In his plenary address, the General reiterated The Salvation Army's mission when he said: 'May we never forget that the primary purpose of our calling is to bring a message of hope, deliverance and salvation to the world!' He went on to say: 'People matter more than anything in all that we think, plan and do.'
Referring to the two new initiatives that were to be discussed during Thursday's and Friday's sessions, the General told delegates: 'We cannot separate accountability and impact measurement.' He made it clear that these initiatives align with his vision for The Salvation Army in the 21st century.
Commissioner Gerrit Marseille (Territorial Commander, Caribbean Territory), who is Chair of the One Army Impact Initiative Steering Committee, stated: 'This is a bold initiative… to strengthen the quality and effectiveness of Salvation Army programs around the world.'
The day was designed to foster learning about the One Army Impact Initiative work completed to date. Commissioner Carol Seiler (Territorial President of Women's Ministries, USA Central Territory) gave an overview of the Pathway of Hope program which was established in the USA Central Territory and has since been adopted by The Salvation Army nationally, and Lt-Colonel Alan Burns (United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland) shared information about his territory's Fit For Mission program. Both speakers were engaging and the presentations aligned well with the day's theme.
'Culture change is hard work,' said Commissioner Seiler, striking at the root of the discussions. 'Thinking differently about how we work and letting go of the less-important means discomfort and some fears.' As the delegates learned through the day, measuring impact and outcomes is vital for The Salvation Army to move forward.
Friday, the last full day of the conference, will focus on the topic of accountability.