LEARNING FROM LOCAL OFFICERS
Corps Sergeant-Major (CSM) Fred Jeffery poses with his son Cadet Rob Jeffery during a recent visit to the CFOT. What originally started as a family visit turned into a training opportunity when Field Officer, Captain Rick Zelinsky found out about Fred’s 36 year-long involvement as a local leader in Westville Corps, Nova Scotia. Recognizing that local officers have a unique perspective on corps ministry, Fred was asked during a Monday morning Field Class to speak to the Witnesses For Christ session on his experiences.Fred spoke to the Cadets on the duties and responsibilities of a CSM, but more generally he talked about the relationship between Corps Officers and lay leaders. “When you enter a corps as the officer,” said Fred, “in most cases you’ll be afforded a level of respect you never would have imagined. Because you’ve dedicated your life in service to The Salvation Army your soldiers and adherents will already think of you as a spiritual leader.” Fred went on to speak about what spiritual leadership should like. “Be servant-leaders,” he said, “but above all be servants; serve and love your people.” He advised Cadets when they begin their corps ministry to make connections with their local leaders – the CSM, the YPSM, the worship leader, or anyone else who leads the people in the corps. These are the people that will assist officers in discerning God’s vision for the corps. The relationship between an officer and local leader is one of mutual support and accountability.
Fred demonstrated his own servant-leadership when he put on a turkey dinner for all the cadets and their children. The dinner was thorougly enjoyed by all and the CSMs visit will not soon be forgotten.