New Format for Men’s Ministries Awards
By: David Ibata
Good-bye, “Men’s Ministry of the Year.” Hello, “Caliber Award.”
After 34 years, the territorial awards of The Salvation Army Men’s MInistries are going away. Beginning in 2018, each of the more than 300 men’s clubs in the Southern Territory will have an equal shot at recognition.
“Now, every club has an opportunity to win,” said Major Rick Raymer, territorial secretary for Men’s Ministries.
Historically, the prize was determined by a series of essay questions. Divisional winners were selected and forwarded to THQ in Atlanta, where territorial winners and runners-up were chosen. The recipient of the last Men’s Ministry of the Year award, given at the territorial men’s conference in June 2016, was Raleigh, North Carolina.
“Through the years, it’s been like pulling teeth to get (clubs) to fill out the paperwork,” Major Raymer said. “And through the years, the awards seemed to go to the clubs with the best writers. … One club won the award seven different times.”
Going forward, the essay questions are gone, replaced by 13 requirements. How far a club goes in fulfilling each of them will determine which of three Caliber awards it receives.
For example, a club that conducts 26 men’s meetings with one new man over the prior year, and has one man regularly attending Sunday school (other than the corps officer) and one engaged in prison, veterans or door-to-door ministries – to name three of the 13 goals – earns the Ministry of Merit award, designated by the color red.
With 36 men’s meetings, five men at Sunday school and three men in prison ministries, a club moves up to the blue, Ministry of Distinction. At 48 meetings, 10 men at Sunday school and five men in prison ministries, a club attains the gold, Ministry of Honor.
The tool will be filled out annually and sent only to divisional headquarters for awards evaluation. It then will become part of the annual review, presented during breakout sessions at the Command Annual Review. The process will be similar to that of Excellence in Youth Ministry.
“There’s no reason why every club shouldn’t get at least a Ministry of Merit,” Major Raymer said. “Hopefully, this will give us more of a way to see what is happening, spiritually, in the lives of the men in our corps all over the territory.”