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01.01.1970 01:0000    Comments: 0    Categories: You Asked (Text Files)      Tags:

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I went through the first training and someone that also is doing this told me I absolutely can not do Theophostic Ministry unless a counselor is present. She said because of all the emotions that come out and if I am not a counselor I can't possible handle the issues. My response was that it is the Healing of Jesus Christ and it is not me doing it anyways. I would like to hear your answer as many are wondering.


Ed Smith's response:


Your friend is correct in saying that there may be times when you get in over your head. Should this occur you need to have a backup plan in place. It is good to have networked yourself with people more qualified in dealing with such situations. However, we are called as the church to care for the brokenhearted, downtrodden and dejected. To say that this is the job of the professional alone is to deny the very call of Christ to His Church. We have a mandate from the Lord to minister to the deeply wounded to best that we can. If we wait on the professional world to minister to all the people in pain we wait for the impossible to occur. Everyone needs their minds renewed. However, some people are in really bad shape and need more than some of us are qualified to deal with. This is where you refer to others more qualified. But we do not and cannot stand back and do nothing.


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. People taking the training are encouraged to use this ministry tool wisely and operate within the qualifications and expertise that he or she possesses. (Not withstanding, the call that God has given the Body of Christ is still to encourage, pray and support the emotionally hurting. The prayer minister is encouraged to do this wisely and in the context of both the Church and a professional Christian community.


I said in the 2005 edition of the new Basic Seminar Manual, "As is true for all areas of helping ministry, it is important to minister within the parameters of your training and expertise. Does this mean that only the "professional" can help deeply emotionally wounded people? Not at all! The Church has been given the mandate to fulfill the ministry that the Lord came to do as we preach the Gospel to the poor, proclaim release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind and set free those who are oppressed (Luke 4:18 paraphrase). However, it is wise and good stewardship for us to utilize the mental health community and work in conjunction with the members of it in everyway that we can. There is a growing number of mental health professionals who are embracing this ministry approach. As both professional and lay ministers join hands in this calling, great things can be accomplished.


Please know that if you are not a trained therapist, counselor, pastor, or other helping professional, simply reading this book will not make you one. I am not insinuating that all professional counselors are more equipped than the lay minister. I have personally seen a high level of skill in both, just as I have seen disasters from both. If you are a lay minister, I am not seeking to discourage you from doing this ministry. On the contrary, I firmly believe that unless the church accepts the responsibility for setting the captives free, the job of caring for the many wounded of this world will never be done.


There is much that lay ministers can learn from the professional community of counselors. Like professionals, lay ministers are responsible to understand and observe such practices as maintaining adequate boundaries and keeping complete confidentiality at all times. I recall hearing a well-meaning lay minister sharing publicly what the Lord had done in the life of a person with whom he had worked, but he neglected to secure the person's permission to share this information! I remember cringing as I listened to the report of the person's abuse even though it was followed by a glowing report of God's healing grace. This was unfortunate, unprofessional, and unnecessary.


Hope that this helps


Ed Smith

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