Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Sacred Army System?


We work, work, work in the Salvation Army. We work efficiently and the items that need to be attended to, for the most part, are completed. We're an efficient Army.

But are we an effective Army?

Are we kept busy with lots of paperwork, that when you think about it is a little pointless? Let me give an example. We have to fill in a log book in College to highlight the time we spend in ministry every week, and we need a minimum of ten hours at our assigned corps... Is it too revolutionary to simply ask the Cadet, what they've been doing for the week? "Hi Johnny, what have you been doing this week?" "Umm... on Wednesday I went and helped out at a breaky club and then I preached on Sunday..." "Great stuff Johnny, talk to you later" Too revolutionary? Less controlling? Who knows.

My question today is this... Is anyone an operations manager in the Salvation Army? That is, is anyone stepping back from the process they find themselves in, to look for a better way to do that process? Most organisations are always streamlining their processes to be more effective with less resources and even less personnel. How many officers could we send back into the 'ministry field' if we looked intentently at quickening decision making, reducing paperwork, empowering leaders to make decisions, etc?

If you're still reading, let me give another example... Here's a radical concept. When I was a candidate wanting to become a cadet, I was sent a document that highlighted '21 steps to becoming a cadet'. I looked through this process and with a few changes I was able to reduce the steps to 16 and quicken the accepting process for cadets by up to eight weeks. How? Simply by having two or more representatives from THQ to be present on the DHQ board, and then following the interview, to make a decision THERE AND THEN about whether to accept the cadet. Then that afternoon, ring them and tell them, yay or nay.

Sounds simple? But maybe our system is too sacred to change? Or is it simply the vehicle we use to be effective, in order that souls would be saved and lives transformed in the name of Jesus?

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