by Brian Brandon
The aim of Victorious Ministry Through Christ is to help you to develop Prayer Ministry as a ministry of your church.
Every church of reasonable size could have its own prayer ministry team, able to provide prayer ministry when required, so that the job is not just left to the pastor. The churches in your community may be able to provide a combined churches prayer ministry team. If your church has a prayer ministry team already you may like to provide training and development of that team. If you do not have a team already, then check if there are suitable people who would be interested to start the ministry.
Jesus did not only preach, he prayed with people for healing and deliverance. He also trained his disciples to do the same. Preaching is not enough. The Word of God needs to be applied into our lives by the power of the Holy Spirit for God to bring changes he wants in us. That is what prayer ministry seeks to do.
The aim therefore is to develop a team of people who can stand with the pastor in offering the follow-up prayer ministry that may be required. It requires training for good preaching, why not training for prayer ministry also?
What contribution can you expect a trained group of Prayer Minister's in your church to make to your church?
Prayer ministry training could help your church:
Deal with healing and deliverance needs in altar rail or up-front ministry in services of worship. It is not always easy for a busy pastor to provide this ministry, but it is great if you can have a ministry team to do this.
Provide a ministry to your church for private prayer ministry sessions. Up-front ministry is not suitable for some situations which require more time and more privacy for difficult issues to be dealt with.
Grow people to maturity, so they can achieve greater spiritual growth when they deal with hurts from the past or present bondages which hold them back.
Christians are under constant bombardment from temptation. Prayer ministry helps to protect your people. Develop members who do not compromise with sin in their own lives. Their own prayer ministry session makes them more aware of temptation and how to resist it in future. The confidential nature of the ministry provides protection, and the principles of male and female prayer ministers provide for sexual safety in prayer ministry.
Develop the prayer gifts of your people. There are some people in your church who have special gifts of prayer ministry. This ministry trains, releases and encourages them to get on with using their gifts.
Grows your people to understand the theology of deliverance ministry and spiritual warfare prayer. Beware, that involvement with VMTC may change your way of thinking about this, and your preaching also.
Because this is an interdenominational ministry, your trained people can be acceptable for ministry in interchurch situations.
Prayer ministry can be developed as an intercession ministry for the church. Prayer Vigils are part of the training at modules and schools.
Is your church suffering from its own spiritual bondages. This ministry is a doorway into your church being released to greater spiritual freedom also. As members are released so the church is released. Church scale hurts and bondages can also be addressed by the same methods that individuals can be ministered to.
Find out how to implement the ministry in your church and to train the first people for it. This may be because of a decision the minister or the church board makes. May begin with a church member who has already done VMTC training.
Begin With An Information Meeting At Your Church, Or Your Local Churches' Minister's Association.
Get a group of VMTC trained people along to share details of what VMTC prayer ministry is all about, and to hear testimonies of people who have been helped by the ministry, and how it can be set up in your church.
Hold A Weekend VMTC Seminar In Your Church.
This is not a training seminar but a teaching one, to impart the basics of prayer ministry, spiritual warfare, and how we may be free. May be an opportunity for some people to receive prayer ministry.
Train A Team Of People In Your Church To Be Released VMTC Prayer Ministers.
Start with two people who are willing to be trained - four people would be a great start. It is always preferable if the minister is one of those who are trained, because the minister is usually the first person who someone turns to for prayer ministry.
Those to be trained need to be carefully chosen as spiritually mature people, who are ready to be involved in spiritual warfare ministry with people. There needs to be a balance of men/women trained, as prayer sessions are always led by both a man and a woman. Married couples are ideal.
It takes at least three schools to be released as a Support Prayer Minister (able to help as one of the prayer team), and four schools as a Lead Prayer Minister (able to lead a prayer team).
Those who are released will be able to conduct private prayer ministry sessions for Christians within or outside your church as the need arises, as well as pray for people in church services. One of the great benefits of this is that they will be able to discern from those who are prayed for in a church service, who needs further prayer ministry. They will be able to arrange to pray further with the person.
Get Your Minister On Side.
It is essential for the ministry to operate in a church for the senior minister to understand and be on side with the ministry. The minister should really attend at least one school if they are going to participate in the ministry in any way. Preferably the minister needs to be a released prayer minister. This is necessary if they are going to use the ministry themselves.
Subsidise The Cost Of Training For Your Members.
A church often needs to put its money where its mouth is. Subsidising training fees is a sign of the church's commitment to its people who it wants to train. Why not subsidise 50%? Your church may have an investment fund which can support training subsidies. Otherwise make it a regular part of your church budget.
2. Building Phase
You can begin building the ministry once you have a trained VMTC prayer ministry couple or team in your church.
bullet Adopt VMTC Prayer Ministry as a Ministry Of Your Church.
At some stage in the process it may help for the leadership team or congregation to adopt VMTC as a ministry in your church. When a church makes a decision like this it gives some ownership and priority to it, and makes it easier to encourage people to go for training. Why should individuals commit themselves to training, if the church is not willing to do the same? A decision such as "That the Board approves VMTC Prayer Ministry to be offered as a ministry of this church."
If your whole church is not ready to take this on board, you can start with part of your church adopting VMTC, such as the prayer group, or youth group.
Have Meetings With Those Who Are Trained Or In Training.
If necessary, ask for permission from the Minister or Church Board to hold meetings of those involved in VMTC Prayer Ministry. Offer to be the VMTC Prayer Ministry Coordinator for your church - the person who coordinates the meeting and organises the development of the ministry. Even a meeting once per year would help to discuss any issues arising from training or ministry. Pray and plan for the development of the ministry in your church.
Train Your Church Prayer Ministry Team
Many churches already have a prayer ministry team of people who can pray with others who come forward for prayer in a service. You may introduce VMTC as the basic training method for the team. You may seek that as many members as possible attend at least one school, or train all of your prayer team members to the stage of being released prayer ministers.
There are many advantages of VMTC for your team. See `Build a Prayer Ministry Team' brochure for further information on this. You may need to have a policy decision of your church to put this into effect, such as `That this church supports VMTC as the main training method for our prayer ministry team.'
bullet Run a Prayer Ministry Training Module in your church.
This is a way to make the VMTC training more easily available for your church. A module over six - seven weeks covers similar material to one weekend school, and also provides prayer ministry for participants. To do a training module like this you really need some trained prayer ministers in your church already.
Advertise VMTC Prayer Ministry Availability for Members
Advertise the ministry as being available in church announcements, Sunday bulletins, newsletters, reports or notice-boards. Write testimonies of people who have been helped through VMTC in your church magazine. Testimonies can also be shared in services.
Encourage All Church Leaders To Receive VMTC Prayer Ministry.
To develop your church leaders, who you want to be people who are not hampered by problems of their past or present, ask them to receive VMTC prayer ministry before or as part of their commitment to leadership. You would need to have developed a trained VMTC Prayer Ministry Team already in your church to take this step. Your church may be able to make a policy decision to put this into effect, such as `That this church encourages all church leaders to receive VMTC Prayer Ministry, in order for them to be strengthened personally and to be more effective in their ministry.'
Teach VMTC Principles In Preaching
If the pastor has been trained in VMTC, he/she may use the teaching as a basis for a series of sermons on bondages, the occult, spiritual warfare, etc. This will prepare the congregation for prayer ministry.
Use VMTC Principles In Intercession Warfare
Appoint trained leaders for your Intercession Group. Train your intercession group in VMTC methods of prayer intercession. This will not only coordinate with your Prayer Ministry Team, but will provide a Biblically sound, structured, and disciplined approach.
Let Other Local Churches Know About The Ministry
Let other churches know of the ministry being available, so that people will know where to come for help.
- Brian Brandon