June 12, 2014

Christians Are to Make Disciples of All Nations (Trinity Sunday Readings)

Jesus did not teach His followers to just attend church, be good and hire evangelists. He challenged them – and us to “...go and make disciples of all nations...”. (Matthew 28.19). “Make” is a verb – an action word. As Christians we have been baptized into a new covenant relationship of fellowship with the Father who loves and protects us, Jesus who died in our place for sin and the Holy Spirit who guides, heals and nurtures us. As we grow deeper in this relationship and discover our spiritual gifts we naturally want to share the good news of Gods’ grace, love and forgiveness with others. This is a challenge in our time as the dominant cultural values of liberalism are secularism and not offending the religious beliefs of others – like Jesus did!

 1. We are Baptized to proclaim the “grace of our Lord Jesus Christ...”(2 Corinthians 13.14).
Our Baptism is to strengthen and protect us in the ministry we are baptized into. That ministry is to “make disciples of all men”. “Make” is a verb, an action word that means working with other people to teach them what they need to know to experience the ‘grace’ of our lord Jesus Christ and become committed followers – disciples.
·         By sharing the good news of the “grace” that we have received.
·         By explaining the meaning and importance of grace as a way out of bondage to anger, bitterness and un-forgiveness
·         By being a sign of Grace and forgiveness in the world
·         By helping others understand the importance of being in a right relationship with God and receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit

June 6, 2014

“Wholeness through Christ” Healing Ministry Model
(from a workshop presented to Diocese of Windward Islands Clergy, 2014)
The Good News of the healing ministry in the Christian Church is that when people come for healing, the Holy Spirit will help us work with them to discern the root cause in their sin or some form of inherited sin-guilt or curse, break the power of the sin through repentance, confession and absolution and build them up spiritually through the infilling of the Holy Spirit. The Wholeness Through Christ Healing Model helps us understand this ministry by defining the goals of Christian healing ministry as:
·         Sins forgiven
·         Wounds healed
·         Evil spirits cast out
·         Bondages broken

Pentecost - Welcome to the Healing Ministry of Christians!

In Luke’s Gospel the ministry of Jesus began after two dramatic encounters. In the first He is tested by Satan (Luke 4.1-13) and puts loyalty to God over materialism, earthly power and spiritual authority. In the second (Luke 4.16-21) Jesus claims His destiny as Saviour and His plan of ministry. All of Jesus ministry was related to healing the separation of individuals from God by destroying the power of sin, evil and deception. We need to study and imitate Jesus model of ministry. Praying for healing was a major part of this ministry – and should be a regular part of our ministry. Let us examine how Jesus approached His Ministry:

1. “The Spirit of the Lord is on me because He has anointed me to proclaim Good News to the poor.”
First of all Jesus ministry is anointed and guided by the Holy Spirit. We have in our time many false teachers and self-appointed ministers. These people have no authority or power from God. Unfortunately, the bad news is that Satan does seem to be able to empower his followers to do counterfeit miracles and healing.
·         Christian healing ministry needs to be under Episcopal or Church authority
·         Ministers need to be carefully chosen, trained and supervised
·         Clergy may not have this gift and need training and support
·         Healing Ministry is Holy Spirit led and experience – based
·         Show up, shut-up (listen) and be available
·         All ministry begins with “proclamation”