An army of great possibilities

This Corps Mission Strategy Workshop is a historic moment for The Salvation Army. We are coming “Together With One Accord” to agree on what our key beliefs are, and how to reinforce those beliefs.

I personally believe that the two most critical aspects of who we are as The Salvation Army is to be united in our identity, and united in our purpose.

Who are we? Why do we exist?

We are an army, and we exist to bring the glory of God and salvation to this world. If those are the fundamentals behind what we do, they must be the basis of every decision we make. When every person is united in purpose, that’s when we can actively pursue God’s answer. The legacy of Salvationists from our past should inspire Salvationists today to help create a foundation for Salvationists who will live in the future. May we apply to every situation the same sense of identity and purpose.

This will lead to another Great Awakening, a revival in the Church that will result in a transformed community. We have 329 Salvation Army corps in the USA Eastern Territory. If every one of those corps are united in purpose and mission, they will create a series of awakenings, and something far more impactful. This will come from a disciplined process to revive our churches as we properly disciple people. We will align our heads, hearts, and hands for the same purpose.

Then, we will become active in our communities, and engaged in service activities, as we show others the hope that is found in Jesus Christ. We’ll bring in souls, and disciple them with the skills we ourselves have. As they go out into the community, we will see even more souls saved. That will lead to greater revival and reform.

The Great Awakening will no longer be contained in little pockets of our community, but it will spread beyond them—like fire. History has proven that when such spiritual awakenings happen, they transform society. The USA Eastern Territory is going to play a critical role in awakening America and the world. God is using The Salvation Army to unite churches and communities that are divided.

The future of The Salvation Army is filled with great possibilities. But they are only pipe dreams unless each one of us take seriously what it truly means to be a Salvationist.

—Envoy Steve Bussey

QA with Major Inger Furman, Assistant Secretary for Program, Salvation Army Eastern Territorial Headquarters

What does it mean to be “an Army, united in purpose”?

To be an Army united in purpose is the basic vision for The Salvation Army: to live for the Glory of God, and the salvation of souls into the kingdom of God.

What would a ‘Great Awakening’ look like where you serve?

If you relate the word awakening to coming out of a sleep, we have all been there. We have come through of a period, even before COVID–19, where we’ve lived in doubt or uncertainty. We must find our identity as a people of salvation and called to a holy purpose. We try to accomplish so many things, that our identities and purposes can become blurred. A Great Awakening occurs when we all understand exactly who we are and what we do.

What is your prayer for the future of the USA Eastern Territory?

I pray that the Eastern Territory will remain solidly grounded in the Word of God and empowered by the fire of the Holy Spirit. I pray that we will always seek those people who are lost in darkness, and we will bring them hope and salvation through Jesus Christ.

 Group question: Expecting

As Salvationists, why do you feel it is important to always have an expecting mind?

“It goes back to our hope in the Lord. In Isaiah 43:19, God tells us and shows us how He will do new and even greater things. So, if we just talk to Him and aren’t sure of Him, there will be no power behind our prayers. No fruit will come from that. That’s why we always come to the Lord, waiting and expecting.”

Major Inger Furman

“Expecting helps us to look forward. If we are to be an intentional community that works for the Kingdom of God, we must look back to who we were in the past, look now at who we are in the present, and stand on our toes as we look forward to the future.”

Dr. Roger Green

“We’re in a unique position to look at timeless truths. They are part of our foundation as Christians and our specific Wesleyan background. As God takes those principles, we as The Salvation Army must ask, how do we translate them for the world today? He wants us to use our intellect and our experiences to understand what has worked in the past, but He also wants us to understand the culture and realities that we deal with today. We continue to expect, but we’re also willing to be surprised. We know that God knows what we need right now.”

– Commissioner Mark W. Tillsley

Q&A with Captain Pamela Maynor, associate administrator at The Salvation Army Camden Kroc and Community Center in Camden, N.J.

What does it mean to be “an Army, united in purpose”?

To be united in purpose means to have our feet on the same foundation. Our arms are linked, our eyes are locked, and we are united with the same mind and heart of Christ.

What would a “Great Awakening” look like where you serve?

When I picture “The Great Awakening,” I think of John 15 where it says we must remain in Christ as much as He remains in us. If we part from Him, we can do nothing. We must remain fixed on the Lord with our eyes, hearts, and minds. Today, we are in the roles of our lives, but because of His life working in us, He works through us. Our community is being influenced because of His power and His anointing.

What is your prayer for the future of the USA Eastern Territory?

That we stay connected to His heart and be mobilized by His love. Not out of work or out of chore, but because we love to do so. I pray that we always hold on tight to Jesus and that we stay, not stray.

Group question: Equipping

What do you do when you don’t feel as equipped as you would like to be?

“I like to reach out to mentors in my life who have depth and experience beyond my own. But I also remember that the Lord’s calling doesn’t necessarily depend on whether I am equipped. His presence equips me. If I stray from His presence, I’m never going to be equipped. But when I’m connected to Him, I can claim His power to equip me.”
Captain Pamela Maynor

“When I am not feeling equipped, I realize who I am in Christ. When I walk in the identity of who Jesus calls me to be, rather than who I think I am, I begin to walk fully equipped.”

—Captain Larry Fulmer

“If you go into a task blind, you are heading towards disaster. So, admitting you are unequipped is the first step to equipping yourself. A wise person will take a step back and really think about how to accomplish a job. For me, that involves speaking to someone at Territorial Headquarters or to a corps officer to understand how I can be better trained. I always want to learn and be educated on new ways to serve.”

—Major Sun–Kyung Simpson

Q&A with Envoy Vangerl E. Pegues, corps officer of The Salvation Army Corps Community Center in Troy, N.Y.

What does it mean to be “an Army, united in purpose”?

To be united in purpose means that we’re all striving for the same goal, and we’re all looking for the same outcome.

What would a “Great Awakening” look like where you serve?
A Great Awakening is something that catches on. When you catch it, you get excited about it. After that, it becomes visible in the community. You see it as you walk around and participate in outdoor ministry. After that, you see it grow in other churches in the community. It continues to grow as more people get involved.

What is your prayer for the future of the USA Eastern Territory?

I pray that we focus on making sure that young people understand what God is calling them to do.

Group Question: Engaging

In your community, what do you think is the best way to engage others?

 “Good, exciting worship always engages me personally. When the music runs through me, I can communicate freely. It gives me a sense of freedom to hear powerful worship music.”
—Envoy Vangerl Pegues

“The most important thing about engaging in any community is finding out someone’s story. Ask where they come from, and what makes them happy. What they like and don’t like, and what they think the biggest challenges of their community are. That’s the first way that people realize how much you care about them.”
—Envoy Pat Wood

“In ministry, I like to use the phrase ‘I live.’ It means that I want to walk around the community. I want to see the houses with kids playing in the front yard, and shop where their family shops. I even like to engage in parts of the community that have nothing to do with my ministry, such as the local gardening club. It’s about meeting others where they are, instead of just expecting them to come to you. God is in the world right now, and you see Him every time you engage in your community and connect to people’s hearts.”
—Major Tawny Cowen–Zanders

Q&A with Lieutenant Jacknier Tripari Garcia, Bay Ridge Salvation Army Corps Community Center corps officer in Brooklyn, N.Y.

What does it mean to be “an Army, united in purpose”?

To be united means that we are all in communication with each other. This lets us work together as perfectly as possible.

What would a “Great Awakening” look like where you serve?

A Great Awakening would make each of us be present in our community. This would allow God’s love and the power of the Holy Spirit to make an impact there. During the last few years, a lot of people have grown accustomed to being on their own. This should not be the case. It’s important to show them that we must be available for everyone.

What is your prayer for the future of the USA Eastern Territory?

My prayer is that we continue to position ourselves to do what God places in our hearts, both as The Salvation Army, and as individuals. I pray that none of us will allow circumstances to hinder the plans God has for us.

Group question: Encouraging

Tell me about how your corps works to encourage others.

“Anyone who approaches our door is welcomed and made to feel special and unique. It’s about offering the service they need now, and lifting them up. When they leave, we want them to feel better than when they came to us.”
—Lieutenant Jacknier Tripari Garcia

“I encourage the corps and the ministry to embrace what we have in common, but also to unite through our differences. Our differences do not have to cause separation among us. Instead, we should encourage everyone to learn about our unique cultures and points of view. That brings about unity.”
—Major Madeline Dywer

“Being an example is key to encouraging others. I share my past experiences and what the Lord is doing through me today. When we share what’s inside of us, it’s easy for people to catch on with joy and excitement. The more that happens within us, and we point it out in each other, the more we will see how God works.”
—Major Thomas Hinzman

Q&A with Soldier Robert Jeffery of The Salvation Army corps in Spring Valley, N.Y.

What does it mean to be “an Army, united in purpose”?

To be on the same page about our mission and our identity. This doesn’t mean that we all necessarily do things the same way, but rather through the same source of inspiration.

What would a “Great Awakening” look like where you serve?

At my corps, it would look like more people who are finding their spiritual home here with us. It would involve changes in the community that improve people’s lives.

What is your prayer for the future of the USA Eastern Territory?

That we will always be a territory on the move. I hope and pray that we grow, reach new people, and take the people that already come to us and make them more effective soldiers and leaders, with Jesus’ mission always in their mind.

Group question: Empowering

Who do you believe is a group that The Salvation Army should work to empower more?

“I would say the soldiers at our corps. There are soldiers in all our churches who can take on new levels of responsibility and step up to new roles. They can fill in the gaps in programs that need people and leadership.”

—Soldier Robert Jeffery

 “The young people are the ones who need to catch the fire of Jesus right now. They need to see Him as not just somebody they worship on Sundays or read about in the Bible. Jesus is someone who can change their lives and make them different.”

—Captain Bree Barker

 “Some people say that the youth is the future of The Salvation Army, but that’s not true. They’re the present; they’ve already stepped up to be its leaders. So, we need to empower them most of all so they can understand the true purpose of our church, and work to push it forward.”

—Major Hollie Leonardi