TSMP: The Next Chapter - Survey Results

In September 2009 276 Salvationists and staff responded to a survey seeking feedback on the current goals and their desires for any next plan. The results were overwhelmingly positive. There was a strong sense that we were on the right track; we just needed more time.

For example, 94.3 per cent agreed with the statement “we should have a strategic mission plan for the next five years”; and for each goal, when asked whether to leave them as is, re-word or remove them, more than 90 per cent said leave or re-word each one. As one person commented, “God has blessed this plan and generated a more coordinated focus in The Salvation Army than I have experienced in over 35 years.”

When asked specifically about what goals people would add (or replace), more people re-stated not to add anything, than suggested new areas of focus. Of those offering new areas, the two most popular were evangelism (7 per cent) and leadership (2.5 per cent). To put this in context, remember that 90% of people said that we should keep the existing goals.

Other points of interest included:

  • 88 per cent of respondents do not want us to increase the number of goals.
  • The perceived biggest issue facing The Salvation Army at this time was apathy by Salvationists.
  • There was a feeling, particularly among officers, that introducing targets would make us more interested in numbers than people.

This all paints a rosy picture, but we understand that the TSMP process has been far from perfect. For instance, some survey comments indicate that:

  • The goals are not universally understood or followed in some areas.
  • The goals lack clarity. People are confused about what we mean by a ‘dynamic disciple’ – is this an extravert? How would I know if I was one? What are “all Salvationists”? Without clarity and a way to know if we’re being successful, it has been difficult to report progress.
  • The goals lack a “how to”. How will we grow dynamic disciples? What steps will we take to eradicate poverty …
  • We made a lot of promises, but have not delivered on all of these. We recognise the need to address this.

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