How does one best do deliverance ministry? What is the right way to do it? Are there wrong ways? Deliverance ministry is the driving out of demons, and I want to give you a quick overview of some of the current practices.
When Jesus came upon people who need deliverance from demons, little information is included in Scripture as to exactly what words he used and how he did it. (Matt 17:18, Luke 9:42, Mark 1:39, Matthew 8:16, Luke 4:35, Mark 1:25, Matt 8:32). It appears as though he just did it by commanding them to go. It is not clear as to whether or not he laid hands on people as he did with healing.
What are we to make of the examples in Scripture? What other examples do we have on how to lead worship, preach, pray for the sick or any number of activities we are called to do?
I use this analogy often in teaching sessions: there is no McDonalds in deliverance ministry today where a Big Mac is going to be the same wherever you buy one. Ministry is a cottage industry performed by relatively small and unknown centers so there is little commonality in approaches and methodology.
I believe we are to walk in Spirit and in truth. God has revealed different mysteries of the Kingdom to the church in various formats and methodologies so that His glory can manifest in a powerful mosaic. It begins with a desire to minister in a particular area and a passion to search for revelation and knowledge.
If God calls you to pray deliverance ministry at the altar and cast out demons in public, do it.
If He leads you to be part of ministry team that prepares people for deliverance and does it in a quiet setting, then be obedient to that.
Some of the deliverance ministry encounters I have seen in the past make me cringe. I find it hard to understand why several strong men must pin a person down, yell at him and perform all sorts of gyrations to try to extract a demon (or demons) that do not want to leave. Having said that, I refuse to judge our deliverance ministries.
Shouldn’t we focus on the hearts and character of those ministering deliverance and also look for fruit from their endeavors? Everyone involved in deliverance ministry, if they are honest, will tell you that they are learning as they go. No one person or ministry has cornered all knowledge and wisdom. If we have teachable spirits, we can all advance in the Kingdom.
Doing Deliverance Ministry Differently
Here are some of the most prevalent models out there today:
- One-on-one deliverances at the altar. The man or woman of God will call out one or more spirits from a person. If there are manifestations, the one receiving ministry will often be restrained by helpers. This ministry model reflects a true power encounter between God and the demonic realm. Many contend that this approach most closely resembles that of Jesus. This approach was demonstrated by the UpperRoom Church in Jonesboro, GA that was featured on the same Lisa Ling “Fighting Satan” show on OWN that we were part of.
- Group deliverance. This format is typical in an audience setting where the leader will call out spirits or have the individuals declare, renounce or call out spirits as led. Another format (one we use) involves preparatory teaching on two nights followed by one-on-one ministry from a team. This approach requires a trained, ministry team.
- One-on-one deliverance by a group in a private setting. These types of sessions often contain teachings or preparatory work. The person receiving ministry will be led through declarations, renunciations or forgiveness that will facilitate the deliverance session.
- One-on-one deliverance in a private setting. While other helpers may be present, the actual ministry is frequently led by one person who is tasked to drive the demons out (Mark 16:17). This format is favored by Above & Beyond and is the one we use with clients in our office or over the internet. We do not minister deliverance until the fourth session, and there is also a follow up meeting to show the person how to stay free and be prepare for when the spirits return (Matt 12:45).
John Wimber, who began and led the Vineyard Church, memorialized the phrase “doing the stuff” long before it became trendy in advertising. Deliverance ministry was an important part of that mandate for him and that same call is still on the church today.
Do you believe it? Are you willing to step out and learn and grow in it? Just start to do it and see how the Lord will come along aside and lead you in the journey.