September 30, 2022
International leaders gathered on Tuesday, September 27, 2022 to reflect on “Our People”. The day included a careful examination of Salvation Army cadet training, the importance of middle leadership development, the role of employees in the Salvation Army mission and an exploration of the place and meaning of “Pact”.
In a filmed presentation, Lt. Col. Bishow Samhika focused on fundamental questions regarding how the Salvation Army trains its officers to prepare them for global deployment. He asked, “How do we ensure that officers receive equal training?”
Leaders focused on the political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental influences that can impact the military. Lt. Col. Samhika said, “The changes taking place in our world today create even more needs for the Salvation Army ministry and the officers we train must be fully equipped with the skills necessary to operate. in the world.
Stressing the need for officers to be well trained and ready to serve in a complex world, he said: “Officers need skills and knowledge about the world we live in… cadets need to have a heart for God, being aware of human rights and knowing how to be contextually relevant.
Noting that training opportunities vary in different parts of the world, Lt. Col. Samhika stressed the need for a flexible approach to training with increased use of technology. He suggested the military could consider deploying “exchange cadets” ready to serve around the world.
Delegates broke into small groups to consider three questions: How do we train cadets for global deployment? How to provide more equitable training? And what will leadership do to promote cultural assimilation?
Following breakout sessions, Lt. Col. Anne-Florence Tursi addressed the specific needs of “middle leadership”. Based on the assumption that effective leaders build the capabilities of their organizations to ensure continuous growth and innovation, “middle leaders” are those considered “closer to the action” with the ability to become future leaders.
Since officers should display a godly character, other attributes (rather than skills and competencies) deemed essential for future leaders include: the ability to think and act systematically, resilience, good communication skills , the ability to exert influence, a learn agility, self-awareness and courage.
The leaders broke into another breakout session to discuss several questions such as: How to fairly invest in potential future leaders? What are the risks and benefits of having both the Territory Commander and Chief Secretary roles performed by nationals? What mechanisms should we put in place for accountability and support?
Examining the role of employees in the mission of the Salvation Army, Lt. Col. Tursi defined three groups; employees who are Salvationists, Christians who work for the Salvation Army and finally “people of good will” who, although not sharing Christian beliefs, are in sympathy with the mission and objectives of the Salvation Army. Hi. The military employs professionals in certain roles because specialist skills are needed, for example in social work, medical practice and education.
Lt. Col. Tursi said, “We must carefully consider the opportunities and risks of employing people who are not members of our church or who are not religious at all, especially in sensitive areas,” challenging leaders to consider the impact this has on the mission of The Salvation Army. She continued, “As the Army has grown beyond its ability to provide spiritual direction to all of its church ministry and social work, it will need to find ways to safeguard what is essential: the identity, mission and spirituality of this great movement. But he will also have to find ways to give a real sense of belonging to all who work alongside our officers. She continued: “Employees need the best possible orientation to Salvation Army values, while officers need the best possible opportunities to develop the skills necessary to keep our mission at the heart of everything we do. do.”
In subsequent plenary sessions, leaders considered a number of questions: Are there appointments that should be for officers only? What do you think of situations where “the shield outside the building” is the only distinguishing feature? And how can we give employees a sense of belonging, without affecting officer morale and devaluing their ministry and service?
The fourth and final session of the day addressed the issue of the Salvation Army pact. Lt. Col. Tursi said, “Covenant is one of the most important theological ideas in the Bible and it is a word that implies ‘promise’ or ‘covenant’. Initiated by God, his part of the commitment is to care for and protect his people, while his part is to serve God’s special purposes in human history.
Lieutenant-Colonel Tursi concluded: “Many agree that without the pledges signed by our members and officers, we would lose an essential element of the movement. The covenant sets us apart from other churches and keeps us focused on evangelism, holiness, and service. If we are to remain true to our calling as the Salvation Army, we must shamelessly promote the agreed-upon lifestyle that will keep us individually and collectively “on track”.
Delegates considered some final questions before the end of the session, including: What are the steps to strengthen covenant commitment rooted in biblical understanding? And how can we address the tension between uncovenanted service and covenanted service?
These and other questions will be reported on and revisited later in the week.
Tags: South Pacific and East Asia, Africa, Europe, Americas and Caribbean, International Leaders Conference 2022, South Asia, The General, News