Ministry Session Guidelines
Ministry Sessions Guidelines
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Ministry Session Guidelines: What a TPM Session Should Look Like
Giving some room for personality type and personal style of each ministry facilitator, every TPM session should still follow a predictable set of clear and identifiable procedures and guidelines. It is vitally important that before you seek prayer ministry from any person that you be equipped to know what a TPM session should look like. This way you can determine if what you are receiving is indeed TPM or not.
This is NOT to discredit anything that any other prayer ministry might be doing. God uses all manner of ministry approaches. However, if you are seeking TPM, then this is what you should expect to receive. To assure this happening, you must take the responsibility to become well equipped with what TPM entails. It is very important to know that not everything called TPM is TPM. If TPM is what you want, then it is important that you know what it looks like. Carefully read this article as well as others that will orientate you to TPM. The long-term goal is that you become fully equipped in the process, principles, and purpose of TPM. You are about to embark on a lifelong journey with God in faith refinement and mind renewal. This ministry approach will help equip you for this journey.
What follows are the basic characteristics that you should watch for in your ministry session. Also, feel free to print this page out and ask your ministry facilitator to read over it and ask if this is what he or she is planning to offer you. If not, then you can decide what you want from that point.
- Transformation Prayer Ministry (TPM) is basically prayer. This prayer model is NOT counseling, advice giving, life coaching, deliverance ministry, or any form of guided imagery or recovered memory therapy. The focus of TPM is NOT on memory, but rather belief.The context for TPM is prayer. TPM is positioned in the context of prayer. However, this does not mean that the ministry facilitator will be overtly praying over you. The only verbalized prayer that the facilitator will pray during the actual session is when he or she asks the Lord for His perspective concerning your belief. This will be a one sentence prayer such as, “Lord what is your perspective concerning what “Jim” believes?” or “Lord, what do you want him to know?” If your ministry facilitator’s praying distracts you from your focusing upon what you are feeling and what is going on in your thinking, then they are not being helpful. It is possible that he may open the session by praying for you and close the session in prayer as well, but this will be general in nature, and not one that is directing or suggestive.
TPM is prayer because you are communicating, heart-to-heart, with God, seeking to know His truth on an intimate and personal level. It is also prayer because people are praying silently for you throughout the process. It is prayer because the Holy Spirit is invited to personally communicate with you once you are in the place and posture to receive the truth you need from Him. TPM is not prayer that is asking God to rescue you from anything, break down any perceived barriers, strongholds, or to show you anything that is hidden, take you anywhere (memory), or deliver you from anything purportedly holding you captive against your will.
When you choose to posture yourself to receive the truth, the prayer ministry facilitator will ask the Lord to replace your lie-based belief with His truth and perspective. This will be an exchange of what you believe for what the Lord has for you in truth. When you know His truth in your heart, you should experience immediate freedom from the lie and the painful emotion associated with it. This is the transformation of your belief. Only the Holy Spirit can cause the lie to stop feeling true and cause the truth to become established in your heart. In TPM no one is viewed as a victim who needs to be rescued, but rather as someone who has free will and can choose to move in God’s direction. If we will move toward God and His truth He will draw close to us. AS the Scriptures say, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (Ja. 4:8) Also, according to the Scriptures the Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth (John 16:13). Your job is to move to the place where you can receive it. TPM will help you do this.
You are invited to be a willing participant who can cooperate with what God is doing in renewing your mind with His truth. This can occur as you take responsibility for what you feel and believe and when you choose to position yourself to receive what God has for you.
- TPM is not guided imagery or directed visualization. The ministry facilitator should avoid all forms of guided imagery or any form of directed visualization. He or she should allow you to have a genuine mind renewal experience directed by the Holy Spirit and not one guided by the facilitator. He should not make any suggestions as to what you should see, remember, or conjure up in your mind. He should not instruct you to find a “happy place” in your mind or think about or envision Jesus or any former encounter you may have had with God. Doing these things is directing and guiding and risks employing guided, or suggestive, imagery; which is strictly forbidden in this prayer ministry model.
The prayer facilitator should never ask Jesus to direct you in any manner, do anything for you, including asking Jesus to take you to any memory. You will remember everything that you need to, when you choose to. You will choose to remember when there is nothing that you believe about remembering holding you back from remembering.
This process is dependent on you making the needed choices to connect with your emotion, identify the memory context where you initially embraced your lie-based thinking and therein willfully identify and expose what you believe. After you have chosen to do this, the Holy Spirit is free to provide you with the truth. If the Holy Spirit does not initially grant you His perspective, he is not withholding anything from you, but merely waiting on you to freely expose and reveal anything hidden. In TPM we refer to this as “positioning” ourselves. When we are in the proper position to receive His truth, He will grant it. This process is totally dependent upon your free will. Nothing, no one or thing is keeping you from knowing the truth that God has for you. Everything that occurs in the session is based upon what you believe and choose.
- TPM is not a Memory Hunt. Your ministry facilitator should not ask you to go look for a memory, have you try to think of any early place where you felt bad feelings, or search for anything in your past. God has designed your mind to connect you to any related memory simply by you focusing on your feelings through a process HE created called association. Your emotion will act like a smoke trail leading you to the fire. You do not need a lot of smoke to find the fire, but you must have some smoke. Your lie-based beliefs are the source of your negative emotions and all beliefs you harbor were learned in a life experiences. When you focus on what you are feeling, your mind will connect you to the memory where you first established the belief that is causing you the pain. If you find yourself trying to remember or “dig up” a memory, then this is an indication that you are actually hindering association from working. This suggests that you believe something about remembering that is hampering the natural process of association from occurring. For example, if you believe that by remembering some particular memory you might become overwhelmed by it, you may choose to not remember. You can choose not to remember (albeit subconsciously) and hinder association from occurring. This choice is based upon what you believe.
Once you are feeling emotion your facilitator will ask you the first question in the TPM Process, “What are you feeling right now?” When you report what you are feeling he will follow with a second question, “As you focus on what you are feeling what comes to your mind?” This second question is NOT intended to send you looking for a memory, but rather to see if there is anything that hinders you from remembering. Unless association is being thwarted you should remember a memory when you focus on what you are feeling. If nothing comes to your mind let your facilitator know. This is a typical issue and a solution is available to remedy it. No matter what comes to mind let the facilitator know what is happening. Do not disregard anything that comes to your mind no matter how unimportant you may think that it is. Especially report any memory that you feel a resistance to remember. These are very important memories.
- TPM does not seek to diagnose emotional problems. The ministry facilitator should never offer their opinion about your problem or mental condition during a ministry session. This ministry process is NOT counseling or therapy. No place in TPM should you ever receive advice, direction, counsel, life coaching, or even biblical instruction. There is indeed a time and place for any and all of this, but not during a TPM session. Even if a facilitator is a qualified mental health professional, making a medical or psychological diagnosis is not a part of the TPM process. They should seek to help you to identify and expose, the lie-based reasons/beliefs causing the emotional pain in your life, but never diagnose your mental state or offer you advice or direction during a TPM session. Helping you to identify what you believe is accomplished solely by the facilitator asking specific and predetermined questions. These questions are not diagnostic questions, but only questions that invite you to evaluate what you feel and believe.
- TPM is about choice. The ministry facilitators should never pressure you to do anything that you do not choose to do. You make all the decisions about how far you will go, whether you will embrace the pain, identify the lies you believe, and if you will offer the lie-based thinking you discover to the Lord for His truth. If you feel pressure from the ministry facilitator to move in any direction or do anything anywhere along the way, you should point this out to him or her so that he or she might refrain from doing so. However, resistance to moving forward is an indication of a belief that you hold which is contrary to your doing so. The focus needs to always be on identifying the belief behind the resistance and exchanging it for God’s truth. You should also have complete freedom to stop the process at any point. The entire prayer process is dependent upon what you choose to do. This is your journey.
- The TPM facilitator should never insinuate or make any suggestions about memory content. The ministry facilitator should not make any suggestions or insinuations regarding any memories you may recall during a session or what your lie-based thinking may be, thus allowing you to make these discoveries yourself. He or she should only work within the memory context that you alone bring up in the session. At the end of the day, all information (other than the specific TPM protocol, questions, and principles) that is brought forth in a ministry session should come only from you.
- TPM uses a predetermined list of clear and precise questions designed to help you to identify what you are feeling and the lie you believe. There is no need for the ministry facilitator to create his own questions during a ministry session. He should never ask questions that are leading or suggestive about memory content or that seek any direct information of any kind. Your facilitator should be able to give you this specific list of questions that he will be asking you. You can also learn the entire TPM PROCESS yourself and know whether your facilitator is following the “MAP.” If what your facilitator is doing does not reflect the information published by TPM, then your facilitator is not following TPM protocol. You can also read the six part articles discussing each of these questions and their intent. Especially pay attention to the second question in the EMOTION Box. Also, read carefully the discussion about the first question in the De-Solution Tool that pertains to feeling resistance or hesitancy.
- TPM is not focused on memory content, but rather upon what you currently believe. Your memory will help provide the context needed in order to identify why you believe what you believe, and, why you feel what you are feeling. Your memories are not the source of the emotional pain that you feel nor do they contain the lies that we are looking for. The pain we feel comes from what we currently believe. We did learn all of what we believe in the context of life experiences, but what we remember in a memory is not the belief that is producing what we feel now. We feel what we currently believe even though we initially learned the belief during an earlier time in life. The reason for why we feel badly when we remember certain moments from our past is because we view them through the lens of our current belief. When the Lord displaces the lies we believe and replaces them with His perspective, our emotions we may feel when we remember a memory will change to match the truth. Then, when we look at the memory, we will no longer feel the emotional pain that we once did. The reason for this is, the memory was never the reason for the pain. There was real pain when the event occurred, but the pain that followed comes from the beliefs we embraced and we carried forward.
- TPM is not concerned with the accuracy of memory, even though this may be important in different contexts. The TPM facilitator should not suggest, insinuate, or even assume that anything you remember is necessarily true or accurate since they have no way of knowing this in the context of a ministry session. In fact, determining the accuracy of a memory is of little-to-no benefit in the TPM session. It is the belief (the interpretation formed in the context of what was believed to have happened) that is the focus in the session. TPM facilitators should not comment as to whether the content of your memory is true or false. They should allow you to come to your own conclusions in your own time. Memory is not a perfect science, and the reliability of remembering accurately is, at best, questionable. Nevertheless, the emotional pain that we feel is not coming from what we remember, but rather what we believe.This is not to say that determining the accuracy of what is remembered is not important in a different setting, but just not important when seeking to identify the core-belief that is the reason for the negative emotion being felt.
- TPM facilitators do not interpret anything that surfaces in a ministry session. The ministry facilitators should not attempt to interpret or explain any information, visual image, or other inner mind experience that you report. This includes dreams or visions you may experience outside the ministry session. This is not needed or helpful in the context of TPM.
- The TPM facilitator never needs to share personal insight, words of knowledge, nor any visual he may imagine during a ministry session. The facilitator should not share any visual images or “prophetic words” that he or she may believe are related to your memory. The facilitator should also not supply you with what he or she thinks God wants you to know at any time during the ministry session. If a ministry facilitator “sees” something in his mind, and he thinks it has something to do with you or your memory, he should treat this as his own imagination and keep it to himself. To do otherwise is to risk putting imagery in your mind that did not originate from your own thinking. If this should ever occur then what is happening is not TPM.Here again, this is not needed and unhelpful in the context of TPM. If a ministry facilitator does any of these things during your session, know that he is she is NOT following TPM protocol. You should decide what you desire to see happen at this time. This is not to discredit anything anyone may be doing in ministry, but only to clearly define TPM.
Note: The facilitator may be a gifted Bible teacher, but he or she should withhold biblical instruction during a ministry session. You need to hear/receive the truth directly from the Holy Spirit concerning the lies you may believe. There is a time and place for teaching and instruction in the Scriptures, but it is not when the person is looking to the Holy Spirit and listening for the Lord’s voice. This is not to say that a facilitator might stop the session and bring clarity concerning something you may have question about. However, the main thing is that he or she does not try to perform the Holy Spirit’s role in the process. The Holy Spirit is the giver of truth in this context.
- Some negative emotion can be rooted in the truth and not a lie. There are rare moments, in some sessions, where there are no lies present and what you feel is what is referred to as “truth-based emotion.” Truth-based emotions are painful feelings that are the direct outcome of believing the truth (some grief, sadness, disappointment, regret, and remorse can be truth-based). Whenever this is the case, the facilitator may share the truth with you about the Lord carrying all our “griefs and sorrow.” Him sharing this truth is only done because there is no lie-based thinking engaged. The only time a ministry facilitator will need to speak biblical truth to a person during a session is before the session begins, the session is over, there is a need to stop the session to bring some clarification, or if there is the presence of truth-based pain and no lie-based thinking is present.Truth-based emotional pain is dealt with differently from lie-based pain. Lie-based pain is resolved with the truth. Whereas, truth-based pain is based upon the truth and needs a “greater” truth from God to bring about resolution.
- TPM is not about confronting the devil. Demons only do what they do because of what we believe and allow. A demon cannot make you do anything that you do not choose to do. You do not have to allow a demon to manifest in a ministry session if you do not want it to. It is important that you choose not to allow demons to participate in your session. This is your choice. Do you personally believe that a demon can make you sin if you do not want or choose to sin? If he cannot make you sin, then how can he make you do anything else? It really is that simple. Realize that you are in control of what happens in your session, do not afford the devil an opportunity to use your mind or body. If you resist him he has to flee.The primary strategy of the devil is to get us to act out on our lie-based pain, either by “self-medicating” through food, sex, intoxicants, entertainment, religious performance, etc., or by acting out our pain in a hurtful way onto others. He seeks to find someone “churned up” in an emotional state and then provides them with a solution to resolve their emotional predicament. He will try to do the same in a ministry session. Choose to resist him and he HAS TO flee. Take responsibility for what you are feeling and reject his short-sighted solutions.
- TPM has its limits. Facilitators should be careful to not go beyond their training and expertise in ministry. They should seek to network with others and work under the supervision of those whom are more skilled if possible. Should they find themselves beyond their knowledge and understanding, they should defer to others more equipped. Nevertheless, as Christians, they are called to minister to, pray for, and encourage any person who needs an encounter with the Lord. Know that your ministry facilitator will do all that he can do to help you choose to identify the lies you believe that are causing your emotional pain. However, he may need to refer you to someone more qualified if the need arises.
- TPM is about operating within the Body of Christ. Every true believer in Christ is a member of His Body and should be working in concert with others through Christ who is the central focus of all true ministry. TPM facilitators should not be doing ministry as a “lone wolf.” If he is not associated with the Body of Christ in some manner, it would be important to find out why. If at all possible, the ministry facilitators should seek to minister while in a community of like-minded believers who use these principles and are mutually accountable. This is not to say that prayer ministries operating outside of the local church are not viable, for indeed they may well be. Nonetheless, the ministry facilitator should still be personally associated with and a participating member of the Body of Christ.
- TPM has clear protocols and procedures. If what you want is a pure form of TPM, then ask your facilitator if this is indeed what he is doing. If he has changed, augmented, deleted, or “reinterpreted” any part of the ministry process, and is not following genuine TPM protocol, then you need to know this before the session begins. If they are using a “hybrid” form of TPM, they should clearly state that they are not doing genuine Transformation Prayer Ministry. If you have any question as to what is genuine TPM avail yourself to the training on this website. If you have specific questions concerning TPM contact this ministry directly by email.
- A TPM facilitator maintains confidentiality. Any information that you share during the ministry session should be held in utmost confidentiality. TPM facilitators should not share any information without first obtaining permission from you. The only exception would be when it is required by law to report the suspicion of child or elder abuse.
Final Note: Please know that you have full control in every ministry session. If you ever find yourself feeling uncomfortable during a session because you have questions about what is occurring, stop the session. However, please know that if a person is not following these guidelines, it does not necessarily mean that he is engaged in a ministry approach that is ineffective. What he or she is doing very well may be exactly what is best for you.
However, if the ministry facilitator is not following these guidelines and basic protocol as described in the TPM training, then he or she is NOT USING TPM. You will need to decide what you want.
Please take responsibility for your own healing journey and equip yourself in this ministry approach. The prayer minister is not doing anything in the session that you could not learn to do yourself. The TPM training is freely available for anyone, so please avail yourself of what is at your disposal.