Threshold Ministries, the Saint John, N.B.-based evangelism organization formerly known as the Church Army, has decided to move toward a “missional community” model of organization to open up more avenues of membership, says newly appointed dean of community, Bonnie Hunt.
“We’re looking for an increase in our numbers,” Hunt explained, “and also just to increase the feeling of community amongst our evangelists, that they aren’t lone riders out all on their own.”
In the previous organizational model, people could become members of Threshold only by undergoing formal training to become commissioned evangelists, Hunt explained in an interview with the Anglican Journal. With the new model, there are three other levels of membership involving various levels of commitment.
Those who support the ministry through prayer and giving can become companions, those who work for Threshold or Threshold evangelists in supporting capacities can become co-workers, and project volunteers and non-commissioned ministry staff can become covenanted members.
According to Hunt, one new covenanted member has joined the organization since the decision to become a missional community was announced in February 2016. Another 72 commissioned evangelists work in churches, prisons and marginalized communities across Canada.
The decision to move toward a new model of organization came after two years of discernment, Hunt explained. In doing so, Threshold Ministries follows its sister organization, the Church Army in the U.K., which underwent a similar process in 2006.
Shawn C. Branch, Threshold’s national director and mission leader, noted in a February 19 press release that the change in structure would allow the organization to expand on its vision to “welcome and support people who are passionate about sharing the Gospel, seeing communities transformed and lives changed.”
As a result of the organizational shift, the dean of community position was created to encourage and support Threshold members in their ministry. Hunt, who was commissioned by Threshold in 1997 and has worked in youth ministry in New Brunswick and Alberta for the past 19 years, expressed her enthusiasm for the new role.
“I’m excited about the change,” she added. “It’s hard to leave working with youth…but I really feel that this is God calling me to this next step.”