‘All For Jesus’: Southern Territory Launches New Priorities
By: Kristin Mudge
The USA Southern Territory is excited to announce our new territorial priorities. Under the umbrella of “All for Jesus” and encompassed by a previous territorial mission statement crafted under the leadership of Commissioner Phil Needham, the main focus points are love, serve, and disciple. The three main categories include additional subcategories that dig even deeper into our areas of ministry.
Commissioner Kelly Igleheart tells us this comes after several years of discussion, research, and evaluating the “why” of The Salvation Army. Focus groups of officers, TSINC (Territorial Soldiers Ideas, Needs and Concerns), TEC (Territorial Executive Committee) and many other groups worked diligently to define our “why”.
“We gathered all of the data and narratives at our home, and what emerged became the basis of the priorities.”
A total of 10 commonalities have been identified: evangelism, community engagement, biblical justice, recruitment, youth, mission integration and development, prayer, discipleship, leadership development, and holiness.
“Our officers in the field, our soldiers in the field are already busy people. They’re already doing amazing things. So how can we take this new information and synchronize it or marry it to what they’re already doing so that we’re not asking the field to do more things? How can we impact and resource what they’re already doing, coupled with what other groups have identified as things that we need to do?”
Commissioners Igleheart found structure in the territorial mission statement: The salvationists of the Southern Territory are answering God’s call to make radical followers of Jesus Christ who LOVE inclusively, SERVE helpfully, and DISCIPLE effectively in the communities where they live. “We love people, serve them, disciple. And I think it’s a good model. How can you disciple somebody if they don’t know that you love them? How can you really talk to somebody about Christ if you don’t first serve them? It’s William Booth 101.”
Commissioner Kelly explains that the next step is determining what resources are already available for each area of ministry. “We’re marshaling those into these categories where they naturally fit already, so that at any one point if somebody wanted to deal with community engagement, they would know where to go to find information on community engagement … We’re going to generate these resources that will help you create perhaps new energy or new purpose.”
“We recognize that every corps is already on a journey with all these priorities, some at different stages. And, of course, every corps has slightly different needs. They may need to reinvigorate their youth; they may be fine there. They might need to do something different with discipleship, or they might need help there.”
Every year the territory will focus on one of the three main priorities, providing additional resources and information for that specific area of ministry. This year’s focus will be “DISCIPLE.”
These priorities are not just for the corps; they are for every soldier, officer, employee, and advisory board member as well. “An army is made up of soldiers, our Army too. And so, if it’s not personal, it’s not going to be effective to begin with.”
Commissioner Kelly says they anticipate, first and foremost, the growth of the Kingdom through this initiative. “’All for Jesus’ is really the umbrella of everything that we do. It’s the true north of what our purposes are … to glorify Him, to build the Kingdom of God, to bring The Army closer to Christ and Christ’s values. And our dual mission of serving humanity.” They expect that by focusing in and highlighting different areas of ministry every year the territory will see new energy and revitalization in our corps and communities.
“The territory has been waiting for some direction. We know why. Now we need to do.”