On Sunday, January 11, 2015 we launched our strategic initiative "Stepping Stones".
Become a Prayer Partner with us as we seek God's direction for Mountain Citadel.
The Salvation Army Mountain Citadel Corp
Forward Planning Workshop
September 13, 2014
2nd Draft Report
A representative group was invited to join with the Mountain Citadel Corps Officers and Mission Board to engage in forward planning under the facilitation of Col. Bob Ward (for list of participants, see Appendix A). The purpose was to give "focus and direction" to the leaders and programs of the corps. In preparation, the participants had been supplied with copies of the Divisional and Hamilton area strategic plans, census details on the community in which Mountain Citadel is located, the Mission Statement of the corps as well as details from the most recent corps review.
After welcoming them, Col. Bob presented a meditation based on Joshua 7:1-25 referring to the defeat of the swarm of Midianites by 300 Israelites under the leadership of Joshua. The victory did not depend on numbers, or even the skills of the 300, but on a small group of prepared, committed Israelites depending on God. All were given an opportunity to participate and share in the victory, but it had to start somewhere, with direction from and obedience to God. He then prayed God's blessing on the workshop and its participants.
2. What would make this a good day?
To begin the process, the facilitator asked the members what would make this "a good day", worthwhile their participating in. Their responses included:
3. Why do you attend Mountain Citadel?
- Achieving a vision of Jesus as Lord and Savior.
- Becoming a bigger "Body".
- Greater cohesion.
- Learning how to engage/involve.
- Learning "where are we?".
- Getting us back to the Word, experiencing repentance.
- Engaging community.
- Personal evangelism.
- Exploring financial options (helping develop) financial stability.
They were then asked why they attended the corps. Responses included reasons of family, inspiration, the music (band, praise and worship), friends attending, location, fellowship, finding a welcome, sense of obligation, praising and worshipping with fellow believers, knowing people there, believing in the potential of the corps, people counting on us (feeling needed) and tradition.
4. Team Building Exercise
The participants were divided into four teams for the duration of the workshop. They were distinguished by the color of their respective marker pen - a Green, Blue, Teal or Red Team. Each was asked to come to an agreement as to what sort of a vehicle they would say best represents Mountain Citadel, and draw it on the paper provided. Each team then presented their results, explaining their choice.
The drawings stimulated considerable discussion, elucidating interesting insights. Their drawings can be found in Appendix F.
- Blue Team drew a raft, capable of staying afloat, but not able to move much, and a pink stripe on the sail to indicate the presence of some strong women leadership.
- Red Team drew a hot air balloon, fired by the Holy Spirit, people inside the gondola and outside, and holes in the fabric so losing some of its energy and power.
- Teal Team drew a wagon filled with people, with square wheels making a bumpy ride, and waiting for a horse or tractor to start pulling it.
- Green Team drew a train on a set of tracks, with Christ as the engineer, the leaders in the engine, box cars representing programs and activities, fellowship in the caboose,
and an empty box car carrying those who were only along for the ride.
5. Our Corps!
There may or may not have been complete agreement around each table in the drawing of the vehicle and the conclusions they represented. As a result, each individual was given the opportunity to list words that come to mind when they think of the corps. They were asked to write those words down on a Post-It and then place it on the flip chart provided. In summing up the results, the strongest indication was that the corps was friendly, welcoming and supportive. However, there was also a feeling that the corps seemed complacent and unfocussed. (The complete list is found in Appendix B.)
6. Reference to the Readings
Before considering the issues, the facilitator referred to the preparatory readings sent out. People observed that our community has a considerable number of youth and children, that there are a number of poverty pockets. The corps review indicated a general downward trend in attendances. The divisional plan was seen as helpful in terms of values and priorities, but participants expressed disappointment that they didn't provide more specific goals or objectives that might have been helpful to the process.
In keeping with some of the references already in the workshop, the facilitator showed a lovely picture of a young lady sitting in the middle of a wooden bridge. This was followed up by a quote from Will Rogers, who said "Even when we are on the right track, if we sit down we will get run over!" How do we keep ourselves moving forward and not sitting down because we feel we are good enough? In response, the four teams were each given the opportunity to discuss what the members felt to be the important, urgent priorities for the corps. Each reported back, from which the following list was compiled (in alphabetical order: communication, discipleship, evangelism, intentional prayer, leadership, men's ministries, outreach, renewal and revival, stewardship and youth/young adults. No further issues were identified in the subsequent discussion. (See Appendix C) In order to reduce this list to a more manageable size, but more important to identify the priorities from the whole group, each team was challenged to review this list, determine what were their greatest four priorities, and place them in order of importance. They reported back, with a score of 4 given to the most important, 3 to the 2nd, 2 to the 3rd and 1 point given to the 4th in each group. (For the total results, see Appendix D)
8. Four Priorities for Mountain Citadel
The resulting top four priorities were identified as:
9. Action Plans for Four Priorities
- Intentional Prayer
- Renewal and Revival
The group recognized that it was not in a position to prescribe the activity of the various programs and ministries. However, having identified priorities, it would help them to be provided with some basic principles and suggestions from which to work. Each team was assigned one priority and asked to reflect on where the team thought we currently stood, where we thought we would like to be, and then establish basic principles to inform action plans. They came up with the following results:
Intentional Prayer10. Way Forward
If the life of the corps is to be changed, intentional prayer is required, seeking God, making ourselves available to what God has to say, actively listening so God's word can be lived out in us. We come together corporately, but also as individuals for times of prayer. During these times of prayer, we remember to offer praise, adoration, thanksgiving with confession and supplication to claim the promises of God for our family, church and the world. If successful, we will see obedience and changed lives- leaders, finances, evangelism, using gifts will be in evidence. We will want and be able to engage with the community. The life of our people (including youth/young adults and men) will grow and mature.
There are significant gaps in the leadership team of the corps that thwart the potential of the some of the corps ministries. Good communication among the leaders was required with the purpose of encouraging, training, mental and spiritual renewing. The team should meet semi-annually and a leadership retreat would help. A system of training should be set up, which could be part of the retreat, but also training in program leadership, including care and sensitivity skills. Mentoring would be part of the training and support and would benefit assistant leaders especially. Finally we should (formally) identify which ministries have leadership gaps. If we get the leadership factor right, the corps will be spiritually mature, that all ministries would have (competent) leaders and assistant leaders to apprentice (and support). The ministries would then thrive and be mission(al) focused
Revival and Renewal
This is needed to lift the corps above the tendency to complacency and give it new energy and vision. In order for this to occur, we need to recognize the need of the Holy Spirit in our lives/congregation, humble ourselves before God and focus more intentionally on the work of the Holy Spirit. Finally a greater and obedience to the Word is required. If successfully revived and renewed by God, we would observe a Spirit-inspired, Spirit-filled, Spirit-directed Church (congregation). The fruit of the Spirit would be evident corporately and personally.
Stewardship (tithes and talents)
The team felt the corps was struggling financially, a number of good tithers had either moved, been promoted to Glory or lost their jobs. Giving was not a priority with many and complacency had set in over time. The team felt communication with the congregation was required, financial information, awareness of the needs of the corps, what to various programs provide financially to the corps, testimonies from people of how God has blessed them because of their tithing and talents. While tithing and the provision of financial information was important, the team also noted that we are accountable to God for the use of our talents and time as well, including the contribution to the Body of our spiritual gifts. Finally, we need to be obedient to God's Word, that our finances most be consistent with Biblical principles. Strong financial support would help the corps move forward and having leadership support would increase attendance and along with it, giving.
In the relatively short time, considerable progress had been made. However, for purposes of communication, moving the process forward and holding ourselves and the Mission Board accountable, a small task group seemed in order. One representative from each team made themselves available for the team as well as a chairperson. The facilitator committed to writing up the report of the day in draft form and circulating it to the members within a week. Once signed off, the task group and the officers will meet to determine a strategy for unpacking the plan. The facilitator offered to continue to advise and support the task group throughout their work, an offer gratefully accepted. (see Appendix E for each listing.)
Colonel Ward thanked them for their commitment and participation in the day, congratulating them on achieving consensus on the corps priorities. He felt they had made good progress and offered to continue in an advisory capacity to the task group. The day then closed with a time of prayer.