In 2005 the Australia Southern Territory appointed the then Major Frank Daniels to a specific role in Spiritual Life Development. This was the first such appointment in the territory. It arose out of an emphasis on the more contemplative aspects of spirituality – particularly the importance of silent spiritual retreats and spiritual direction – that the Major had offered while serving as Divisional Commander in the Western Victoria Division.
He was followed in the role by Major Robert Paterson (2006) and then by Major Christine Faragher (mid-2010). The emphasis of the role continued to be primarily on the conducting of silent retreats, spiritual direction for individuals, and a growing role in teaching on prayer and the spiritual life.
In 2012 Major Faragher was asked to convene a group to look at the way forward for this area of ministry. This was done and a proposal submitted to the territory’s policy council who adopted the new strategy.
The proposal outlined a thematic approach to capture the key components of a Spiritual Life Development Strategy for the Territory. It suggested how this approach could be embedded in the life of the territory, and offered strategies for accountability. It also suggested a range of resources/events that could be provided and advocated for some structural change around the location of Spiritual Life Ministries, and the clarification of roles for Spiritual Life Development Personnel.
In the adoption of this proposal two roles in Spiritual Life Development were identified – the first around an emphasis on prayer, evangelism and early discipleship and the second focussing on deepening the spiritual life of already existing believers. The two roles were designated as Territorial Spiritual Life Development Secretary – Evangelism and 24/7 Prayer and Territorial Spiritual Life Development Secretary – Discipleship. These roles work together as the two wings of a butterfly. Both vital to keeping territorial leadership accountable for the spiritual health of their flock.
The work of Spiritual Life Development sits under the territory’s mission intention of Making Disciples and is located within the Territorial Mission Resources Department.
Major Faragher’s role was re-designated as the Territorial Spiritual Life Development Secretary – Discipleship, and Major Major Marney Turner’s role was re-designated as Territorial Spiritual Life Development Secretary – Evangelism and 24/7 Prayer, and has held the role ever since.
Major Heather Jenkins was appointed to the TSSLD-Discipleship in 2014, and Major Cathy Elkington in 2016.