Four ways to reach your community

by Lt. Joseph Irvine


  1. Wear your heart on your sleeve and your uniform!

Wearing your uniform can open doors. If people aren’t familiar with The Salvation Army, then it can be eye-catching, and it may even cause them to strike up a conversation with you. If people are familiar with it, then knowing you’re a part of The Salvation Army can show a connection that might otherwise be missed and extend a comfort level that otherwise might not be there.


  1. Build relationships in every sphere of your influence.

Make sure you’re extending yourself to all of these groups. Don’t just focus on your congregation only. These other areas are opportunities to bridge people into becoming soldiers in our Army! For instance, the Beatrice, Neb., Salvation Army is multifaceted. There is the church congregation, social service clients, thrift store employees, thrift store patrons, volunteers, Advisory Board members and an Alcoholics Anonymous group that meets regularly in our building. This is just a small list of people who I may come in contact any given day.


  1. Keep an eye out for opportunities outside the corps.

Within the routines of daily life we have opportunities to reach people we come into contact with outside of The Salvation Army—your children’s school, PTA meetings, kids’ athletic events or clubs outside of the corps. In the daily routines as we come into contact with people in these environments, they may be more open to learning about The Salvation Army or hearing the gospel. Be aware of these opportunities.


  1. Don’t forget your programs.

The corps isn’t only open on Sunday. During the week there are character-building programs, women’s ministries and men’s ministries—just to name a few! These are opportunities to introduce people to the church and, ultimately, to Christ. If you have a gym or other drop-in program, even better! Make sure these people in each of these groups receive regular communication about other opportunities in The Salvation Army.


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