Welcome to the Growing in Wholeness course.
Jesus said to his disciples: "I have come in order that you might have life, life in all its fullness." (John 10.10). This desire to give fullness of life is shown in the Gospel accounts of his teaching and healing ministry. In this course, our aim is to discover the proper expectations for Christians to have concerning healing and wholeness today so that we might all receive more of the "life in all its fullness" that Jesus promises.
The course is designed to help you both to grow in wholeness yourself and to learn skills in ministering to others. Completing the course is not a qualification in itself to authorize you to minister in your own church - all such ministry must always be with the permission and under the supervision of your church’s leadership.
The course consists of six main sessions, in each of which there are elements of teaching, practical work and prayer. In addition, there is a "Linkwork" programme of Bible reading and activities for you to do privately between sessions or after the course. Session 6 may be covered in the context of a healing service. An extra session on good practice guidelines has been added for those who will be involved in offering the ministry of healing to others or for churches who are about to start such a ministry. Some course leaders may prefer to spread the teaching content of the course over a larger number of sessions.
In some sessions you will meet in small groups to encourage and pray for one another. You may choose your group members and will not have to share anything you don't want to. At every stage of the course, you are to take responsibility for your own involvement and learning.
During the sessions memories and thoughts will come to your mind that could at first seem unrelated to the course. Quite often these are clues to where God may want to bring greater wholeness to you. Do not dismiss them, instead make a note so that they are not forgotten, and you can return to think and pray about them later.
The Linkwork at the end of each session, is an important part of the course and should not be skimped if you want to reap maximum benefit. Normally the exercises should take about an hour and they do not all have to be done at the same time. If you find some of the Linkwork too difficult or painful then leave that part for the time being, you can always come back to it later, perhaps after talking it through with a trusted and mature Christian friend. Also, if you become stuck or confused over any aspect of the course, please do not battle on alone.
You will probably find some parts of the course more helpful than others; this is because we all have different personalities and learning styles. The best approach is to try everything and ask God what he wants you to learn through each experience of the course; then you can keep what is helpful for you and leave the rest. Coming back to an exercise again at a later date may bring new insight and help. The content of each session is quite full and so do not worry if it does not all sink in first time, the notes will help you go over points again later.
It would be a great help for you to ask one or two people to be praying for you, the other participants and the course leaders so that all of us will be open to receive everything that God wishes to give.
Click here for general advice for leaders.
Click here for all the participants' notes, in one big file
Click here for powerpoint slides. There are hyperlinks on slide 2 to assist navigation.
Session 1: FOUNDATIONS: What is healing and wholeness? Click here for the participants' guide, and here for an alternative approach.
Session 2: SPIRITUAL HEALING: Forgiveness and Reconciliation Click here for the participants' guide, here for an alternative approach .
Session 3: EMOTIONAL WHOLENESS: Healing Life's Hurts Click here for the participants' guide, and here for an alternative approach
Session 4: PHYSICAL HEALING: Praying for the Sick Click here for the participants' guide, and here for an alternative approach
Session 5: DEALING WITH BARRIERS TO WHOLENESS Click here for the participants' guide, and here for an alternative approach
Session 6: SACRAMENTAL MINISTRY OF HEALING Click here for the participants' guide . There are no "alternative" notes for this session, since the intention is that this be presented as part of s service of worship.
Session 7: GOOD PRACTICE IN THE HEALING MINISTRY Click here for the participants' guide, There are no "alternative" notes for this session, since the intention is that tthis session is a meeting of the pastoral care team or equivalent..
10th Edition 2019 © Roger Matthews 1993 - 2019
The scripture quotations contained herein are from The New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA and are used with permission. All rights reserved.
The liturgical material taken from Common Worship and Patterns for Worship is Copyright © The Archbishops’ Council.
I acknowledge with gratitude the insights and ideas of many individuals and organisations who have helped to shape my understanding of the Christian healing ministry. If any copyright material has been incorporated without proper acknowledgement or permission I would like to rectify the matter in future editions. Please contact Revd Canon Dr Roger Matthews, Dean of Mission and Ministry, Diocese of Chelmsford, 53 New Street, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1AT.