When reading the New Testament, it becomes quite clear that deliverance from evil spirits was a normal part of the ministry of Jesus and was carried on by the early church. Yet, it is often avoided, ignored, or seen only as a fringe ministry in much of the modern western church.
If we are going to make deliverance normal again, we will have to remove the confusion, fear, and stigma from this topic. That is part of the reason why I wrote Keys for Deliverance. We cannot afford to avoid this topic any longer, and we must have clear, biblical, and practical teaching and practice in this area.
What can we do to make deliverance a normal and functioning ministry in a local church community? For the last few years, we have been working toward this at Threshold Church, where I serve as lead pastor. Below are some practical points for how to incorporate deliverance into the life of your church.
1. Deliverance should be talked about and taught on openly: We should not avoid talking about or teaching this topic. Making deliverance a taboo subject only serves to perpetuate the fear and confusion. Here is an example of a sermon I preached on deliverance during one of our Sunday services: Deliverance from Evil Spirits.
2. Deliverance should be ministered publicly in a healthy way: Deliverance can certainly be done in private prayer ministry settings, but we should not relegate deliverance ministry to private settings only. Jesus ministered deliverance in public, and so should we. We must do this in a healthy way, with compassion for the ones being ministered to, but we should not avoid this. When we teach and minister deliverance openly, it demystifies the subject and opens the way for many others to be set free.
3. Deliverance should be done along with pastoral care and discipleship: We should follow up with those who receive ministry and make sure to have a way for them to be cared for and discipled. Deliverance and discipleship go hand-in-hand.
4. We should include testimonies of deliverance: We should allow for people to share testimonies of their experience with deliverance. This helps to remove the stigma that is often associated with it and opens the door for others to be set free.
5. We should equip the average believer to minister deliverance: Jesus never set out to be an exclusive “exorcist” or intended for deliverance to be done only by an elite few. He intentionally multiplied the ministry of deliverance so that more people could be set free. We should do the same, equipping the average believer to be able to cast out evil spirits.
Some people are concerned that if we start to talk about demons and deliverance we will become too fixated and excessively focused on it. While there may be some validity to these concerns, I am much more concerned with the significant percentage of churches that do not believe in or practice the ministry of deliverance at all. If deliverance from evil spirits was not meant to be a normal part of the church’s life and mission, then Jesus sure missed that memo!
Instead of taking our cues from our culture and church tradition, we must take our cues from Jesus. We must make deliverance a normal ministry that is incorporated into the life of the church. As we embrace and restore this ministry in the church, we will see many people set free!
For more information about deliverance from evil spirits, check out my new book: