Sunday, July 14, 2019

Must be a newcomer - he's looking for the chapel....

Do you ever leave the church parking lot feeling inspired, ready to share the pastor’s evangelistic zeal, only to have it begin to dissipate 10 minutes later? 

When the pastor tried to attract a more modern flock by bringing some variety to his church services, the entire 20- strong choir and organist stormed out of the church in tears overthe 'happy-clappy' service. Whatever the reason for introducing what have been described as "happy-clappy services", the Reverend Jerry Bird is learning the hard way that churchgoers can be a traditional lot.                                                                                                                    Parishioners claim their usual Sunday worship has been pushed aside in favour of a "family" service, involving guitars and tambourines.

"He has been reported by parishioners to the complaints procedure in the Church of England." Many in the congregation are professional people; retired bank managers and doctors and they have been very upset by the vicar's actions. People have left in their droves."

Another said: "It has been one horror after another. The vicar has a style which some people find rather crude. It seems that a stand-off is emerging between the vicar and his congregation."

I was waking up from the soporific effects of the kind of preaching that was one part explanation and 99 parts illustration

I had never heard the sort of thing John Stott did when he preached…. It was riveting. Thrilling. 

Suddenly the meaning of Bible sentences became treasure chests to be opened.
To this day I have zero interest in watching a preacher take his stand on top of the (closed) treasure chest of Bible sentences and eloquently talk about his life or his family or the news or history or culture or movies, or even general theological principles and themes, without opening the chest and showing me the specific jewels in these Bible sentences. Perhaps He Doesn’t Know They Exist?
John Stott turned the words of Bible sentences into windows onto glorious reality by explaining them in clear, compelling, complete, coherent, fresh, silly-free, English sentences. For Stott “all true Christian preaching is expository preaching. .. ”
“Exposition” refers to the content of the sermon (biblical truth) rather than its style (a running commentary). To expound Scripture is to bring out of the text what is there and expose it to view. The expositor [pries] open what appears to be closed, makes plain what is obscure, unravels what is knotted, and unfolds what is tightly packed.” (Between Two Worlds, 125ff)                                                                                                                                 Yes! This is what I was starving for and didn’t even know it. Amazing! Someone is telling me what these sentences mean! Someone is making light shine on these words. It is shining so bright, I can’t sleep in this light! I am waking up from decades of dull dealing with God’s word. 
Thank you. Thank you. I could care less if the pastor tells me any stories. I want to know what God means by these words! And I want to leave the church parking lot feeling inspired because the Bible came alive!





We're here to sip the coffee and groove with the happy clappers...



Saturday, July 13, 2019



I have to admit, I always wondered what this part of Psalm 23 meant. I thought “He anoints my head with oil” was figurative language for God keeping the Psalmist healthy. I never knew this parallel.

Anoint my head with oil......

“Sheep can get their head caught in briers and die trying to get untangled. There are horrid little flies that like to torment sheep by laying eggs in their nostrils which turn into worms and drive the sheep to beat their head against a rock, sometimes to death. 
Their ears and eyes are also susceptible to tormenting insects. So the shepherd anoints their whole head with oil. Then there is peace. That oil forms a barrier of protection against the evil that tries to destroy the sheep. 
Do you have times of mental torment? Do the worrisome thoughts invade your mind over and over? Do you beat your head against a wall trying to stop them? Have you ever asked God to anoint your head with oil? He has an endless supply! His oil protects and makes it possible for you to fix your heart, mind, and eyes on Him today and always! There is peace in the valley! May our good good Father anoint your head with oil today so that your cup overflows with blessings! God is good and He is faithful!!”

Jeni Gregory
Former SA Officer
USA West

Friday, July 12, 2019

SALVATION; as bringing health – physical, mental, social and spiritual – to every person’



Even a casual look at the social conditions in which we arrived in Moscow in 1991, exposed the awful plight in which the country had fallen. Furthermore, it is a condition against which our small band of Salvationists (2 officers) is completely helpless to effect. In spite of Russia’s expectations of a new society in which one is able to bring about peace and prosperity, the hopes remain shattered and torn by the ravages of sin: the demand for power, wealth, political advantages, prestige - locally, nationally, and internationally.                                                                    The Bible speaks of God’s gracious plan to provide a solution to man’s problem, called salvation or soteriology. General Frederick Coutts once observed that ‘William Booth understood the biblical word salvation as bringing health – physical, mental, social and spiritual – to every person’; Salvationists are called to minister to the whole person. And it is to that comprehensive understanding of salvation that Salvation Army mission is dedicated. Hence our emphasis on integrated mission. See next section    
                                                                                                                                 Russia's economy in the 1990 simply imploded with Russia’s economy battered by sanctions and plunging oil prices, pushing the country into financial panic, runaway inflation and a currency meltdown.   





                                                                                                                            It's a desperate move to save Russia's currency that comes at the cost of sacrificing Russia's economy; a classic kind of emerging markets crisis. So even if it "works," things are about to get a lot worse.      
                                                                                                       It's only a small simplification to say that Russia doesn't so much have an economy as it has an oil exporting business that will in time subsidizes everything else. Only a small percentage of their wells are operational. Western capital and equipment resources are desperately needed to turn the economic crisis around,(A second currency collapse and default occurred in 1998 propelling Putin into power the following year, and a stable rouble has been one of the most prized achievements of his rule ever since. The rouble stability has been underwritten by vast currency reserves earned from selling oil and gas.) [1]The USSR's economic mirage, though, became apparent to everybody—none less than their own people, who had to scrounge in empty supermarkets —after oil prices bottomed out in the 1980s. That history is repeating itself now, in the 1990s, just without the Marxism-Leninism.              
In addition, the exchange rates became an obsession for Russians, when hyperinflation after the fall of the Soviet Union wiped out the financial system, destroyed savings and brought the economy to its knees. 


 Exchange kiosks were springing up throughout the capital, in addition to those hole-in-the-walls (zabegalovka - Забегаловка) created in hotels, restaurants and general markets (magazin). 

For many, like ourselves, dependent on support in hard currency and miniscule budgets, it was more practical to change our foreign currency on a daily basis. And, it was common knowledge that the best exchange rates were found on the black market, and that’s where we most often purchased our rubles. The money merchants were easy to spot, especially at tourist sites, Pushkin Square on Gorky street being a favourite. There were two currency exchange kiosks, one on each side of the street, advertising their best rates.                                 

The enigma representing the changing face of Moscow was clearly seen. An exchange kiosk had embedded itself in one of the Stalin era buildings, and next to it,the largest McDonald’s restaurant in the world, had opened its doors only 4 months prior to our arrival.                                         
600 workers were carefully screened, from 35,000 applicants. In the country where the average salary was about 150 rubles per month , a Big “Mak” and milk shake were selling for 5.25 rubles.  ‘That, however, didn’t stop the people from getting their first taste of it. A crowd of more than 5,000 Soviet citizens lined up in Pushkinskaya Square before it even opened and about 30,000 customers passed through the door throughout the whole opening day. It was November and snow swirled across McDonald’s pavement, but the lines just kept growing. “We stood under the melting sun for around eight hours,” photographer Mitya Kushelevic recalled. “That wasn’t so much of a problem as we were used to standing in lines for days just to get our monthly ration of sugar and tea.”                                                                                                                                                     “Once inside we were blown away by the number of young cashiers behind the huge counter, smiling, moving like bees, serving one meal after another. Nothing like our fat old ladies in white gowns sitting in front of empty shelves, pyramids of dusty canned food as window dressing.”      
The drive home was all too familiar – The hunt for benzin began - 


            


[1]Economic Report  The Russian Crisis 1998  September 16, 2013






Thursday, July 11, 2019

-2- Elisabet Liljegren — The Slum’s Colonel




Periodical publication of:
History Fellowship
Autumn 2011


Elisabet Liljegren — The Slum’s Colonel

By: Sven Nilsson, Commissioner (retired)


Part -2- of 2.


Lisa was installed at the War College, which was in the newly built Stockholm Temple, and began her ‘training’ by scrubbing away construction remnant paint stains and cleaning the massive premises.
She was not yet a Salvation Army soldier, but Hanna Ouchterlony saw the spirit and discipline that fashioned the young lady. And a miracle began to form. Lisa received appointments to a number of corps throughout the country, but Hanna Ouchterlony asked her to change her name. There were so many ‘Andersdaughters and Andersson’ that she could not distinguish them all. Lisa adopted the name Elisabet Liljegren. She served, in other locations, and at the corps in Landskrona. And, on Christmas Eve she opened a corps on the island of Ven, located between Sweden and Denmark. The parish priest in Landskrona did everything in his power to counter the efforts of corps officers. The strange thing is that, as the author of this article, more than 100 years subsequent to the persecutions in Landskrona, I came in contact with the vicar’s grandson. He had read in the War Cry about the grandfather's actions against the female officers, and he asked for forgiveness for his grandfather's aggressive opposition.

The young Salvation Army had begun conducting social work and Hedvig Lagercrantz, wife of military officer and nobleman Herman Lagercrantz, became leader of Slum and the Rescue Service. The couple had become Salvation Army soldiers and officers. In 1893, Elisabet Liljegren became an assistant to Hedvig Lagercrantz and then assumed responsibility for the social services when the Lagercrantz couple began their service in India. Sweden was a poor country with many social problems, and the Salvation Army became groundbreaking when it came to saving prostitutes, establish orphanages, summer open air camps, low cost accommodation, shelters and slum programs. Elisabet Liljegren was tireless and self-sacrificing in her work, and many hundred young women became her co-worker as slum sisters. The social standard improved, but state or municipal funds were not made available, so the task was heavy and demanding. Elisabet Liljegren had a trust in God and it appears that He helped her out of many economic shortcomings. Across the country, social institutions were opened and the slum sisters became door openers for The Salvation Army.


It is easy in the present to forget the enormous pioneering work that was carried out. The Colonel of the slums, laboured without any rest and serenity, trusting in God's help, and that combination appeared adequate. I have found, in studying her life's work, she was a demanding leader, but she had heart and understanding that not everyone possessed the necessary strength to respond to every challenge.
Forty-six years old, her health broke down and at the Army's rest home Rönninge she fought her last battle. Alma Petri, who was her closest co-worker, writes in the book "The Slum’s Colonel" that on March 23, 1914 Elisabet Liljegren rose in her sick bed and said: "I have to get up. The horses are coming, and I have to accompany them." Was it the horses from home that brought her to the railway station in 1888, or was it the "horses and chariots of fire” that brought Elijah from the earth to the glory of heaven?

On the northern burial ground in Solna (a Stockholm suburb) there is a large bautasten (upright megalith) where Elisabet Liljegren's name and The Army’s crest are inscribed. But it also includes the words from the slum sisters’ which was paid for by their own meagre means: "Through restless work, unwavering faith, selfless suffering and immense love she won many soulss for her master. "

In the town center in Järma, the home town residents erected a large memorial stone in 1939. As a young musician, I participated and played at this unveiling.


Sven Nilsson
Commissioner (r)

















Wednesday, July 10, 2019



Periodic publication of:
History Fellowship

Autumn 2011

Elisabet Liljegren — The Slum’s Colonel
By: Sven Nilsson, Commissioner (retired)


part 1 of 2-




Life went on as usual. Each day was like the next. Year after year they harvested their fields. Sowed and reaped.. Grieved when the old ones’ time ran out and rejoiced with delight when the children were born. Joys were infrequent and poverty closing in. It had always been this way. You went to church every Sunday, but the priest's words were not always uplifting; there were words of punishment and judgment.

Suddenly the crowds began to stir. Talk was heard about the country in the ‘west’ where gold was found and forests lush and green, and the exit (emigration) began. Industrialization came about step by step. Peasants found work at the sawmills, but the earnings were meager and the labor hard. They gathered widely, in cottages to sing and pray. But the gatherings were deemed illegal; the law stated that a pastor’s presence was required at all devotional fellowships. But they’d learned to read, and the Scriptures were read, and suddenly the Holy Ghost came and lit a fire that spread quickly.

It took place in the small parish of Äppelbo, in the province of Dalarna and, curiously, it was the law's representative who became the spokesman for recounting how God’s grace fell upon them. County Governor Olof Stadig became the leader of the sweeping faith movement and many came to faith. Far from Äppelbo, in a sawmill district in northern Sweden, the Äppelbo born Nol Karis Erik Larsson traded his wares going door to door. He was a peddler whom they also said was a salesman, and sold those products needed in the homes. He had come to Tunadal, outside Sundsvall, almost at the same time as The Salvation Army had arrived there. He was saved and enrolled as a soldier. When he learned about the revival in Äppelbo, he decided to return home. Dressed in his red Army Guernsey he arrived in his hometown. They’d never seen a Salvation Army soldier before. He quickly entered into the revival spirit and became Olof Stadig's associate.

They worked in the spirit of Salvationists, and soon there were 97 people who wanted to become recruits and then soldiers in The Salvation Army. When a corps was officially opened in 1890, the revival continued to spread, and some who went on to become the most influential people of The Salvation Army, became soldiers and officers.

Nol Karis Erik Larsson made his living as a vendor moving among the farms. He came to the neighboring town of Järna and walked among the homes peddling his goods, but he also had the War Cry (SA magazine) in his backpack and sold them together with rubber bands, buttons and underwear. In Järna, he encountered the revival. A man named Nils Jernberg, born in Järna, had moved about the countryside and preached atheism because “there was no God”, he claimed. He traveled to America and in Chicago. God was granted the upper hand and he was ‘saved’. He knew he had to go home to Sweden and tell the people that he had been wrong when he spoke against God. A flaming awakening arose and people were gripped by the Spirit of God. Ternberg's work style resembled the Salvation Army’s. He walked among the villages of Järna with a red tablecloth fixed to the top of a long pole, and people followed him.A young girl was present in one of his meetings (religious service). Her name was Lassa Lisa Andersdotter, and at age 16 ½ she had been designated by the priest in the congregation as a primary teacher in Ilbacken. She was gripped by the Spirit of God and spoke in a men’s cottage meeting from nine o'clock in the evening until three in the morning. It is said that she sang: "Do you love the bride of Christ and praise God greatly."



One day Nol Karis Erik Larsson came to her home, and he he had in his backpack an issue of the War Cry that he sold. Lisa read the newspaper and told her parents that she had to join this strange movement. She had no peace until she made her father harness their horse and drive the 70 kilometers (42 miles) to the nearest railway station, where she could board a train to Stockholm. In the spring of 1888, she arrived in the capital, checked in to a hotel and set off to the National Museum and the Nordic Museum, because, she said: "If I should be accepted in The Salvation Army, I will never find time to visit any museums."

The following day she found her way to the Salvation Army at Östermalmsgatan.

"There she met the English officer Mildred Duff, and made her wish known to join The Salvation Army.

"Are you familiar with The Salvation Army? asked Mildred Duff. "No," replied Lisa. "Do you have any recommendations?" Now what might the English recommendation be?

Yes, put Lisa in direct contact with Hanna Ouchterlony, the leader of the new movement.

Hanna Ouchterlony saw something special in the lass from the rural dales and said; "I believe God has sent you. You will begin on a period of testing…’

Monday, July 8, 2019

Part TWO

AN INTRODUCTION TO CONGREGATIONAL SERVICES MARKETING



Less than one month into the new year, followingGeneral Eva Burrows’ mandate to march; With Christ into the Future,during the 1990  Congress in London, we were invited to Oslo, Norway, and  asked to participate in the "Consultation regarding the Re-Commencement of The Salvation Army's work in the USSR".
‘The meet­ing was presided by the International Secretary for Europe (Commissioner Fullarton) with Commissioner Ord, TC Norway, as chairman. Commissioner Gauntlett (R) and the Territorial Commanders from Sweden (Commissioner Hedberg) and Finland (Colonel Palma­noksa). Administrative questions and others on strategy, programmes, literature, officer train­ing, uniforms, sacraments, constitutions, personnel, allowance, finances, property, furnishings and transport were broadly discussed. As this was a ‘consultation’, no decision was made, but a consensus was reached; ‘corps plants and evangelistic outreach programmes prioritized.’[1]
            A plan for Russia was made, approved by the Territorial Commander, Commissioner John Ord on 5th April 1991, for the: establishment of a SA constitution and registration, securing a building in Lenin­grad, an outline of responsibilities, and a detailed plan for the official re-opening of The Salvation Army in Russia, in July.                                                                                                                                 Lt. Colonel Bjartveit would be responsible for administration, establish­ment (of TSA in Leningrad) and extensions. Captain Sven Ljungholm would serve initially as Bjartveit’s assistant, with the expectation that he and Mrs. Captain Ljungholm would in time move to Moscow to re-found the Army’s work in the capital.                                                                                                                         During the many months in the early1990’s that The Salvation Army from the “west” made regular visits to Leningrad’s City Hall seeking official recognition and registration, Vladimir V. Putin’s political outlook was being shaped by two quite different experiences: his Soviet-era tenure as a KGB spy in Germany, and his later effort, in the 1990s, working as a lawyer in Leningrad’s city government. Putin's experience in Leningrad/St. Petersburg instilled in him the value of assembling a brain trust of advisers to help him flesh out his policies to help the city attract foreign investment. Concurrent with Putin’s formation of a brain trust, Russia lamented a reverse state of affairs, a ’brain drain’.                                                                                                             Our mandate to build a Moscow based army followed 90 days later.      
November 1991                                   

The newly re-foundedMoscow Central Corps (Church)neededto design amarketing/promotional strategy to build relations with the more than 10,000,000 ‘believersand the un-churched residing in the capitalThis was especially true under thecircumstances in which we were contending with other, more well-funded and resourced ‘western’ evangelistic outreach groups,in circumstances where many Russians consider every non-Orthodox religious movement a cult, a notion perpetuated by Russia’s orthodox church itself. Other looming concerns included individual threats to our very presence; The Army’s official ‘registration’ to operate in Moscow had been denied.  And our Russian visas, allowing us to live and work in Russia would expire in a matter of days….  Even the Toyota Van with Армия Спасения (Armiya Spaseniya)  emblazoned across its sides, had license plates ‘advertising’ its illegal status.Kathie and I moved about Moscow openly dressed in full SA uniform, whether by foot, van or public transportation. Any attempt to operate under the radar seemed futile; 6’6” tall, foreign ‘military style’ uniform, rudimentary language skill, and no visa – there was a gulag with my name on it in wintry Siberia!Also of concern, was how to introduce The Army’s mission, and how to bring about its re-founding. (see Chapter??) We knew from experience in Leningrad of the interest our uniforms represented, and the Russian’s interest in our commitment to conduct social work, and their preference when discussing compelling personal motivation often moved to philosophy, and rarely  to religion. Being motivated by religion was foreign to them, and instead, Russians were fascinated by discussion with philosophy as the jump off point, focused on both Russian and western philosophers, and to which I introduced Paul, holding a graduate degree from the University of Tarsus, and several years of Judeo law tutelage under the well-known legal mind, Gamaliel….           What we needed was an eclectic committee of a dozen well educated, and open minded Muscovites, who were willing to explore the leap from ‘compelling interest’ to ‘pursuing a new found faith’. 
                                                                                                                              
THE ENIGMA THAT IT RUSSIA (see chapter 1)                                                                                                        Conflicts in the former Soviet Union (FSU) have often been framed as struggles of emerging national and ethnic identities, territorial disputes, aspirations for self- determination, and the tug-of-war between the former republics’ thirst for sovereignty and Russia’s desire to maintain its “sphere of privileged interests.”1                                                                                                                                                                  Despite the rise of religion as a visible force in the sociopolitical life of post-Soviet countries, how can we know how Salvation Army programming may contribute to ease tensions and promote peace?  
                                                                                                                                           Can a life lived sacramentally impact and move the minds and hearts of those who’ve never encountered a loving Father God?                                                                                                                        Will a hot cup of hearty borscht and dark bread, a Salvationist’s smile and loving caress in the bowels of a Moscow train station move people closer to the Kingdom? 
Traditional to The Salvation Army since its inception: catering to the soul and the spirit can be of little use if the physical and social realities holding people down are not dealt with. That being said, our spiritual mission equips us to make a deeper and more sustainable impact on people's lives than mere provision would achieve.[2]      



[1]Bjartveit, John  Reopening Of Russia  -  1990 – 1992  Responsibility Of The Norwegian Territory (received from Henry Gariepy)
[2]Brekke-Clifton, Birgitte Keynote address at the Programme Resources Consultative Group Conference at William Booth College, London, December 2018


Friday, July 5, 2019

HAPPY FOURTH WITH Gorbachov

         
CHAPTER
 Feisty Move Forward
        
 Few buildings associated with American diplomacy over the past century carry the same resonance as Spaso House, the residence of the U.S. ambassador in Moscow.

         Social and cultural events hosted at the House have played an essential role in easing tensions and maintaining contact between the United States and Russia, even when official relations were strained. As such, the history of Spaso House provides a unique perspective on the diplomatic relationship between the United States and Russia in the 20th century.
         Soon after American diplomats moved to Moscow, Spaso House became the location of many important and highly anticipated social events. On July 4, 1934, the embassy held the first of its annual Independence Day celebrations. event marked the beginning of a long tradition of annual Fourth of July parties at Spaso House, and established the House as a central social site for the American diplomatic community in Moscow.
         Two social events held at Spaso House in the early years achieved legendary status. On the first occasion, during the Christmas season of 1934, Ambassador Bullitt instructed his interpreter, Charles Thayer, to organize – in Thayer’s words – “a real shindig” for all of the American citizens residing in Moscow. 
         We had attended official functions at Spaso House, the official residence of the United States ambassador to Russia, on several occasions, the last being on Thanksgiving Day. It was a particularly memorable occasion because William Booth’s famous telegram was the focus of the sermon presented to the 200 American worshippers gathered there. 
         Kathie and I were, of course, in our Salvation Army uniforms and recognised many of those present, primarily USA consulate and embassy staff. Regular meetings had been initiated between ourselves, the embassy and the Moscow Mayor’s office.  We had begun a series of meetings addressing the social service needs in Moscow and the more general needs across the vast country. Word had been shared that the U.S. government was considering shipping all of the excess Desert Storm war RTEM to aid Russia’s most vulnerable, with TSA the designated recipient.
         More than thirty NGOs were vying for high profile recognition and the guaranteed boost to their coffers. Fortunately, the Army had already earned an enviable role as it relates to favourable status with both the Moscow City  and federal governments. And we were already established as the single recipient of hundreds of thousands of tons of food and other emergency aid by the US Ambassador Robert Strauss (see chapter; food distribution)
 I was asked to play a trombone solo that was followed by the sermon. The Army was the focus of the sermon by Rev, John Milon. It was Christmas Eve, 1911 when General William Booth, the founder of The Salvation Army in London, England was near the end of his life. His health was poor, and he was going to be unable to attend the Army’s annual congress. Booth had become an invalid, and his eyesight was failing him. No one knew that he would not live to see another Christmas.         
         Somebody suggested that General Booth send a telegram or a message to be read at the opening of the Congress as an encouragement to the many soldiers of the Salvation Army that would be in attendance following their exhaustive Christmas programs and the untold hours of labor ministering to several thousand families through the holidays and the cold winter months. Booth agreed to do so.
         Knowing that funds were limited and desiring not to use any more money than necessary so that as much money as possible could be used to help the many people in need, General Booth decided to send a one word message. He searched his mind and reviewed his years of ministry, looking for the one word that would summarize his life, the mission of the Army and encourage the others to continue on.
         When the thousands of Salvationist delegates met, the moderator announced that Booth would not be able to be present because of failing health and eyesight. Gloom and pessimism swept across the floor of the Congress. Then, the moderator announced that Booth had sent a message to be read with the opening of the first session. He opened the telegram and read the one word message: Others!
Signed, General Booth. next official visit was on July 4th, when the Ambassador hosted the annual Independence Day celebration.  On July 4, 1934, the embassy held the first of its annual Independence Day celebrations, an event that established the House as a central social site for the American diplomatic community in Moscow.
         A large number of people were assembled in the gardens as we arrived. Kathie and I had just received our refreshing drinks when I spied the commanding figure of Mikail Gorbachev looking in my direction, perhaps fascinated by the unusual uniform.  if on cue, we moved across the gardens to greet each other. He was exceptionally charming and expressed his delight in knowing that the Salvation Army was ‘finally’ established in both St Petersburg and Moscow. He presented Kathie with his business card and suggested that we call if we ever needed any assistance from his office.  His business card revealed the existence of a large complex; conference centre, private hotel and a charity foundation. 
Kathie was quick to follow up - Many kindnesses were extended to the Army during our Moscow tenure....

Thursday, July 4, 2019

'CORPS RELATIONSHIP MARKETING' part 1.



From: RETURN TO BATTLE Volume II

Description: 220px-CFHHenry

Sven Ljungholm & Kathleen (Ljungholm) Bearcroft

CHAPTER
(CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MARKETING ) 
adapted to:
CORPS RELATIONSHIP MARKETING

1991-93 CRM and the Refounding of The Salvation Army in Moscow, Russia


Billy Graham once remarked, “We are selling the greatest product on earth, belief in God. Why shouldn’t we promote it as effectively as a bar of soap is promoted?"                                                         

Graham’s point is a valid one, and I’m certain most religious leaders wishing to expand their evangelistic outreach would be swift to echo their agreement. However, with more than 1,574 hand soap products being promoted, selecting and settling on just the right type of promotion would be problematic. Is the promotion with the greatest number of professional designing and coordinating the campaign(s) the most effective, offering the most efficient ROI? And can the promotional tools used in selling a product (soap) be proved useful in promoting religious programming (attending worship services)? The answer is a resounding, NO!



Throughout the twentieth century, even the strongest advocates for church promotion would reveal signs of uncertainty and discomfort in efforts to retail religion…. Most of them recognized, in some small degree, that business promotionalism, or at least its reputation, included values and principles that were incongruent with religion. Could they use commercial methods associated with lies, manipulation, and propaganda to promote a product that claimed by its nature to be pure, honest, and beyond the influence of the market. Could they use what many argued were the devil’s tool of deceit to sell God?

Religion related books of the 1940s were confident that religion was of interest to the public, and if ministers could learn how to deliver news about their church in an acceptable form to a local editor, it would make it in the papers. “Each of the experts worked with or for the press in some capacity. They spoke from experience. They believed that the people were interested in reading about religion and that the editors were proud of the churches‟ work in the community.                              

Two men in particular, Carl F.H. Henry and Roland Wolseley, stood out as catalysts in the growth of the field in how to write well and use existing media outlets to familiarize the public with their services. These men centered their instructional guides and their work on helping church staff, particularly ministers, harness the potential of print media in advancing marketing as an integral factor in effecting church growth.           






Throughout the twentieth century, even the strongest advocates for church promotion would reveal signs of uncertainty and discomfort in efforts to retail religion…. Most of them recognized, in some small degree, that business promotionalism, or at least its reputation, included values and principles that were incongruent with religion. Could they use commercial methods associated with lies, manipulation, and propaganda to promote a product that claimed by its nature to be pure, honest, and beyond the influence of the market. Could they use what many argued were the devil’s tool of deceit to sell God?    
       Religion related books of the 1940s were confident that religion was of interest to the public, and if ministers could learn how to deliver news about their church in an acceptable form to a local editor, it would make it in the papers. “Each of the experts worked with or for the press in some capacity. They spoke from experience. They believed that the people were interested in reading about religion and that the editors were proud of the churches‟ work in the community.                                     
Two men in particular, Carl F.H. Henry and Roland Wolseley, stood out as catalysts in the growth of the field in how to write well and use existing media outlets to familiarize the public with their services. These men centered their instructional guides and their work on helping church staff, particularly ministers, harness the potential of print media in advancing marketing as an integral factor in effecting church growth.                                                                                               Carl F.H. Henry, a well-known and well-published theologian, left an indelible mark on Christian journalism in the twentieth century. In 1956, he accepted Billy Graham’s offer to serve as founding editor of the evangelical periodical, Christanity Today.first issue of Christianity Today was mailed October 15, 1956, and the opening editorial, Why 'Christianity Today'?, stated; "Christianity Today has its origin in a deep-felt desire to express historical Christianity to the present generation.
Neglected, slighted, misrepresented—evangelical Christianity needs a clear voice, to speak with conviction and love, and to state its true position and its relevance to the world crisis. A generation has grown up unaware of the basic truths of the Christian faith taught in the Scriptures and expressed in the creeds of the historic evangelical churches.[4]                      Christianity Today, enjoys a weekly readership of nearly 290,000.n his influential role, he set the course for the journal and became an evangelical leader. Yet it was thirteen years prior, while teaching philosophy and religion at Wheaton College, that he first changed the world of religious journalism. He wrote his second book, Successful Church Publicity. the time, Henry was a little known figure in Christianity, but his book established him as an expert on church promotion. Though it included material on all forms of “publicity,” the bulk of it was devoted to instruction in Henry’s field, religious journalism. He believed that churches must invest in journalism. Henry wrote, “Its use is so effective that religious journalism ... is next in importance to the preaching of the Gospel.”                                                                             For Henry, a journalist by trade, much of the success of Christianity depended on effective religious journalism. If churches were to grow and Christianity was to spread, then church promotion must increasingly utilize religious journalism.5                                                                                                                                                                  Working as an interim pastor in Christian ministry, while still a graduate student, the experiences gave him first hand knowledge of the challenges that a pastor faced in increasing church attendance. When he finished his doctorate, instead of remaining in ministry, he began pursuing a second doctorate, a doctorate in philosophy at Boston University, simultaneously teaching at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary. At Northern Baptist, he taught theology and introduced a new subject, religious journalism.                                                                                      The concept of what constitutes marketing has evolved continuously over the years. Adoption of and applying a secular position may appear crass when applied to the effective ‘marketing’ of a religious movement. However, applying marketing principles to evangelism is a proven procedure with decades of empirical evidence. Peter Drucker’s contribution to the discipline is immense.                                                                                    
Peter F. Drucker is widely regarded as one of the 20th century's most influential management theorists. He is generally acknowledged to be the father of the modern marketing management concept.                                                           Drucker’s saw himself foremost as a management specialist, offering a distinct view of marketing as a central management discipline by asserting that: ‘There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer (SA congregant|)’...  any business enterprise has two— and only two—basic functions: marketing and innovation. They are the entrepreneurial functions.  Concern and responsibility for marketing must therefore permeate all areas of the enterprise (organization)      

AN INTRODUCTION