What Is the Church's Healing Ministry? Biblical and Global Perspectives

By Allen, E. Anthony | International Review of Mission, January-April 2001 | Go to article overview

What Is the Church's Healing Ministry? Biblical and Global Perspectives


Allen, E. Anthony, International Review of Mission


E. ANTHONY ALLEN [*]

One of the church's foremost missions is also one of its most neglected. This is the ministry of healing. An examination of this neglected ministry brings us closer to the reason why the spiritual life and vitality of too many churches seem to be at such a low ebb. Perhaps the greatest reason for this neglect is the ignoring by Western-influenced churches of the biblical theological foundations of the church's call to a healing ministry. The purpose of this article is to examine these biblical perspectives and to suggest some practical implications.

Luke chapter 9, verses 1-4, summarizes very well the theological challenge to a commitment to the understanding of and involvement in the church's healing ministry:

When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them: "Take nothing for the journey -- no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town". (NIV)

According to the above passage, the challenge to the church today is a threefold one. God's people are being called to be:

* Healers who proclaim and demonstrate a total gospel of forgiveness and healing,

* Healers of the whole person,

* Healers in a healing community.

If the church, through its local congregations, can come to grips with these theological cornerstones of healing, then we can be assured that this ministry will truly be transformed from a neglected imperative to an all out initiative, from a maybe to a must. This should be a priority task for the church as we face the alienation and increasing marginalization of persons in the new millennium.

Healers who proclaim and demonstrate a total gospel

The total gospel according to Luke 9:2, is to "preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick..." (NIV). Traditionally, Western-influenced churches have abandoned healing and health care delivery to the medical establishment. Even those involved in medical missions have relied on medical professionals to do the job as separate from the day-to-day mission of the local congregation. Thus we in the church have tended to be guilty of a "schizophrenic" or split mind approach whereby we isolate our members' use of medical science, as well as psychology, from the realities of spirituality and the need of the church to be a healing community. However, health is not only the business of the professionals -- medical, psychological, or any other. It is also the business of the church.

If we are to take scripture as the basis of our functioning, then it becomes apparent from the verses in Luke that one theological cornerstone of a commitment to the church's ministry of healing is that it is a mandate of Christ and one that should be obeyed. This mandate comes from the very will and love of Christ. Thus, when Jesus called his twelve disciples, "he sent them out" as disciples, not only to "preach the kingdom" but also to "heal the sick". As apostles of healing, we are sent. The Greek word for "he sent" is apesteilen. We can see that it has the same root as the word "apostle". The apostles were ones sent, and so, as ones sent, all in the church are to be apostles of healing.

Once we make a commitment to Christ, we are taking up the challenge to be involved in a ministry of reconciliation and healing. This is also a commitment to those to whom Christ himself is committed. John the Baptist questioned Jesus, saying, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?" Notice how Jesus replied: "Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

What Is the Church's Healing Ministry? Biblical and Global Perspectives
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.