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The new year holds great promise for the direction of the Southern Territory. The territorial mission - 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 - remains the same. However, Commissioners Max and Lennie Feener have envisioned the territory with a fresh focus and new priorities for accomplishing the mission.

Commissioner Feener said the way forward is to "Lift Jesus Higher." This is the focus under which all four territorial priorities will be emphasized. Those priorities, birthed out of the Feeners' experience as corps officers, are "priorities that Lennie and I felt were key to Kingdom and corps growth," he said. They are Effective Prayer, Visitation, Sunday School / Discipleship and Dynamic Worship.

To lead each division in effectively implementing these priorities in every corps, a group of THQ employees and officers, known as T.R.A.I.N (Teach - Resource - Achieve - Inform - Nurture), is being assembled to conduct teaching institutes on the four priorities in each division (See related story). With T.R.A.I.N and institutes as a resource, divisions will be better able to equip corps and, thereby, empower officers and soldiers to extend the Great Commission. The result will be that people are attracted to Jesus as He promised, "And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself" (John 12:32).

 

 

 

 

 

 

...if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 NLT

The Bible makes it clear that effective prayer is vital to the Christian's nourishment, growth and development as an effective soldier of Jesus Christ. The surest way to build God's Kingdom is to seek God's will and His direction. The only way to do that is through a prayer life that is both regular in occurrence and heartfelt in practice. It takes discipline to pray effectively, and God will ultimately reveal what great things He will accomplish as we patiently and faithfully wait to communicate with Him.

Resourcing the Field:

1. Prayer Partners - Calling the territory to prayer, Commissioner Feener will supply prayer topics that fuel the Prayer Partners program, which will be integrated with the existing Prayer Warriors program and will be launched during the 24/7 Prayer Campaign Kickoff in June 2007.

2. TEC-Corps / Divisional Prayer Meetings - Each division is encouraged to conduct regional concerts of prayer. Groups of corps will gather together to launch concerted efforts toward corporate prayer.

3. TEC Hour of Prayer - The Territorial Executive Committee is being challenged to devote one hour of prayer each week for the needs of the territory and divisions.

4. Officer South Prayer Focus / Reports on Answered Prayer - In his newsletter, Commissioner Feener plans to share prayer requests and answers to prayer as they are communicated to him from each division.

5. Southern Spirit Focus on Prayer - The Southern Spirit will regularly feature articles on testimonies of answered prayer and will also print prayer requests from the 24/7 prayer vigil.

6. T.R.A.I.N's Resources - T.R.A.I.N has been established to conduct prayer institutes in divisions so that effective prayer can be taught and practiced.

7. 24/7 Prayer Campaign Kickoff - Beginning with the June 2007 commissioning, the 24/7 Prayer Campaign will be a concerted effort to cover the territory in prayer all day, every day for the June 2007-June 2008 year. Corps, ARCs, DHQs and all territorial institutions will be asked to adopt certain days on which to pray so that the Southern Territory is praying 365 days of the year leading up to the Holiness Congress in 2008.

8. World Evangelization Database - Set up by IHQ, this database is accessible to all Salvation Army personnel in any country connected with Lotus Notes. It communicates up-to-date prayer requests and praise reports from Army entities across the globe.

Other Suggestions:

At the discretion of each corps, additional means of carrying out effective prayer are:

- Intentional tracking of specific prayer requests for the corps body as a whole with a focus on consistency and answered prayer

- Southern Spirit providing monthly book reviews and articles on prayer

- Powerful prayer visuals with written prayers on signs, art work, bulletin boards - anything that is eye-catching

- Prayer meetings that are conducted with simplicity, focusing on prayer only instead of socializing, and that use "praying the Word" topics to focus the meeting

- The Lord's Prayer modern-day application studies

- Corps all-night prayer vigils

- Spending personal time in prayer to enhance your individual prayer life

- Establishing a prayer ministry to challenge others to pray together consistently

- Gathering a leadership team to take time for prayer in leadership meetings

- Inviting soldiers and Christians in your community to pray for corps mission and ministry

- Forming small groups that make prayer a vital part of each meeting

- Praying specifically for each corps event or outreach, and praying for specific people involved in various corps programs

- Creatively praying with fervency and consistency

- Conducting prayer warfare events in urban corps

   

...He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out. When He sets them all out, He leads them and they follow because they are familiar with His voice. John 10:3 (The Message)

The essence of visitation is to leave the confines of our corps buildings to venture into neighborhoods and communities where many live who would not otherwise darken our corps doors. Visitation also fosters the constant shepherding of church members by demonstrating love for them in times of sickness and hardship. It is actually extending the gospel outward to those who need it most. When best used, visitation can be the single most effective tool in growing a church.

Resourcing the Field:

1. Corps Officer Pastoral Visitation / Shepherding - This territorial focus encourages corps officers to re-discover their pastoral responsibility to visit soldiers and members of their corps.

2. Soldier Visitation Program called Feet on the Street - This program, aimed at challenging soldiers to do community outreach, was developed by Major Bette Jo McDonald. The curriculum can be obtained through the Evangelism/Adult Ministries Department.

3. Occasional Worshipers Visitation - Contacting people who irregularly attend the corps can be an effective way for officers and soldiers to conduct visitation.

4. Constituent Families Visitation - Many people come into a corps for services or programs such as a social services need, holiday program or community club. Keeping accurate records on individuals who come to the corps can expand the field of visitation.

5. Seminar Training - These inner-city training seminars will help re-engage corps with their neighborhoods so that outreaches meet the current needs of residents in changing communities.

Other Suggestions:

- Organizing care groups of three to five people allows care group leaders to make a different type of contact with care group members each week.

- Providing opportunities for people to be involved according to their gifts (prayer, telephone calls, soul-winning visits, etc.)

- PIE Night (People in Evangelism): delivering dessert to families and inviting them to the corps or to special events

- Bakers for Men: following up with newcomers by enlisting people to deliver baked goods to them, thanking them for their attendance, answering questions they may have and building friendships

- Grow: rotating visitation into four groups so that each group does visitation one week of the month

- Literature visits: canvassing a neighborhood and distributing door hangers and other information about the corps

- Visitation blitz: contacting a large amount of people in a short amount of time, allowing as many soldiers as possible to be involved in one-time visits

- Seven stations of outreach: prospect visits, absentee visits, letter writing, telephone contacts, prayer, pastoral care and discipleship

 

 

Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Mark 10:14 (KJV)

Study the Book of the Law continually. Meditate on it day and night so you may be sure to obey all that is written in it. Only then will you succeed. Joshua 1:8 (NLT)

Sunday school classes provide structured instruction to Christians of all ages, teaching the vital importance of Scripture to our children, teens and adults in an effort to disciple them in their Christian walk. It is one place where disciples of all ages can be taught the doctrine of holiness, enter into the experience, and be guided in the process of becoming more like Jesus through regular Bible study and personal spiritual accountability.

Resourcing the Field:

1. Sunday School / Discipleship Conference - Special guest Charles Lake of New Church Specialties will be the main speaker for the discipleship track, and organizations such as Word Action and Walk Thru the Bible will conduct seminars on Sunday School at this June 2007 conference.

2. Home Company (SQUADS) - This new format for Sunday school can be conducted in a person's home any day of the week. Using the same curriculum that would be taught in a traditional Sunday school class, SQUADS is being developed by the territorial Youth Department.

3. Cell Based Bible Study - These small groups can meet anywhere to encourage Bible-based discipleship.

4. Sunday School Teacher Day of Renewal - Honors and recognizes Sunday school teachers for their service in discipleship

5. Promotion of Sunday School by Youth Department - The Youth Department will develop materials to draw awareness to Word Action curriculum, including Sunday morning, SonDAYSchool, Alpha and Home Company (SQUADS).

6. Southern Spirit Quarterly Articles - Southern Spirit will feature four articles illustrating Sunday school and discipleship methods, classes and teachers that reflect the territorial mission.

7. Promote Churches at Home - The Multicultural Department will continue to train corps about how to establish this integral growth program.

8. Regular Sunday School Attendance - Corps officers will be instructed to encourage and model the importance of attending Sunday school on a consistent basis.

* All eight of the preceding field resources have the same objectives:

- To be doctrinally sound with materials evaluated regularly and teachers training emphasized

- To be mission driven, thereby effectively demonstrating the mission statement

- To be Salvation Army distinctive, emphasizing the importance of ceremonies, sacraments and uniforms.

  

O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For He is our God. Psalm 95:6-7a (KJV)

Exalt the Lord our God and worship at His footstool; He is holy. Psalm 99:5 (NIV)

As God desires our worship, people have an innate need to worship. Our lives are enriched when we worship, and we are better able to deal with the difficulties and tragedies of life when we connect with God in a meaningful and dynamic exercise of praise, adoration and thanksgiving.

Worship is as central to spiritual health as breathing is vital for our physical existence. Worship is the breath of God, available to us to draw into our soul's lungs for a full measure of Christian growth. We are to be participants as we worship. Worship is not for spectators.

Resourcing the Field:

1. Define and Develop Worship Leaders - As a component of T.R.A.I.N, training institutes will contain a worship track and will be conducted at the divisional level.

2. Development of Corps Worship Committees - Resourced by THQ and T.R.A.I.N team members, corps committees will meet a minimum of once a month to plan themes, special music, drama and Scripture presentations for upcoming services.

3. Planning - Word and Worship study guides will continue to be resources for worship leaders.

4. Preaching for a Verdict - Part of the teaching in the worship institute, this call reminds officers to deliver sermons that enlist listeners to make a committed decision.

5. Music and Gospel Arts - These resources - band and songster publications, worship recordings produced by transMission and the encouragement of drama and dance - will strengthen traditional and alternative ways to present the gospel and worship the Lord.

6. Appeal / Mercy Seat - Officers will gain training about leading prayer and invitation at the conclusion of a service.

7. Holiness Meetings (A Non-Negotiable) - Corps are resourced to conduct weekly holiness meetings, not necessarily on Sundays.

8. Leading Cadet Body in Worship Services - Specific resources will be provided for the cadets' worship enrichment.

       

 

Territorial T.R.A.I.N resources divisions to advance the mission

By Brooke Turbyfill

SOUTHERN SPIRIT STAFF

To make radical disciples, it takes a corporate commitment to "lift Jesus higher" in every division, every corps. It's a joint effort. However, because divisions juggle multiple responsibilities, the joy of the mission can sometimes get shuffled under a heap of tasks and meetings. That's why territorial headquarters has developed a group called T.R.A.I.N - to resource each division with tools that can be passed along to every corps in the territory.

T.R.A.I.N stands for Teach - Resource - Achieve - Inform - Nurture. This group of officers and employees from THQ has developed an institute containing four modules in alignment with the four priorities: Effective Prayer, Visitation, Sunday School/Discipleship and Dynamic Worship. Under each of the four priorities, a list of field resources describes the kind of content that will be discussed in each teaching module. Divisions can request teaching on any one of the modules, or on all four, as part of an already-existing event - such as family camp, officers councils or concerts of prayer. All teaching is provided at no cost to the divisions.

Lt. Colonel Charles White, territorial program secretary, said, "This is one more way to accomplish the mission. Soldiers will be trained; equipped to fulfill the mission; affirmed in their skills, roles and spiritual gifts; and ultimately, multiplied to enroll soldiers to join the Army and the Kingdom."

Each module of teaching can be tailored to fit the time constraints of that divisional event, and the institute is structured so that a division can receive just some of the teaching or all of it. White emphasized the significance that T.R.A.I.N holds for equipping Salvationists in the South. It is not meant to be another add-on, he said, but is to be seen as "a wealth of resources" for discipleship and growth.

White used the analogy of how best to meet the needs of a hungry man - giving him a fish or teaching him to fish. The latter approach is what T.R.A.I.N has been established to do. "What we hope is that each division will develop their own T.R.A.I.N. THQ is available to provide resources for them to go into local corps and teach."

To inquire about a T.R.A.I.N representative coming to your division, contact White at (404) 728-1340.

 






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