Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Territorial attitudes

I've written before on a number of occasions about the value that I see in partnerships. The opposing attitude is a territorial (small t!) perspective that focuses on defending one's own patch. Whilst we would like everyone to feel a sense of ownership about their own part of The Salvation Army, this is not the same as 'owning' it. Concerns about power and control must often be submitted to the discipline of power-sharing and humility.


Anonymous said...


I agree with you wholeheartedly on this one, we ministered for several years in an area where things could have been so great if it werent for the "territorial" attitudes held by people. In a community we should all be working as one Salvation Army not several fragmented branches. What a powerful influence we could be on our communities if we all pulled our heads in and worked together to achieve the one purpose...

We found that much of the territorial attitudes however came from above not at ground level as all at ground level co-operated so what needs to happen here?????

I long for the day when we can be connected and work well together.

Blessings to you

JDK said...

Thanks for your comment. I think the basic question that needs to be asked more often is "What does it mean for us to be The Salvation Army in this area?". In most places, this must mean more than just the Corps and should reach at least a 5km area - probably 10km - in regional areas much more than that.

There may be follow up questions like "What does it mean for us to be part of the social service system in this area?" or "What does it mean to be one of many faith expressions in this area?" - all are important questions that should prompt serious consideration about how we work together.

Interestingly, my experience has been that if it works on the ground level, there's rarely a problem elsewhere. Hopefully that will spread...