During his term as international leader of The Salvation Army, General Paul Rader (Ret.) called the Army to its knees as it entered the new millennium:
"Simply put, it is time for us to take more seriously issues related to our inner life. We owe it to our people. It is essential to maintaining the engine of commitment and passion. Our mission is energized by our spirituality. ...The cultivating and sustaining of the spiritual life of [Salvationists] is paramount"
(As quoted in Called to Be God's People by Commissioner Robert Street).
In 1996, the International Spiritual Life Commission was convened, whose report included the recommendation that human resources be given to help prioritize the inner lives of Salvationists.
One such outcome was the call to establish a formal commitment to intentionally make Spiritual Life Development a top priority within the Army structure. Subsequently, Colonel Earl Robinson was appointed as secretary for spiritual life development for the international Salvation Army and was succeeded by General Linda Bond.
In July 2008 the international Centre for Spiritual Life Development (CSLD) was established on the campus of the International College for Officers in London and Lt. Colonel Janet Munn was appointed to the role of Secretary for Spiritual Life Development.
Just the announcement of such a place, such a priority, has provided the opportunity for Salvationists to give voice to their hunger - hunger for the Lord, hunger for a fresh touch from the Holy Spirit, hunger for time to go deeper in Christ, in the Word, with the body, the people of God.
The international Centre for Spiritual Life Development exists to facilitate the development of the spiritual lives of Salvationists by:
- Offering conferences and events that are spiritually enriching and that help form people in Christlikeness;
- Providing resources to cultivate spiritual life development;
- Encouraging implementation of intentional and systematic opportunities for Spiritual growth throughout the international Salvation Army