New structure commences!
8 January 2016
I returned to the office today, following a four day retreat in Kangaroo Valley on the South Coast of New South Wales. During my annual retreat I have had time to pray, reflect and listen to God. On returning to the office today, I do so with a new sense of optimism for The Salvation Army in our Territory.
I write to you today to mark the commencement of our new Territorial structure.
One of my favourite phrases is "The Best is yet to Be". It is not something that I came up with but is a battle cry that has been a hallmark of Salvation Army history right back to the days of our founder William Booth.
I am convinced that the best days of The Salvation Army in Australia are ahead of us. We have been privileged to experience wonderful transformation stories throughout the last 150 years and yet when I put my ear to the Word of God I hear the Lord beckoning "Can you see the new thing I am doing? Do you not perceive it?"
You only need to look at a newspaper to realise that so many people around Australia desperately need the love of Jesus. And they desperately need you and me to be his practical servants, his hands and feet, to bring freedom, hope and life where it is needed most.
Friends, we should not view our future with a sense of entitlement. Rather, it's my conviction that the nation of Australia needs a Salvation Army that is healthy, vibrant and growing. It is upon each of us to rise to the challenge and be obedient to the voice of God so that His Army is everything He created it to be.
I long for the day where there is no more injustice, no more poverty and no more suffering but today is not that day and as such there is much work for us to do.
For this new season, the mantra of Forward Together is more important than ever before.
Our Territory is full of passionate, committed and talented people. I ask for your patience and your graciousness over the coming weeks, not only with the leadership team but with all of your colleagues throughout the Territory. There will be things that work well from the outset but no doubt we will also experience challenges as we adjust to a new way of working. This is a time for leaders at all levels throughout the Territory to step forward not only to lead their own ministries but also to be part of shaping an inspiring, encouraging and uplifting culture that makes being part of The Salvation Army Australia Eastern Territory the joyous experience that we all know it can be.
I believe in each of you and in your ability to undertake these challenges with a positive, gracious and collaborative attitude.
To assist you as you adjust to this new structure, we have prepared a web page with a number of useful documents for you. I ask you to familiarise yourself with these documents as they will help you navigate many typical day-to-day issues within the new structure as you lead your ministry, centre or team. You can find this webpage at http://salvos.org.au/forwardtogether/hq-restructure/launch-handbook/
I have also attached for you here this week's Forward Together newsletter to share the latest available information.
Please continue to pray for our leadership team, for the new Divisional teams and for everyone who is impacted by these changes. Most of all, pray that God would continue to raise up workers for the harvest: They are needed now as much as ever.
May God bless you in all your undertakings, for His glory, throughout 2016.
James Condon (Commissioner)
Territorial Commander, Australia Eastern Territory