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Introducing Our New Area Officers

Introducing Our New Area Officers

On May 13, the territory announced the official nation-wide rollout of the new Local Mission Delivery model. Following the success of the pilot in Auckland and Northland and approval from International Headquarters, a new and brighter day for mission is dawning for The Salvation Army in Aotearoa New Zealand.

‘In 2024, meeting people where they are calls for us to change the way we organise ourselves throughout this nation,’ explains Territorial Commander Commissioner Mark Campbell. ‘Moving to the new Local Mission Delivery (LMD) model will enable us to do the most for people with the resources we have.’ Territorial President of Women’s Ministries Commissioner Julie Campbell adds, ‘Simply put, LMD is a way of organising our Army’s mission at a community level, so that we can more effectively work together’.

A new approach

If our vision to ‘live out the good news of Jesus Christ so that everyone can experience hope, wholeness and ongoing transformation—the fullness of life as God intended’ is to be realised, a new approach is needed. The LMD model has the potential to revolutionise mission delivery and see our vision fulfilled. Fundamental to this new approach are the area officers (AOs) and area leadership teams (ALTs).

Lt-Colonel Ian Gainsford, territorial secretary for Mission, says, ‘Energised by the Holy Spirit, the area officers now begin the daunting but rewarding task of reimagining and reorganising our movement at a local level. Over the next few months, our AOs have the immensely important task of ensuring that our frontline teams are both connected to the community they serve and connected to the varied Army expressions within their region.’

For clarity, Aotearoa is now made up of two divisions, Tai Timu (Northern) and Tai Pari (Southern). Tai Timu is made up of most of the North Island, with Tai Pari the South Island, plus the Wellington region. Each division is composed of areas, led by area officers who coordinate area leadership teams. Major Susan Goldsack is the divisional leader for Tai Pari, with Captain David Daly leading Tai Timu. A ‘divisional leader’ in this new context means that although Susan and David operate as AOs and are responsible for the ALTs in their respective areas, they also carry additional responsibilities. For instance, between them they line manage the other AOs, while Susan also coordinates the AO team nationally and David is the chair of the Aotearoa Management Board.

Furthermore, Ian is careful to also emphasise that the role of an AO is fundamentally different to that of the divisional leaders we have known. ‘An AO is not a person who has to sign off on this or that. The role of the AO is to provide coordination and facilitation of leaders from every local mission expression in a particular area, coming together to discuss, monitor and outwork the whole of The Salvation Army’s mission in a way that is interconnected and interdependent.’

Better together

We know that people work best with those they know and trust. Ian adds, ‘Clearly we are better together, so it makes sense to get everyone together in the same room so they can form connections and look not only for organic opportunities to work together, but also for ways in which we can be the Army that brings life.’

Ian is also careful to explain that while we have clarity about the AOs and the function of the ALTs, there are still many little pieces of the puzzle that are not in place yet. ‘This new model will not suddenly make everything better,’ says Ian, ‘but it provides a much better opportunity for us to work out a clearer and more interdependent strategy across communities. And I’m really excited about that!’

Ian requests that SALT readers pray for the new AOs and for the ALTs as they are formed and begin meeting. ‘Pray that together they will courageously and confidently set about strengthening our focus and collaboration to deliver a more impactful mission of caring for people, transforming lives and reforming society by God’s power to communities across Aotearoa New Zealand,’ urges Ian. ‘Please pray that we continue to be the Army that brings life!’

Major Susan Goldsack has been an officer for 21 years, serving as corps officer across the country for 17 years, as well as at divisional headquarters. Susan brings organisational understanding from involvement on the territorial Moral and Social Issues Council (MASIC) and Territorial Management Board. Susan serves with a keen eye to people’s growth and development through use of the CliftonStrengths tool and spiritual direction, wanting to see people thrive in the uniqueness that God has created each person to be.

Captains David and Denise Daly have been officers for 14 years. Together they have served in corps, divisional and territorial leadership roles. They are presently area officers together in Auckland, having been an inaugural part of the pilot for the Local Mission Delivery model.

Lt-Colonel Jennifer Groves has served as a Salvation Army officer for 34 years. Her ministry has been varied, with a strong focus on youth and children’s ministry, training, prison chaplaincy and administrative roles. Jennifer has recently returned to New Zealand after many years in international service.

Captain Kenneth Walker has served as a Salvation Army officer for the past 15 years. A further 14 years prior to this were spent serving in full-time ministry roles within The Salvation Army. Most of this time was in corps appointments in the South Island, however, recently Kenneth served a four-year term in Tonga as regional commander.

Captain Nathan Holt has served in full-time ministry for The Salvation Army for 21 years, which includes 11 years as an officer. Nathan has spent seven years as a corps officer and three years as a divisional youth secretary, as well as emergency services coordinator, and has served as a candidates secretary. The last two years have been as area officer for Te Tai Tokerau (Northland) under the Local Mission Delivery pilot.

Major Stuart Tong has been an officer for 15 years. Stu has served eight years as a corps officer and seven years in Booth College of Mission and divisional roles. Stu’s focus in these roles has been finding ways for people to meet Jesus, with a particular focus on how people develop their relationship with Jesus.

Captain Jordan Westrupp has been an officer for 11 years, having served in corps and divisional roles, with a particular passion to see the next generations equipped for ministry. Jordan has also been instrumental in the re-establishment of the Hamodava Fairtrade coffee brand.

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