Imagine you have fallen into a deep sleep and when you wake up, the year is 2030. Over the last decade, much has changed in our Army. Our vision, launched in 2020, has been achieved. We have become innovative partners. Our people are mobilized to share hope. Wherever there is hardship, our Army is there. We are actively building communities that are just. And those communities know the love of Jesus. As a result, people are energized and our Army is strong. The news is cause for celebration. But you ask yourself: How did we get here?
The “how” of our vision is strategy. Since November 2020, the Mobilize 2.0 program has facilitated the development of a new territorial strategic plan, hosting workshops and holding focus groups, all in a collaborative effort to seek a united direction for our movement that is aligned with our vision and inspired by God.
Our territorial mission reminds us of why we exist. Our territorial vision looks forward, showing us where we are heading. Our territorial values demonstrate what we look like when we show up in the world. The purpose of our territorial strategy is to guide us toward our vision; it tells us how we will get there.
Journey of Transformation
The Canada and Bermuda Territory is on a journey of transformation. Through initiatives such as 100 Days of Unceasing Prayer and Shared Scripture, Together in Vision and Learning the Vision, we have engaged in dialogue around what it means to stand up as a vast army (see Ezekiel 37:10).
Based on focus group input from internal and external stakeholders, workshop discussions with Salvation Army leadership and a consideration of the existing seven strategic priorities, we began developing a territorial strategy in late 2020 that would align with our territorial vision—a strategic plan that would provide a road map for our success.
Our territorial strategy will include four strategic pillars, each with several strategic objectives. Under each strategic objective will be actionable strategic initiatives that bring the pillars to life. Any strategy should be a living, breathing thing, reviewed regularly to ensure that we are on track. Our territorial strategy will run until March 2025, when the next major iteration will be developed. Before then, though, many of the strategic initiatives will be complete, and others will be added when needed.
The four pillars of our new territorial strategy will focus on:
Strengthen Spiritual Health—by intentionally looking at what we can do to ensure that our ministries and communities are places of spiritual vibrancy.
Design for People—by creating people-centred processes and ensuring that we are a place driven by Christian love that enables us to be a strong, sustainable, growing movement.
Forge Stronger Partnerships—by building on and harnessing the strength of our internal and external partnerships.
Optimize Mission Impact—by better understanding how and where we can have the most impact.
These areas of focus will guide our ministry in Canada and Bermuda in the coming years. Our territorial strategy should stretch us to envision our Army at its best—living our vision and fulfilling our mission. It needs to promote consistent messaging and guide our actions. More than that, our strategy will challenge teams and individuals to think about how they can live and lead our vision forward.
Beginning in September 2020, the Territorial Executive Committee, comprised of a group of representative Salvation Army leaders, began discussing how our Army would achieve its vision.
In February and March 2021, 12 focus groups comprised of internal and external stakeholders were engaged to contribute to the development of strategy. This included contributing their thoughts on the opportunities before us and the challenges we are facing, then reviewing and providing feedback on the draft territorial strategy, on what might be missing and what resonated with them. The conversations were highly engaging, rigorous and candid, and provided further input to the draft. This helped strengthen a final version of the territorial strategy, which was approved by the Governing Council of The Salvation Army in May.
With officers, corps leaders, employees in social services, area commanders, territorial and divisional staff, external partners and friends of The Salvation Army contributing to and speaking into the development of our territorial strategy, it was truly a collaborative effort.
Asked to reflect on her contributions to the strategy development process, Major Lee-Ann van Duinen, corps officer at Guelph Citadel, Ont., says: “One word summarizes my experience: hope. Hope that the things that need to be changed will change, hope that builds into our communities in a purposeful and dignified manner and hope that a fresh approach to ministry will deepen our ability to partner with God in bringing reconciliation and redemption to earth, a place he profoundly values and loves.”
Living the Vision
Our strategic plan is more than a list of priorities; it will set a course of action for our movement. It is inherently collaborative, as it was made by those connected to our Army, for those connected to our Army. If our territorial vision is the end goal, the strategy will make clear the focus of The Salvation Army in Canada and Bermuda, inviting all who live out the mission to take part.
“It is exciting to be preparing for the launch of a strategy that will guide us in the realization of our vision,” says Commissioner Floyd Tidd, territorial commander. “I am appreciative of the contributions of all who were involved in the development of our strategic plan and all who will help drive it forward. Most of all, I am inspired by God who continues to direct our Army, making a way for all to know and share the love of Jesus.”
There will be a lot to unpack within each of the strategic pillars. Following its release in the summer months, you can expect a further breakdown of our territorial strategy, beginning in the September issue of Salvationist, as we dig deeper into each of the four strategic pillars and consider what this means for our movement in Canada and Bermuda. While different parts of the strategy will impact parts of our movement differently, it will help all those working in our ministries to better understand what part they can play and how they might contribute to the implementation of our strategy wherever they are, by strengthening our spiritual health, optimizing our mission impact, being people-focused and building innovative partnerships.
The futuristic, I-just-woke-up-in-2030 lens also begs us to ask, “What new possibilities did we see? What opportunities did we seize? What barriers did we overcome?” These are all questions of strategy. Asking them is how we landed on our strategy. Using our strategy as a road map is how we will see our vision come to life.
Keep in touch with Mobilize 2.0 through the monthly Rally Call newsletter as our territorial transformation journey continues to unfold. Learn more at mobilize2.ca.
Illustration: nazarkru/iStock via Getty Images Plus
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On Tuesday, July 6, 2021, thomas lush said:
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