You’ve heard the story: Bramwell Booth went to his father with the alarming realization that homeless men were living under London Bridge. And in response to this description of the sad lot of these forlorn souls, the Founder told Bramwell:
“Prepare a proposal for Mission Alignment Council. You need to complete a program opening form, complete with Advisory Board and Corps Council Minutes. You’ll need a Program Study that details the demographic makeup of the target population. And be sure to include needs assessment surveys conducted by the local social services council. You’ll need a pro forma operating budget, including letters of support from potential funders. Don’t forget to have any grant applications pre-approved by Legal, as well as any Memoranda of Understanding you want with other service providers. We’ll do our best to process everything expeditiously.”
Of course, that’s not what the Founder told Bramwell. He said, “Do something!” And that compulsion remains part of our Salvationist DNA, even though the Army has become a large organization working in an increasing complex society. Lawsuits, insurance premiums, government regulations, etc., etc., etc. have added a level of complexity that sometimes seems daunting. And it has become the task of DHQ and THQ to attend to these necessary processes of doing business in the modern age while still encouraging the initiative to “do something” to address the needs of our communities.
Truth be told, there are lots of things that any Corps can do — in fact, should do — that don’t require prior HQ approval. And when approval is needed — for a new community service program, e.g. — DHQ is usually eager to make the process as painless as possible. Never hesitate to ask your leaders and their staff for assistance; they are there to encourage “doing the most good” where you serve.
In these uncertain times, The Army’s value on active ministry should encourage us to DO whatever we can to fulfill our mission.
And remember, there are lots of us praying for you and encouraging your efforts.