Time to pack.  I’m still using that blue Andiamo duffel I picked up in 1991.  It’s like an old friend.  Dependable and predictable as to what it will allow of me.

Fact is that I was in the Twin Cities last weekend, a good three days with Salvation Army people of our Lakewood Temple Corps located in Maplewood MN.  Leaders who are eager to serve their world, particularly the worlds of urban and young people.  Gail and I presented on these subjects.  Thank you, Christina Tamayo and Majors Jim and Candy Curl for the opportunity.

Now, to the Hilton Minneapolis for this evening’s start of the Christian Community Development Association’s national conference.  I am always inspired by the CCDA conference.  Great speakers in the evening plenary sessions (open to the public).  Local musicians featured, too.  And will the Chicago based band Foster be back?  Hope so.

This year we did not promote conference participation of Salvation Army people via scholarships as we’ve done the past two years.  Next year we hope to do so again.  But I’ll see Andres Villatoro, Envoy Don Lamar and Sharon Barber today.  Also, Arike Mason with two of her young people participating in the National Student Leadership Intensive.  Any other SA folks at CCDA?

I am reading Bob Lupton‘s Toxic Charity which he will present in a workshop I plan to attend.  Excellent book.  Bob’s critique on Salvation Army Kroc Centers:  ouch.  Is he fair?  Is he well-informed?  I feel Bob would know more if he were privy to conversations ongoing between Army leaders.

The Krocs are a story in progress.  Bob’s vision of focusing on outcomes rather than activity (or we could say outputs) is not foreign to all Kroc leadership.  Yes, some are yet primarily output-focused.  But there is a developing sense of focusing our activity for long-term impact in the community.  For instance, at the Grand Rapids MI Kroc led by Major Marc Johnson.  But I will admit that the concept of a focused strategy is often in tension with the Army’s tendency to operate in a general way, for which we often could rightly be taken to task by voices such as Lupton’s.

So, the question may be this:  how will it all turn out?