measure and promote. It is not saying that it is the ONLY way to measure - but it sure helps the strategy in War.

    In fact, I must say I am a bit surprised at the uproar over this post, for it is the first article I have ever read (and I frequent Salvo articles often) that even talks about numbers and statistics. (aside from the annual yearbooks)

    I think more articles are written on the spiritual formation and development or quality of growth then they are on numbers. My heart rejoices at this article the same way it rejoices when I read an article on how this Corps has grown spiritually, or what 'program' that ministry unit is doing. My heart rejoices when I see the Spirit of God move, and in this post, I have.

    On Wednesday, March 30, 2011, Concerned Army Leader said:

    I too have to voice my grave concern for measuring fruitfulness in this way. Numbers do not always reflect real growth and development. Not to mention that statistics are only as accurate as the person counting, inputting, or reading the data. I would rather have 10 people in my corps who are soldout for Christ, than 110 who come to see the latest and greatest program/preacher/etc. As a young officer, who was conditioned to put great stock in numbers, I learned very early how futile that was and how discouraging it could be at times. I learned to pray instead to see real life transformation in a few than be carried up and down by the roller coaster of statistics. I am disappointed in our leadership that they would make this a focus - something that I think encourages both pride and discouragement. I do however give God praise for what He is doing in all of our ministry units! He is faithful and continually reveals where He is working even when the numbers do not reflect it.

    On Wednesday, March 30, 2011, Anonymous said:

    I cannot believe what I am hearing, or rather what I am seeing. Should we not be first and foremost celebrating the moving of the Holy Spirit in these corps? Obviously it is God's work that is being done if the soldier roll, Christian education, Sunday attendance, etc is growing! That doesn't come without His moving in our communities.

    I can only speak for what I've seen at North York Temple. They are out on the streets having March of Witness 4 to 5 times a year. As well their band is out every other Sunday before the services at nursing homes ministering to those who cannot get anywhere else for a service.

    They have reached out to the Asian and Russian community, which has been difficult to reach, and this is abundantly seen in the Singing Company as an example.

    The numbers at the altar seem to multiply more and more. God is truly moving in this corps.

    On Tuesday, March 29, 2011, Nicole said:

    Wow.
    Praise God for growth in the nearly 40 Corps listed above.
    I agree with the Commissioner when he says “God bless you as you continue to build the Kingdom of God and The Salvation Army through your ministry in 2011"
    I am blessed to be in the fellowship of the fight with you all.

    @KO: Yes, TSA does keep numbers of converts...and Praise God for those!

    Praise God!

    On Tuesday, March 29, 2011, Capt/ Major Patrick Lublink (military chaplain) said:

    Congratulations to all those corps who have received mentions. I too would like to invite them to share their experience with the rest of us.

    Blessings.

    On Tuesday, March 29, 2011, Peter (High Point) said:

    To make this list of even greater value to the Salvationist community in Canada it might be worth hearing some of the best practices from these corps - how have they successfully engaged post-modernity with the gospel? Where has the growth come from? What are the testimonies from some of the soldiers made in the last year? How has Jesus transformed these communities? Ultimately telling us not just that God is moving, but how He is moving and what that experience has been like.

    Thank God for His graciousness!

    Peter

    On Tuesday, March 29, 2011, markbraye said:

    i second the above thoughts and comments.

    we need to stop with the quantitative and focus more on the qualitative.

    On Tuesday, March 29, 2011, ROY FRYER said:

    HALIFAX CITADEL COMMUNITY CHURCH HAS IN MY HUMBLE OPINION UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF TIM AND KRISTA ANDREWS GROWN SPRITUALLY AND IN NUMBERS OF PEOPLE ATTENDING. THE MAIN THING IS HOWEVER NOT NUMBERS SO MUCH BUT HOW THE ANDREWS ARE WORKING VERY HARD TO BRING THIS CORPS BACK TO WERE IT ONCE WAS CLOSER TO GOD .

    On Monday, March 28, 2011, Helen MacKenzie said:

    I agree with those who are emphasizing spiritual growth and leadership. Numbers are not always a clear indication of community service and doing the work of our Lord. My understanding is that the community is the battle ground and soles are won when the message is brought to those who do not know. Membership in a church is just that, but service and dedication and is God in action. Perhaps we are the planters and another is the harvester, does that mean one deserves more recognition then the other.

    Just a few thoughts of mine as I don't like playing the numbers game. Let me be a witness to others so that they may learn the name of the Lord.

    On Monday, March 28, 2011, creditdue said:

    lets give the credit to God first and foremost.

    Every good and perfect gifts come from above - James 1:17

    It is disheartening to see this post. God is mentioned last. Not once is Jesus mentioned.

    On Monday, March 28, 2011, Karen Osborne said:

    Just wondering... what about souls saved or rededicated to Christ? Do we keep records of them?

    On Monday, March 28, 2011, Beyond STATS said:

    When are we ever going to start judging our corps on there spiritual growth and spiritual leadership?

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