Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Head, Heart, Hands Method

Inductive Bible Study is an important part of what I do for discipleship and long-term evangelism. It is vitally important that every believer learns a simple method of understanding and applying the Scripture to their own lives. When working with new believers I try to teach as little as possible and let inductive Bible study do the work. I've used several methods, and in the past I wrote about Discovery Bible Study and the Three Column Method. While creating new short-term discipleship materials my friend and I discovered the Head, Heart, Hands method. We originally learned this method from Chuck Wood who discovered it from the first commandment that we should love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. He decided that we should use that as a model for understanding the Bible. My friend and I tweaked it a little and it is quickly becoming my favorite corporate
Bible Study method.

Head: Understanding

When is it?
Where is it?
Who is it?
What happened?
Say it in your own words.

Heart: Emotions & Promise

How does this make you feel?
Quote every time: “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32
How does this make you free?

Hands: Obedience

Quote every time: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
Is there a command to obey?
Sin to avoid?
Example to follow?
What will you do? (A practically obeyable goal)

Review: Miracle Work by Jordan Seng

Miracle Work
We are a supernatural people. Made in the image of God and called to follow a risen Lord through the world God made—we're anything but normal.
Given all that, it should not be surprising to us when miraculous things happen in our midst. Still, many of us are intimidated at the thought of it, and we stop short of trying so we won't disappoint God with our lack of faith, or—if we're being honest—so we won't be disappointed when God fails to deliver.
In Miracle Work Jordan Seng tells remarkable stories of physical healings and prophetic messages. He reflects on the possibility and limitations of a contemporary ministry that believes in the power of God, and helps us train and prepare ourselves for when God works through us in the lives of others. Read Miracle Work for a better understanding of what it means to be agents of grace, healing and even miracles in a world that desperately needs the good news of God’s loving, healing touch.
Jordan Seng's book Miracle Work stands out as a unique message on the topic of equipping the church for supernatural ministry. While making use of a highly successful formula of mixing practical teaching and encouragement with powerful personal testimonies of the miraculous, Seng manages to approach the subject of supernatural ministry from an unusual perspective and takes the reader down a different route to seeing God's kingdom arrive with power in personal lives. Miracle Work avoids vapid exhortations of "Just do it!" which have the potential to leave believers frustrated; it is practical to a fault. In fact, it's practicality and emphasis on work, and perhaps even "works" is what makes this book so valuable and unique but alternately raises caution.

From the very beginning Seng emphasizes work and preparation. While many books on supernatural ministry emphasize faith over and over, Seng emphasizes work over and over. Miracle Work is based on the premise that miracles occur when believers accumulate and release the power of God and that faith is only one piece of the equation when it comes to God's power. Consecration and authority/obedience are equal parts in the equation with faith and gifting. This premise pulls the entire book together as each testimony and teaching reveals the work and ministry labor that went on before, during, and after the miraculous. The book ranges from healing, deliverance, and prophecy to intercession and finally the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Rather than simply building faith and encouraging the believer that these ministries are natural and easy, Seng emphasizes the practical work pursuing such ministry requires. Miracle Work remains inspiring and encouraging, featuring some of the greatest stories of supernatural miracles I've ever read. The reader will walk away with a new desire to add heavy elbow grease to their faith.

In many ways Miracle Work appeals to both our zeal and our faults. While I greatly appreciate the emphasis of the book, I also recognize that I must be careful to not allow myself to believe that I can earn a miracle. In fact, when it comes to supernatural ministry, a works mentality may be my greatest fault. In the past, I have often stepped up to someone thinking, "I haven't prayed and fasted enough for this, and I sinned last week." Thankfully miracles, like salvation, are received by grace through faith, not by works. Our faith will produce work and our consecration and obedience will grow our faith. Seng's emphasis is extremely valuable specifically because he reveals how supernatural ministry makes us grow and mature. Many people do not pursue supernatural ministry with the zeal and hard work that they should. However, at the end of the day, we must rely on grace, not on our preparation.

The first half of the book provided the most concerns for me, especially the chapters regarding healing and deliverance, however I greatly enjoyed the second half of the book. The chapter on prophetic ministry was perhaps the strongest and seems to be Seng's greatest gifting as well.

Miracle Work is an important book on supernatural ministry. To those experienced in supernatural ministry it will provoke more zeal and a greater desire to devote ourselves to the work of the ministry. To those inexperienced in supernatural ministry, Miracle Work may emphasize works a little too strongly. I would recommend Do What Jesus Did by Robby Dawkins and a number of others before this book, but I would recommend this book to every seasoned minister who experiences the supernatural and desires more.

My thanks to Intervarsity Press for providing a complimentary review copy. I have given an honest review.