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Non-professionals Using this Ministry?

Should non-professionals use this method of ministry?
 

 

A better question would be " Should mental health professionals use this form of prayer ministry ?" Lay Ministers can and do use this approach very effectively since it is basically prayer and not counseling. There should never be any advice giving, diagnosing of issues, directive guidance or visualization or any other such practices. If you read the Ministry Session Guidelines you will discover that TPM is very applicable to a church setting.

However, for the mental health professional, he or she will need to determine if this approach is viable for his or her setting. The mental health professional will certainly need to be clear about what he or she is doing, have informed consent and follow his or her state requirements whatever they may be. Theophostic Prayer Ministry is prayer and, therefore, is not intended to replace good mental health care or medical oversight from a qualified physician or mental health professional. It also does not replace the need for practical biblical counseling and instruction.

Theophostic Prayer Ministry is a tool among tools that can be applied to the ministry setting where people are harboring lies and have corresponding emotional duress. Theophostic Prayer Ministry training is not a course to inform or educate people in the technical aspects of mental health nor does this training equip people to make any qualified diagnosis of any person's mental condition. Likewise, it does not replace the need for biblical education. Please use this ministry tool wisely and operate within the qualifications and expertise that you possess. Not withstanding, the call that God has given the Body of Christ is still to encourage, pray and support the emotionally hurting. Do this wisely and in the context of both the Church and a professional Christian community.

Theophostic Prayer Ministry provides a means for the nonprofessional in ministry to be more effective. Nonprofessionals in helping ministries will benefit from learning this method of prayer Ministry. Where most therapies require an extensive background in psychological training, a background in psychology and counseling may be beneficial but it is not essential. Because it is essentially a prayer model, lay ministers and pastors without psychological training can effectively minister to hurting people with Theophostic Prayer Ministry. Many churches are presently developing ministries using Theophostic prayer as their primary approach in helping the wounded people who come their way. However, it is highly suggested that lay ministries seek to network with the Christian mental/medical health community and work in relationship with them.

Lay ministers should always be ready and prepared to refer ministry recipients who need additional help to trained and licensed mental/medical professionals when possible. In addition, because many people cannot take advantage of professional services due to financial restraints the lay minister, when properly trained and connected to a local church ministry, can be a valuable source of help to those who are hurting. It is also acknowledged that the Lord gave the Church the commission to bring healing to the downtrodden which is our call and mandate. (Luke 4:18)

Praying for and ministering to those who are hurting and need help is an act of obedience which pleases our Lord. Helping emotionally hurting people is not an option of the Church but rather a direct command given to us in many places in Scripture. Not everyone should do this level of ministry. Can just anyone facilitate the Theophostic method of ministry? I would like to answer this question from the standpoint of the spiritual gifting of the body of Christ. Since we have been gifted in different ways, we should do what we are gifted to do. Our desire to do something is not necessarily an indication that we should be doing it. When I watch professional football games, I sometimes imagine myself out there on the field, running or passing the ball. Sure, there's a desire to get in the action, but in my case my mind is more gifted than my body. It's the same in ministry.

Churches that choose to offer Theophostic Prayer Ministry would be wise to develop well-controlled parameters as a safeguard so that well-meaning but unqualified people are not serving in helping ministry roles. I recommend that those who minister would have basic gifts in this area, be well equipped, and receive careful supervision. No one should be facilitating this ministry method without being under the covering of a spiritual authority to which he or she is accountable.
The spiritual authority can be a local church, pastor, counseling organization, state licensure board, or other form of accountability. Lay persons should begin first as prayer partners, carefully observing how others administer the process before starting to administer it themselves. I understand that supervision is not always possible. When this is the case, I would advise lay ministers to practice with each other before taking on cases outside the ministry team setting. They need to understand boundaries, confidentiality, their own limitations, and when to refer to others more prepared and equipped.

A special word to pastors; know who is doing this ministry in your church. Be responsible to see that only the more mature and spiritually discerning are given this task. To do otherwise is to risk reaping unnecessary problems that can be avoided.


 
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