5 Principles for Leaders to Release the Supernatural
Many leaders long to see the people they serve walk in power, healing and the prophetic, especially outside the church. No longer satisfied to build a traditional ministry; they are stirred to impact their city. A passion is growing to see their regions and their campuses saturated in the glory of God, people surrendering their lives to Jesus, and the culture reflecting the Kingdom of God. But this shift in thinking requires a different set of tools, and we are compelled to seek revelation on how to make this become a reality. One of the most frequent questions I am asked by leaders is, “How can I release the supernatural in my ministry.”
In Matthew 5:16, Jesus makes it clear that one of the main keys to seeing the glory of God invade a city is a people shining their light—so those around them encounter their works. That word “works” is not referring to “random acts of kindness”, but rather, what Jesus demonstrated throughout His ministry as the sick were healed, the dead raised, the lame walked, and the blind received sight. In other words, as we manifest God’s power by laying hands on the diseased, prophesy over the broken, and radically love the lonely; our light will blaze through the darkness.
If we are going to empower people to transform their cities and campuses for Jesus, our methods must move beyond holding events to equipping lifestyles. As grateful as I am for the testimonies of the supernatural at our Jesus Culture conferences, I am only truly satisfied when I see these encounters multiply in and through the lives of the attendees when they return home. We are still learning everyday but here are a few keys.
1) Demonstrate God’s extravagant love
Healing, prophetic ministry, and signs and wonders are all extremely exhilarating. When one lays hands on someone who had scoliosis and physically feels their back straightening out, it is an amazing experience. Most importantly though, as healings and prophecy begin to flow, it is crucial we contend for love to remain the core reason and motivation for ministering in power. Galatians 5:6 tells us that faith works through love. Faith to demonstrate the power of God flows through love. The Kingdom we represent is founded in love and we are called to display it not only in word—but also in power (1 Corinthians 4:20). Signs and wonders are to point people toward a greater reality—the extravagant love of God. If we don’t equip our people to ground their walk in love, healing becomes just another fad that’s fun temporarily, but with no lasting affect.
2) Teach That The Anointing Is For Everyone
The level of anointing that many of the fathers and mothers of the faith operated in like John G. Lake, Oral Roberts, and Kathryn Kuhlman is available to all who are hungry for it. My senior pastor, Bill Johnson describes it this way: “God gives certain individuals a ‘spike’ in human experience, not so they can merely gather people around themselves to minister to them, but that they would be positioned with favor to equip the saints, so that their ‘high point’ becomes the new norm.” The anointing is available for everyone… young and old, extrovert and introvert, new and mature Christian. Our people must be given the opportunity to step out in the anointing. Whether it is having them pray for each other during a meeting, on their campuses, in their homes, or in their workplaces people need frequent opportunities to experience this reality.
3) Make room
At our church we make room for the supernatural. Every service we pray for the sick. Whether it is trained ministry team or the congregation praying for one another. It might be in the middle or at the end during the ministry time, but there will always be an occasion for those in need of a supernatural encounter to receive prayer. We have this same focus with the youth ministry and my leaders and I model it and do it with the youth. We regularly give part of every meeting for words of knowledge, healing prayer, prophetic opportunities and the like.
I would encourage you to reassess your agenda and rearrange your schedule to give them as many occasions as possible to lay hands on those in need of a physical healing. The more you make room for it in their lives, the more it will happen naturally elsewhere and become a lifestyle.
4) Develop a culture of risk
Among university students, I noticed a pattern inhibiting them from experiencing the breakthroughs in healing they desired. These students passionately believed in healing but were not seeing it regularly. “Pressing in” to see healing, they were not actually “stepping out” to pray for people. They were crying out for God to move—but they themselves were not moving! There was a sense that if they persevered long enough in prayer, an anointing would fall from Heaven and they would obtain results. While I absolutely believe we need to reach for a greater anointing, we all have an anointing to minister supernaturally that is available right now. But it requires us to position ourselves to take risks. When you are faithful with what you currently have, the Lord entrusts you with more.
If we as leaders are going to expect the people we serve to take risks outside the walls of the church we must give them opportunities inside the church and inside community to develop. As they learn to take risks in a safe environment their confidence grows in public. For example, train your people in healing and the prophetic and then push them to give words of knowledge or prophesy over their peers. When someone needs healing, ask people to pray for him or her. They might be scared and nervous but stand with them, and champion their courage.
You will likely find that many are afraid to fail. This is one of the main reasons why many people never see the power of God demonstrated in their life. They are frozen by the thought, “What if I step out and nothing happens?” This fear must be overcome. Strengthen them to conquer this fear. Many times the results we are seeking are on the other side of persistence. I heard one time that John Wimber prayed for a 1,000 people before he saw his first breakthrough in healing. The more we take risks and God shows up in answer to our prayers, the more we will mature into expressing a supernatural lifestyle.
5) Use Testimonies of Power To Unlock Their Potential
This is a simple but profound principle. If your people are not living in the realm of the supernatural, continually bring before them stories of the miraculous being outworked. This communicates what is possible, and if God will use one person in that way He will use them as well. Christians instinctively know they are designed to demonstrate the Kingdom; therefore testimonies reach deep inside to awaken those areas in their life. If you don’t have any testimonies within your community, then borrow someone else’s. God is no respecter of persons!