Ministry Session Process (Pt. 2) – Preparation for Application
The Ultimate Goal: Equipping People for the Journey
The old adage “Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day; teach a man to fish, and he’ll feed himself for the rest of his life,” applies here. If you provide people with ministry sessions, they will find freedom from a few lies, but if you teach them the purpose, principles and the process, they can make TPM a lifestyle, learn to do the ministry themselves, and be able to take advantage of countless more opportunities for refinement and freedom. If we fail to do this we create dependent relationships and people who assume that their emotional pain is their problem and need others to rescue them from it.
The truth is, most people seek help because they feel bad and want someone to help them to feel better. T.P.M. does not stand for Troublesome Pain Management or Troubled People’s Ministry, but for Transformation Prayer Ministry. TPM is solely intended to help us identify the lies we believe so we may have our mind’s renewed with God’s truth and be transformed by it.
The goal of TPM is to equip every member of the Body of Christ for their journey with God in such a way that they might purposefully and intentionally cooperate with what He is doing to refine their faith, renew their minds, and transform their lives.
The Process, Principles and Purpose of TPM
As you may know by now, Transformation Prayer Ministry is comprised of three components. The one most people are aware of is the PROCESS: this is what actually occurs in a ministry session. However, there are two other components that are actually more important than the process itself: PRINCIPLES and PURPOSE.
The “Principles” are the foundation stones on which the process rests. The PURPOSE of TPM is that we purposefully and intentionally cooperate with God in what He is doing to refine our faith, renew our minds and transform our lives. TPM is much more than a “tool” for identifying lies and receiving truth, it is a lifestyle, frame of reference and a means for working in tandem with God as He seeks to complete that which He is doing.”For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 1:6)
When life difficulties come our way, whatever we believe is made evident by our emotional reaction to what has happened. If we respond in joy, peace, assurance, and other godly ways, then we are probably walking in a purified faith. If we are fearful, worried, stressed, angered, feeling hopeless, powerless, out of control, overwhelmed, etc. then our faith is lacking. Since we feel whatever we believe, negative emotions indicate impurities in our faith or lie-based belief.
If we do not understand the principles and purpose and only know the process, we may have good success in the sessions we administer, but we will lack understanding as to why we are doing what we are doing. If the person receiving ministry does not understand the process or principles, he will be dependent upon the ministry facilitator to rescue him from the pain he feels, and fail to understand what God is doing in his life. Without understanding the principles (the concepts behind what we do in a ministry session) and the purpose (cooperating with God in His refining and mind renewal work) we will probably misinterpret the difficulties we will face throughout the course of our life. We will likely only seek-out ministry when our coping solutions stop working and we are unable to tolerate the pain any longer.
However, when we understand the principles and purpose of TPM, the process becomes a daily practice and lifestyle that allows us to work synchronously with God in what He is doing to transform us into the likeness of Jesus. We will begin to rightly see the pain we feel, the struggles we contend with, and the hindrances in our lives for what they are; opportunities to come into truth and gain a more pure faith. We will start to realize that we are not simply victims of circumstance; but rather, beneficiaries of refinement! So not only do we as ministering facilitators want to be well equipped, we want to equip those who come to us for ministry with the knowledge and skill of this ministry.
Orientation and Training in Every Session
Taking Personal Responsibility
The person coming for prayer should be taught that this is his journey and he is responsible for his own understanding of TPM. There is no need for you to come up with what to teach since all of the training is freely available here, on the TPM website. Simply assign the person specific articles to read ahead of time that you want to go over with him. Unless the Mentee (the person coming for ministry) is experiencing an emotional meltdown when he arrives for ministry, the mentoring facilitator should take time before each session to discuss the basic principles and concepts of TPM. When the person arrives for his session, the ministry facilitator should ask him if he has completed his assignment in preparation for the session.
The ministry facilitator should not be surprised when the person does not read his assigned articles. Many people are slow to take personal responsibility for their journey and occasionally prefer to be catered-to and “rescued” from their troubles. Nevertheless, hold the course and require their participation in this journey and refuse to “carry” them. It is often helpful to use your own journey as an example. When the person sees the benefits of taking responsibility for his own journey with the Lord, he will likely be won over.
A common excuse made for not doing one’s assignment is “I didn’t have time.” This is rarely the truth. People have time to watch TV, walk their dog, and catch a movie. It has to do with priorities. The mentoring ministry facilitator will have to lovingly remind his “mentee” that this is his or her journey and becoming equipped for the journey is a necessity; not merely an option.
Refuse to Rescue
It is typical for people to rely completely on others to “save” them from their difficulties and become dependent on others doing all the work. (This is a common “Solution” people implement) However, in TPM there are no victims needing to be rescued. People must come to realize that everything that happens in a ministry session is based upon and dependent upon their own belief and choice and not on what the ministering facilitator does. There is nothing that the facilitator knows or is doing in the session that the person being prayed with cannot learn and do himself.
As I said, it is more important that the person learns the principles and process than finding freedom from a few lies in the session. If the recipient can understand and use the principles and process, he will be able to find freedom from lies for the rest of his life. When the person understands that TPM is a tool that allows him or her to cooperate with what God is doing to refine His faith and to renew his mind, he can benefit daily and avoid being dependent upon someone else to administer TPM.
Every Ministry Session a Training Opportunity
There is no better time to teach TPM than in the context of the ministry session. Learning in the context of the experience will increase comprehension. The mentoring facilitator should take time following the session to walk through what happened, explaining how the process was implemented. Again, the primary goal of every session is to equip the person (Mentee) to learn to “fish.” The goal of the session is not to make sure that the person reaches a place of peace and calm. And if the facilitator feels any amount of nervousness or anxiety about making sure the person ends with “peace and calm,” this should be addressed in personal ministry so that he is not driven by his own lie-based pain.
There are times where doing ministry takes precedence over orientation. If a person comes for ministry during an emotional meltdown, we should be sensitive to this and proceed with the session so that the ministry recipient might have some relief. Nonetheless, a portion of every session should include helping the person learn and grow in the knowledge of TPM principles and practice. We do not want people dependent upon us for this ministry. Our focus needs to be on equipping people to learn to identify their own lie-based issues, seek the Lord for truth and experience transformation as a natural and expected part of their journey with God.
Facilitator Needs to Be Ready and Equipped
It is crucial that the facilitator becomes very familiar with the information that is available in the INTRODUCTION portion of the training so that he or she may point the recipient in the right direction. He should be ready and equipped to encourage the person with the basic ideas and concepts. The sooner the person understands the basic principles and purpose of TPM the better. Unless he understands the principles and purpose he will misunderstand TPM to be a means for managing his emotional pain and will not seek ministry once his pain level is reduced. We will soon discover that emotional pain is not a problem to overcome, but rather a necessary part of the ministry process. The facilitator can provide the recipient with information pertinent to where he or she may be in their ministry journey by referring him to particular articles and videos on this website.
TPM Process: A Ministry Tool for All
For too long, TPM has been viewed as a ministry exclusively designed for “emotionally hurting people,” as opposed to a tool for all believers to use so they can intentionally participate in what God is doing to purify their faith (belief). As stated, TPM is a life-skill that can be applied daily as we become aware of our need for mind renewal. TPM is for every believer in the Body of Christ and not just for “troubled people”. The truth is, we are all “troubled people.” It is that just some of us perform better in our “troubled-ness” than others.