Monday, September 10, 2007

Uniform

a Jesus thought...
He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire. (Matthew 3:11)

a Godly thought...
We must embody our visions and our values in such a way that people can see the vision in and through our existence. (p156 Frost & Hirsch)

a leading thought...
You cannot lead where you will not go; you cannot teach what you do not know. (p156 Frost & Hirsch)

a Dave thought...
Yesterday at our YP anniversary all our leaders were wearing the latest 2Love t-shirts (available through our web page - $22). But what got my attention more was the fact that so many people want one, yes people want to be be badged with the shield and I was asked on several occasions how they could obtain the latest t.
It was 5 years ago when I was sitting at ACC (Aggressive Christianity Conference) that John Cleary spoke on the reason we have a uniform. He said that there was 3 essentials to the uniform -
1. distinguishable
2. practical
3. affordable.
It was at the conclusion of this conference that I produced white t-shirts for our youth with a massive red shield on them at a cost of $20 each. They were sold out within weeks and ever since then I have been amazed at the popularity of various forms of Salvation Army affordable clothing.
I believe young people are happy to be badged but not uniformed. Our current formal uniform which I wear most days of the week is often mistaken for other professions. I have been mistaken as a pilot , a security guard and again just the other day as a policeman at the local Primary School. It also very formal, maybe designed for indoor use or sitting in offices and is over $400 to buy so keeps many out of the market. It is interesting when we go back to the original purposes of our movement we discover how to make our essentials work once again.
The shield is a symbol people are proud of and happy to wear but lets continue to make it distinguishable, practical and affordable.

Just a thought.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is very real issue. I find the casual uniforms with the new type logo on them fairly useless for they type of ministry we do as they are not easily distinguishable. However we are really stuck with this and maybe those who make the decisions about this do work in office settings etc.

The cost also is a huge barrier to so many people and even to be replaced people are now tending to go out of uniform when they are worn or outgrown becasue the cost is a huge barrier.

OK you are in a prime position to help make change.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you all the way Dave. I wouldn't wear something unless I believed it's culturaly relevant to the people/community I was attempting to reach (and that I liked it's design!). I'm definately not against the traditional uniform, but it's not for me.
bl

Tim Watson said...

As usual, you're spot on Dave! I think we should consider replacing our suit-style uniforms (and the casual uniforms) with cheaper uniforms which feature the Red Shield. This should be considered at the Territorial/National level since if every corps prints their own T-Shirts there wont be much uniformity.

fee said...

i'm on this one with you dave.

i'd wear the shield on anything casual. in my neighbourhood, it helps to keep me safe. (being mistaken for a policewoman, round here, might not be such a good thing)

the shield is such a recongisable logo, we'd be stupid not to take advantage of it.

the more formal uniform - well, i think it has some place. and this is only a new thought for me. i'm just trying to figure out exactly how that looks.

varultz said...

good point dave, i agree that current uniforms are often unsuitable... and a tee or the like would be a lot more practical.

in regard to havign to have them made/designed by thq to create some uniformity, what is so bad with a little diversity? if the rule was 'plain black tee with a big red shield on the front' then does it matter if different dhqs/corps made their own using diferent cuts of tees? i don't think so. plus, then dhqs/corps can add their own community-specific stuff to the sleeve or back, making the shirts relevant to the community where we are working...

just a thought...

;-)

cheers - sye :)