Sept 22, 2021
When it comes to healings and miracles, most people consider it a rare exception rather than a common occurrence. The greatest reason for this is the modernist era in which we live; these recent five centuries have been predominately informed by a worldview of logic, reason and the explainable sciences. And yet, we are Christian leaders called to preach the gospels to the fullest. This creates an interesting dissonance between our message and our practices.
#JesusStories: The book of Mark opens with a bang: demon exorcisms, a flood of healings, and even a leper being cured (vs. 1:40). That last one catches my attention. Jesus was likely walking out of a small Galilean synagogue when a leper came and knelt down before him. The interchange between Jesus and the leper is both holy and haunting. The holy part is when the man said, “You have the power to heal me.” Even though this was early in Jesus’ ministry (first chapter of Mark) the leper had already heard of his healings and miracles. And yet, he was a leper; and leprosy was a next-level disease that inspired a fearsome social reaction. Somehow, this leper believed that Jesus could even deal with his problem, as horrific as it was. Many of us need to meditate upon the faith this leper was able to muster for his big problem. There are those who feel the Lord might respond to small requests like some extra finances when things get tight, but trusting Jesus with a next-level issue like leprosy or cancer? That is really out there. Let me remind all of our souls that our Jesus is as capable of dealing with the big challenges as easily as the small. If a leper can come to know this, we can too.
Then this leper said something that was less faith-filled, even haunting. He said, “If you want to.” Though this is not bold like his first statement, I can actually understand it. This man was a social outcast; he was used to people not wanting to help him for fear they might get too close and contract the disease themselves. He was a shunned man, and his self-value had been diminished bit-by-bit with each shunning. Now he is kneeling before the Healer, but with a broken sense-of-worth. Many Christians and leaders need to meditate upon the question of whether or not the Lord really wants to fix their situation. Most trust the love of the Lord, but waffle in believing He desires to intervene in the challenge before us. We might even have a lagging spiritual confidence and wonder, “Why would heaven pour on this situation? I am not a big leader or a huge prayer-faith-person.” Maybe we need to take a lesson from this leper: he had the faith to trust Jesus’ power, he didn’t have the self-worth to expect anything, but he asked anyway. Awesome. You may or may not fully trust Jesus’ miraculous power in this day, you may or may not expect Jesus to choose to fix your need, but will you ask anyway? Like the leper, you just might be surprised at Jesus’ quick willingness to move heaven and earth to address your challenge. I am convinced that Jesus ‘wants to‘ more often than we think.
#DinnerChurchQuotes: “The more we pray for healing, the more often healing starts to occur.” -David Godwin
#PracticalStuff: Our Dinner Churches flow from the historic practices of Jesus, who healed people by day and had dinner with sinners by night. Are you and your team praying for healing around your dinner tables often? Would you consider gathering your core team and volunteers for the following convo: 1)read & remember some healings in the Gospels, 2)each of you determine to look for opportunities to offer healing prayers when the need arises in conversation, 3)end the meeting by inviting Jesus to heal your people more and more and more. What do you think?
Blessings & Boldness,
Dr. Verlon and Melodee Fosner have led a multi-site Assemblies of God Dinner Church in Seattle, Washington since 1999 (www.CommunityDinners.com). In this decade when more churches in the U.S. are declining than thriving, and when ninety-six churches a week are closing, Verlon and Melodee sensed that a different way of doing church was needed for their 97-year old Seattle congregation. It soon became obvious that they were not the only ones in need of a different path. They joined the FX team in 2016 and founded the Dinner Church Collective. And then in 2019 founded the Dinner Church School of Leadership. There is a lot to be gained when church leaders begin to see open doors in the American landscape that they had previously overlooked. Therein lies the journey for those who will forge a new future for the American Church.