Money & Mission

Volume VII, Issue 7 - January 4, 2017

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Editorial: Understanding Administration as Ministry in 2017

By Lt. Colonel Neil Watt



Ministry is defined as "the work or vocation of a minister of religion". Much of my vocation as an officer just happened to be in administration. For me business administration was all- encompassing and took all my mental, emotional and spiritual capacities. I always felt the responsibilities given me by The Salvation Army required the same dedication as ministering to a congregation. I did not have a pulpit or congregation, but I did have departments and department heads that I had responsibility for. They were my congregation, they were my people.

For some, the idea that business and spirituality can co-exist might be far-fetched, but our founding leaders did not think it strange at all. In fact, Mrs. General Florence Booth said, "True Salvationism demands business methods." In other words, our faith requires us to use the best business methodology to support and enhance our mission. Indeed, our business methodology requires our best faith principles. In the Army we segregate business and spirituality at our peril.

The business arena can be fertile sacred ground where the grind of daily necessity can meet the spiritual reality of true Christlikeness. Of course, it is easy for us to separate our faith from other aspects of our life, but our mission cannot have one without the other.

Commissioner Robert Watson said in his book, Leadership Secrets of The Salvation Army, "We cannot be one person at work, another with friends and family, yet another in our relationship with God."

I recently participated, with the staff of Booth University College, in developing the capstone course for the College’s Certificate in Not-for-Profit Management. I was able to use the theme, "Administration as Ministry" as foundational to our time together with the students. It was gratifying to hear their affirming reaction and response. For example, see Captain Brushett’s article “Business Methods vs. Ministry Essentials” in this issue.


May those of us with administrative responsibilities resolve to make them a true ministry in 2017.

"And God hath set some in the church......administrators.." (1 Corinthians 12:28 - 21st Century KJ Version)

Business Methods vs. Ministry Essentials

By Captain Tony Brushett, Assistant Executive Director of the Ottawa Booth Centre, and Director of Ottawa Correctional & Justice Services.


I am pleased to share my views on the differences between the business world and the not-for-profit (NFP) world. Having come from the business world at age 43, I quickly learned that the NFP world, or at least the TSA side of that world, operated differently.


This was reinforced when I took the Not-for-Profit Management Certificate at Booth University College, which includes four on-line courses: 1. Human Resources, 2. Program Design and Management, 3. Financial Management, 4. Strategic Planning and Leadership. In addition, there is a “capstone course”, which gets the students together with the instructors on three occasions, in Winnipeg.


Four specific points of learning from the Certificate come to mind:


  • When you are working on anything new in your ministry - a new program, building or anything else - ALWAYS look through the missional lens first. Otherwise one can get caught in the trap of approving projects that make financial sense, but do not further the Army’s mission.


  • Whereas in the business world many situations are governed by a “dog eat dog” mentality, in TSA’s version of the NFP world, it is more about doing the most good, with the resources available, without hurting others.


  • Learn to understand the difference between what you think is right and what is actually right. In business I often did what I thought was needed, without checking to see whom I had trampled, or what the consequences were. In the NFP certificate I quickly learned that there are reasons for taking what may seem like an overly cautious way of resolving issues.


  • Most importantly, something that stuck in my mind and heart was Colonel Watt’s phrase “Understanding Administration as Ministry”. I was initially skeptical about going into the administrative side of TSA after leaving the business world with a goal of ‘saving souls’. But as I matured I began to see clearly that what I now do in my roles in Ottawa has a huge impact on the Army’s front-line mission and ministry workers.


Needless to say, I can strongly recommend the College’s NFP Certificate for those with significant administrative responsibilities.

Key Dates 2017

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Who’s Who: Lt. Colonel Fred Waters

The new territorial secretary for business administration for Canada & Bermuda is Lt. Colonel Fred Waters. Fred was raised by officer-parents and became an officer himself, along with his wife, Wendy, in 1983. Since then he has held a number of different appointments, as a corps officer, including Ottawa Citadel and Calgary Glenmore Temple, as a divisional youth secretary in the then Ontario South Division, and as both area and divisional commander (Alberta & Northern Territories). At THQ, he has held assignments as secretary for candidates, corps ministries secretary and, since September 2015, as secretary for program.


When he assumes office as the secretary for business administration, effective January 1, 2017, Lt. Colonel Waters becomes treasurer and a member of the Governing Council, and will give oversight to the Army's business group, including finance, information technology, property management, legal services, world missions, supplies and purchasing, National Recycling Operations and Jackson's Point Conference Centre.

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Money & Mission Editorial Team

Managing Editor:

Alister Mason
Senior Editor:

Paul Goodyear
Design Editor & Production Manager:
Angela Robertson
French Translator:

The Salvation Army Translation Department