Driving demons out of people is one of the signs to follow believers (Mark 16:17). What are the qualifications for someone to minister in deliverance? We have ministered deliverance to thousands of people and trained hundreds; I want to share our perspective on this vital question.
We recently released an article on the faith level to receive deliverance ministry. We contend that those who want ministry need to stir up their faith for Christ to do a work, prepare correctly and look to Him, not the minister to be their deliverer.
My first exposure to driving demons out of people occurred after a group deliverance seminar attended in 1998. I was immediately entranced and approached the man of God who was leading. Something inside of me was stirring, and I told him that my wife and I wanted to come alongside him and his wife and learn how to do this stuff.
He asked if I wanted to begin right now. When I nodded in the affirmative, he led me into a back room where I helped him minister to a man who had come in at the end.
At that time, I knew very little about driving demons out of people, receiving ministry myself a few hours earlier. I had seen John Wimber, the leader of the Vineyard Church, call demons out of a man once in front of thousands of people at a teaching conference in Anaheim, CA.
Looking back, I realized I had one key drive – I was interested in the ministry and wanted to do it!
My wife and I trained under this couple, Paul and Claire Hollis, for years. I was part of their ministry for seven years until leaving, and the Lord birthed Above & Beyond Counseling Ministries in 2008. During that time, we learned, ministered, studied and let the Lord teach us through hundreds of sessions. We have always walked in the revelation that we had and believe, and know in some cases, that we have helped many.
What about the Anointing for Deliverance?
I believe the anointing comes in response to our obedience to step out and do the works of ministry. It begins with interest and heartfelt desire. Then, do we understand the power and authority that we as believers possess? Many frustrated followers wait for the “unction” or “anointing” to fall before they step out of the boat.
I believe that the anointing and giftings begin to flow once we take the first steps. These steps include prayer, preparation, study, mentoring and, as John Wimber used to say, actually “doing the stuff”.
There is grace to make mistakes and grow in ministry activities. Errors do not include hurting or abusing people so wisdom and safeguards must be in place and these can facilitate growth while allowing God’s grace to flow through the minister.
I do not believe deliverance ministers have to be more “holy” or “sinless” than others are. Every minister in the Body of Christ needs a healthy understanding of who he or she is in Christ. Each must receive His own forgiveness and know that He will walk with them on this journey as they purpose to walk with Him.
To summarize, here are five elements to consider if you feel a stirring to become involved in deliverance ministry:
- Do you have a desire to help people in this area? Are your motives pure?
- Are you prepared to come under a ministry/church covering that is moving successfully in this area? Lone rangers are dangerous in the Body of Christ because they can do significant damage when accountability is lacking.
- Will you commit to reading and researching about what other reputable deliverance ministers are doing? There is nothing new under the sun, and you can build upon and incorporate some of what others are doing. Discernment is critical; not all that glitters is gold. You cannot go wrong by looking at the trails blazed by Peter Horrobin, Don Dickerson, Henry Wright Kim Daniels, and others. For each one, you can “eat the chicken and spit out the bones” if something concerns you.
- Can you make it not about you? Settle the issue that it is Christ IN you who gets the glory. You have HIS power and authority, and you have an excellent opportunity to be the junior partner in this venture. When you get that, it will make it easier to focus on the people He brings to you to help.
- Will you give yourself the grace to fail at times? Accept the reality that you will make mistakes, and that is one of the ways to mature in this ministry, just as in preaching, teaching, healing, prophecy, and others.
The Body of Christ needs more trained and seasoned deliverance ministers. There are plenty of good ministries out there, and many offer online resources and training.
- Start with training and equipping yourself.
- As you progress, ask the Lord to connect you with a church or ministry in your area that is supportive and, ideally, is already driving demons out of the sheep. I do not think it is unreasonable to trust in Him to open doors at the proper time.
Prepare so that you can be ready to step out of the boat when He calls you.
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