New Life of Beauty and Grace
For by grace you have
been saved through faith,
and that not of yourselves;
it is the gift of God.
Ephesians 2:8 WEB


Values and Guidelines

A New Life of Spirit Led Ministry to Others

Thanks to the ministry of inner healing and deliverance, there are countless thousands, perhaps millions, of Christians who have been marvelously healed and set free. Sadly, there are also others who have been thrown deeper into bondage and pain, because the enemy was able to use over-zealous and under-trained ministers to cause damage. When the footing is potentially treacherous, it is always best to slow down, walk carefully and pray a lot! Let these values and guidelines give you balance and show the way to mend old wounds without causing new ones.

It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. 2 Thessalonians 3:9-10 ESV

A Good Example

We all benefit from a good example. Paul lived his beliefs out before the eyes of everyone in the churches he planted, intentionally giving them an example to imitate. Consider how this helped Values and Guidelines : Man's Feet on Yellow Highway Linesthem. By Paul’s teaching they knew (for instance) that Jesus had given them the Golden Rule to follow, but they never had the chance to see Jesus during His lifetime.[1] How should they apply it? In Paul himself these new converts could see that rule fleshed out in countless ways.

These are values and guidelines learned from the teaching and example of many leaders in the field of Christian ministry. For those of us who have been mentored by the direct example of a great leader, the image is impressed on one’s heart. Such a person need only consider, “How would my mentor have handled this?” and the right thoughts spring instantly to mind. For the rest of us, learning by their stated values and guidelines will do just as well, if we take them to heart.

Go over these two lists slowly and prayerfully. Take time to really think them through. See how they would apply in your own life and ministry. Then thank God that you can learn from a good example and not have to find these things out for yourself the hard way.[2]

Values Surrounding Ministry

  • If you want to disciple others, you must be a disciple yourself. That means keeping the Big Five (Bible, prayer, worship, fellowship and service) in good working order in your life, so that you are doing your level best to trust Jesus, deny yourself, and follow Him daily.[3]
  • If you want God to use you to help others get free of sin, you have to be dedicated to repenting of and resisting sin in your own life as the Holy Spirit shows you. No compromise!
  • If you want God to use you to bring emotional healing to others, you have to let Him into all of your wounds. You don’t have to be fully healed (or none of us could have started), but you should be more healed than wounded (otherwise your wounds will get in the way).
  • Maintaining good relationships is essential to ministry and to life. Keep short accounts with others. Do all in your power to be at peace with them.[4]
  • Mutual love includes respect and submission, intimacy and accountability.[5] This means being connected to the Body of Christ in some meaningful way through a church or a home fellowship and allowing those relationships to test and grow you.
  • Agape love allows the other person to be free to be themselves. No one likes being badgered by a controlling person, a fault finder or a busy body—for good reason: “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.”[6]
  • Never mistake the shadow side for the person who cast it. Try to see everyone as a new creation deep down (if they are Christians) or in potential (if they are unbelievers).[7] Practice separating people from their sins in the way you see them--just as Jesus does.
  • Confidentiality acts as a covering to one another and guards each one’s dignity. Wounded people are sensitive to any words that expose their “nakedness.”[8] Whenever the Lord allows you to see their vulnerability, pain or shame, it is a sacred trust. Never violate it.
  • Speak about others only in a way you wouldn’t mind being overheard by them. This eliminates both spreading gossip and sowing division.[9]
  • Don’t go around saying “so and so has a spirit of ___.” Who does that help? That’s just your guess. You don’t know that as a fact unless God has given you vision into the invisible realm and if He has, save it for a time of ministry. Otherwise, you would be doing the work of “the Accuser of the brethren” for him.[10]
  • Don’t speak ill of Christian leaders, churches, or denominations. Honor His Bride. Always remember that Jesus loves His church and that the church is first and foremost His people, but it also includes those institutional bodies He has been working with for two millennia. If the organized church looks like a mess to you, what does that tell you about how you view His leadership over it?[11]
  • Speaking the truth in love, revealing the hurt of our heart, releasing forgiveness and entering into God’s rest (by believing  a promise of His over the situation that concerns you) really do usher in God’s way of bringing change. Be patient, keep the faith, stay within these boundaries and you will see genuine transformations happen by the Hand of the Lord.
  • Only friendship and leadership convey the privilege of giving words of correction. Don’t presume that you have a right to tell others what you think about them, or their behavior. Just think how many people Jesus could have spoken to about their sins, but didn’t. (The answer is everyone He met.)
  • No one has to be perfect, just willing to try to stay within the proper boundaries while they are growing. Perfection is our unachievable goal.[12] We will never be perfect this side of heaven, but we are dedicated to seeking it, because we are dedicated to seeking Him. We want to be as close to Him as possible and as like Him as possible. That’s our burning desire!
  • There is plenty of room for failure, trial and error, and issues undergoing repair. Be honest, open and transparent and you will always find grace.[13] Mercy and love “cover a multitude of sins,” but not a single excuse![14]
  • A teachable attitude, a yielded heart, a surrendered spirit are greatly to be prized. With them we will find grace to keep learning and growing.[15] Without them we may fall by the wayside and not even know it.

Guidelines During Ministry [16]

  • Minister in pairs with one in the lead. Jesus sent the disciples two by two.[17] Paul always took someone along on his missionary journeys. Married couples can be especially effective as a ministering team. Having a “partner” provides balance, the strength of mutual encouragement, and additional insight.
  • Avoid one-on-one ministry with a person of the opposite sex. We would prefer that ministry be men with men and women with women and seldom if ever be only men ministering to a woman or only women ministering to a man. If it needs to happen, see that you find a place where others are around. Watch out for unwise patterns developing in your behavior! Any secret desire to minister to someone of the opposite sex should be taken as a warning sign that the enemy is toying with your heart.
  • We minister the gospel—we do not give counsel, advice and direction, or make decisions for others. That is the Holy Spirit’s job. Consider this: You can’t even give consistently good advice and direction to yourself without the Holy Spirit helping you. We certainly can’t take His place in other lives, no matter how tempting it seems.
  • We point to the scriptures that seem to speak to the situation, give encouragement, share our testimonies, offer our observations, suggest things to consider, pray issues through, bless and love, bless and love.
  • If anyone—team member or attendee—receives a prophetic revelation, let it be brought to the leadership in private to be judged by them whether it is to be shared with others. 
  • Be careful how and where you touch people as you minister to them. Some wounded people draw back at even the slightest touch. Always ask permission first, before laying on hands in prayer. Be aware that when praying for the opposite sex hands should not be placed lower than the shoulders. Ask a prayer partner of the same sex as the prayee to be the one to give an embrace, if it seems to be needed for the sake of ministry and would be welcomed.
  • We pray with our eyes open so that we can observe what is going on with the person who is being ministered to. You will want to see how the Lord is moving upon them, or if the enemy is manifesting. Encourage them to simply relax, receive and focus on the Lord. If they begin praying in tongues, gently ask them to remain quiet instead.
  • We do not speak in tongues out loud. People are coming to meet the Healer, not the Baptizer. If you feel led to pray in tongues, do so quietly within yourself.
  • We do not do guided visualizations or tell Jesus what to do in anyone’s memory.
  • We never try to recover lost memories. That is something no one can rightly interpret or judge, since none of us were there. The Lord says that only He can search out the hidden mysteries of the heart—don’t presume that you can. Many people have been unjustly slandered by this practice. Ordinary remembrances during ministry don’t bring sweeping reversals of life events. Such memories you can work with. Beyond this you are getting in over your head. Have the good sense to admit your ignorance and close with prayer.
  • Don’t diagnose their physical or psychological problems. You are not their doctor or psychiatrist. Don’t undermine their relationship with theirs.
  • We never tell the person to stop taking medicines or medical treatment. If they have truly been healed, their doctor will want to get them off the medicine.
  • We do not pronounce the person healed or guarantee that they will be healed, no matter how strongly we may believe that it is coming. We hold out hope and encourage their hope. Let the Lord prove His work in His time.
  • Draw the person into recognition for themselves concerning the area you see as the potential blockage or bondage which needs ministry. Remind them of teachings they have received during teaching time, but do not accuse them of “having a spirit of _____.” Ask the person if it would be OK to deal with or to pray for such and such. See if they have a witness of their own, before beginning.
  • Be sensitive and gentle. Don’t pressure people to repent. Each person has to be ready to acknowledge and confess by their own recognition of sin as the Spirit turns on the lights within them. Some just won’t be able to see it, but give them the benefit of the doubt. They are here because they want to be free. Let’s not hold their blindness against them.
  • Do not allow your own emotional hurts to become part of ministry by going into your entire story. Using the good that came out of your testimony may be helpful, but be brief and to the point. Keep the focus on the person you are ministering to, not yourself.
  • Don’t show your insecurities. We all receive better if the person doing ministry with us is confident, peaceful and at rest. Remind yourself that you are only the vessel—Jesus is the true Healer present and to Him belongs the glory. It’s not about you and what you can do. It’s about Him and what He may do through you. Let your sense of inadequacy draw you into trust and dependence on Him.
  • Don’t be legalisticGod isn’t. Flow with the Spirit. The Lord will leave out some things you thought necessary and bring in other things you wouldn’t have imagined, if you let Him stay in the lead. Jesus sees the hearts of all involved. He is working even when we don’t feel it or see it. Sometimes the best thing to come out of a session isn’t something anyone noticed at the time.
  • Relax. Know that the person’s healing and progress in the Lord does not depend upon you. Let the weight of the concern for the ministry time truly fall on Him. You are not their only hope—Jesus is. Even if the ministry time doesn’t go as well as you hoped or as far as you desired, remember that Jesus will still be with them. Pray every sense of lack or failure back into to His Hands.
  • Honor the confidentiality of what you see or hear. Carefully guard their identities and issues. Beware of wanting to boast about a good session later and you won’t fall so low when the not so good ones happen!

CAUTION: If your church already has ministry teams, join them. These lessons may complement, confirm or enhance what you will be learning from them. The best way to learn ministry is always from people who are already doing it successfully. Do not, therefore, go off on your own, if the Lord has already set before you leaders who can teach you. These online articles are solely for the purpose of giving elementary instruction to those of you who have no one reasonably nearby to learn from—and you honestly believe the Lord is calling you to get involved. In that case the best you can do is learn what you can by written word, pray and proceed with caution, walking humbly with your God.

The Highest Value

Now that’s a lot of things to remember! If you focus too much on specific rules you’ll run the risk of being tripped up by guidelines, rather than helped by them. Genuine Christianity isn’t about rule keeping anyway. It’s about trusting and following the One who created the rules and who Himself keeps all of them by an effortless grace. If we yield ourselves to His leadership, His Spirit will lift and lead us into doing the right thing at the right time. Besides, it’s well known that Jesus simplified all of the rules into one: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The Golden Rule is the rule of spiritual friendship. With every person we meet in ministry, we are being given an opportunity to make a friend for all eternity. Such friendship is our highest value, because it is also His.

No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another. John 15:15-17

Seen in this light the Golden Rule positively shines through all the values and guidelines of this chapter. We give them to you as a way of fleshing out that prime directive with specific applications. As you read through them, your heart agreement with them actually gives the Holy Spirit permission to bring them to your remembrance as situations arise. Those little nudges, if we are being attentive, are what keep the ministry on track—one further example of why we can’t do Christian ministry without the Holy Spirit helping us. Fortunately, we don’t have to. He is always right there inside of us, ready to power us up from within and right there above us, ready to bring heaven down when we call. May your adventure in ministry be one of growing an ever greater love for God the Father, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and that sea of lost, hurting humanity surrounding you.

You have been chosen.
Now, go and bear much fruit!

More to Explore

Expecting His Return You don’t have to wait for Jesus to return to experience the peace and power of His reign. His Kingdom comes whenever we trust and obey Him as Lord. But even that can’t hold a candle to what it will be like when the Light of the World returns to establish His Kingdom on earth forever. There are incontrovertible signs that the long awaited Day is closer than you might think. Prepare to be very excited by this…Jesus actually expects us to discern the "signs of the times."

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Scriptures on Ministry

"So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12 ESV

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Romans 12:9-10 ESV

And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. 2 Timothy 2:24-26 ESV

Scriptures and Foot Notes

[1]  The “Golden Rule” is: "So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12 ESV
[2]  My Dad loved to say, “Experience is a hard school, but a fool will learn in no other.” I should have paid more attention!
[3]  And he said to all, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”  Luke 9:23-24 ESV
[4]  If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Romans 12:18 ESV
[5]  Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. Titus 3:1-2 ESV
[6]  Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 2 Corinthians 3:17 KJV
[7]  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
[8]  This passage shows how others feel about having their “nakedness” exposed, even if it was by their own sin that they were made vulnerable to prying eyes: Noah began to be a man of the soil, and he planted a vineyard.  He drank of the wine and became drunk and lay uncovered in his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father and told his two brothers outside. Then Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned backward, and they did not see their father's nakedness. When Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his youngest son had done to him, he said, "Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be to his brothers." Genesis 9:20-25 ESV
[9]  For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish—that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder. 2 Corinthians 12:20 ESV
[10]  And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. Revelation 12:10 KJV
[11]  When scriptures says Jesus is the Head this is not a mere title of respect, but a description (at the very least) of all that a head means to any body: And he is the head of the body, the church. Colossians 1:18 ESV
[12]  This command of Jesus finds balance and expression in the life and words of Paul. First Jesus:  “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:48 ESV; Then, Paul: Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Philippians 3:12 ESV
[13]  For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: "I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.” Isaiah 57:15 ESV
[14]  Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8 ESV
[15]  Let this prayer of David’s become your daily desire: Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Psalms 51:10-12 ESV
[16]  Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:15-17 ESV; Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 ESV
[17]  And he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. Mark 6:7 ESV
[18]  Note on the "Caution": That could be rebellion and pride. Let others disciple you and the Lord won’t have to discipline you.

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I'm Steve, a former hippie and carpenter, now a passionate follower of Jesus.

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