Most frequently implicit or ignored, it can also be explicit – and when there are difficulties – just about any difficulties, an explicit Learning Contract can be an immense help.
What situations call for a good Learning Contract? Ministry, including healing and exorcism. Discipleship, including teaching and learning. Counseling. Therapy.
One of the most common problems when learning and growth are not taking place as wanted is the lack of a good Learning Contract.
So…what is a Learning Contract? First, it’s a context. Context provides an element that is likely to control or limit and what will happen. When a situation is chronic and problematical, the context is nearly always a problem. Look for the context when things are not working well.
What sort of context is a Learning Contract? It’s an agreement to learn and an agreement to teach.
Counseling, teaching or other ministry without an agreement to learn and an agreement to teach – too often goes poorly. When ministry is not going well – make a Learning Contract.
Too often a people try to minister, counsel or teach without an such an agreement.
A contract says what people involved will do, and often what will happen if they do not do as agreed. It provides a context for learning and ministry of all kinds. It is an agreed upon context – without which it is difficult to make things to happen.
In the culture of the Old Testament, normally people were considered clean, unless they came into contact with the unclean, such as by touching a dead body.
(Various bible translations use “Holy” and “Clean” for the same word; and “Unholy” and “Unclean” for another word. For me, “Holy” is more powerful; and “Clean” is more clear. Which words do you prefer?)
There is an important key principle here:the Unclean is more contagious than the Clean.
There is an important and parallel principle: When the Unclean came into contact with the Holy of Holies, the Unclean became Clean.
This is a ceremonial lesson about Jesus: who is the Holy of Holies and who makes clean whatever he comes into contact with.
So there is another important key principle here:the Holy of Holies is more contagious than the Unclean.
Which has important implications in healing and other ministry.
Jesus, his Anointing, and the Holy of Holies are a great context for ministry, such as preaching the Good News of the Kingdom of God, healing the sick or freeing the bound.
The Holy of Holies is a model of Jesus, who makes everything clean, who makes us whole, and who heals who has set us free. Jesus has overcome the world!
Context shapes and even controls what happens; Jesus was a master with the powerful and loving use of context. No surprise, really. But we do have much to learn from him about what he did with context.
This is a very common and too often an unrecognized issue. So much so, that when you are having repeated difficulty with an issue, it’s a good idea to examine the context.Context seems to control or limit what is likely to happen in that context.
Jesus frequently told his disciples to preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God. And in that context, to heal the sick and free the bound. Preaching the Good News of the Kingdom of God (that is near or at hand) is a context that makes healing and freeing the bound much more easy. When people agree to be ministered to or healed, or to accept other kinds of ministry, a Learning Contract has been established.
Jesus always created what amounts to being a special kind of context for healing or for other ministry: a Learning Contract. An agreement to learn or do something that everyone agrees to implicitly or explicitly. Which creates a powerful context for successful ministry.
When Jesus came into a place, he changed the context. The atmosphere changed: he carried the Anointing and great compassion. Everyone noticed him. Such a context makes healing people and freeing the bound much easier.
You can learn to do this because you carry Jesus in you, and you are in Jesus Christ.
So practice being more and more aware of context, and good timing – which is part of a good context. Minister with greater ease and effectiveness, and celebrate the Life Jesus brings more often and even more joyously.
Help is closer than you probably expect, is easy, and quite rapid. When you do these two easy things:
Ask for more of Holy Spirit.You will receive. Guaranteed. (See Luke 11:11-13.)
Then follow Holy Spirit; intend to follow Holy Spirit. Ask Holy Spirit to help you follow Holy Spirit even more.
Yes, it’s this easy, just:
-1. Ask for more of Holy Spirit, and
-2. Deeply intend to follow Holy Spirit or even ask Holy Spirit to help you follow. (See Gal. 5).
That simple. Easy. Check – now you are more single-minded. You are not so overwhelmed and maybe not overwhelmed at all.
I do this to get help when I am too sad at the loss of my wife. I ask for more of Holy Spirit. Then, automatically, with zero drama, grief is small and Holy Spirit is huge. What a wonderful and easy transformation!
I am operating out of my New Self, not my old self. The same for you. New Self with Fruit of the Spirit, including –
Galations 5:22 – …the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control.
Jesus teaches us to ask, seek, and knock. Go do it.
Asking for results that God already wants to deliver it not just a great way to pray. It’s a great way to prepare for something to happen: for God’s results on earth to happen just as they already are in heaven.
Do this experimentally and discover how powerful and easy this is. No need to be without Workers for the Harvest! Or to have other needs unmet.
Jesus is already propagating his Kingdom. Join with him!
Overview:You can effectively and thoroughly transfer skills, power and authority to disciples in three stages.
This series is designed to give you a mental map, an easy to remember overview of how togo andminister as Jesus.
Go exemplify and help someone experience ministry that begins with Jesus.
Prepare the way with prayer and command. Then,
Stage One: Teach with Examples.Demonstration & Testimony, also Parable & Story.
Stage Two: Transfer by Laying on of Hands.
Stage Three: Disciples Implement through Prayer and Command.
This Overview is the first part of a brief series about how to equip others to do some important things that Jesus taught and said to do.
Jesus gave us power and authority. Which includes how to do a thing, how to get it done.
Such as Preaching the Good News of the Kingdom, Healing the Sick (including Lepers), Freeing the Bound, Raising the Dead. Some will want to learn and do. Make Disciples of all kinds of people. Disciples who Multiply and start Ecclesias that plant yet more churches.
So…how do we transfer skills, authority, and power? It’s useful to have this overview in mind. Then to go on and Prepare the way.
Stage One: Teach with Examples. Demonstration & Testimony, also Parable & Story.
An example that motivates can result from an experience or from the various kinds of stories – a story you remember that motivates.
Different examples have interesting characteristics:
Demonstration is vivid and convincing. Disciple makers often start with demonstrating how to do something and its value. Such as Preaching or Teaching the Good News of the Kingdom of God that Jesus Preached and using that context for healing or setting someone free. Showing this is a brilliant way to make disciples.
Testimony is a story that happened, that is real. Testimony implies that the same can happen to you. Spoken prophetically to build faith and point to it’s happening to you next.
Parable is the shortest kind of story Jesus used, it applies to us all. Using common culturally known information and people without names, you understand a parable easily applied to yourself.
These are stories. Stories that motivate, show context and importance, that show how something happens or how you accomplish something.
Use unique examples in various situations; you can even use several types. Have fun with your examples, and your student-learners will have fun, too.
Your faith, the faith of the receiver – or both – touching the Anointing is an explosive combination that results in power and authority being transferred. Including power and authority for healing, or to give gifts for ministry to another person.
Lay hands on your student-learner when it is time and they are ready – when you are not sure when or how, ask first.
Please see that the person receiving – whether you or someone else – activates what has happened quickly by acting on it.
Preferably, then telling (testifying) to someone else about what just happened. (People healed, set free, cleansed, raised, given gifts, or new to the Kingdom: act quickly on what just happened and tell the truth of that to someone as a witness who can confirm what was just said.)
This is invaluable in confirming the miracle that just took place, setting it firmly in memory, and making commitment stronger.
Stage Three: Disciples Implement through Prayer and Command.
Implement through Prayer and Command. Ask for what you want of Jesus. Then command – speak to – what is to transform or change. Whether it be for healing of a body part, a whole body, or pacifying waves and wind, or other weather.
Point One: God has proven himself to be a skilled planner. If you look at the remarkable number (hundreds!) of advance plans (sometimes called prophecies) that he prepared in advance of his Messiah’s appearance on earth, details as far back as Genesis 3, you realize that God has some mad skills at planning ahead.
Point Two: God is good. That’s not negotiable. God is always (always!) in favor of his kids, always working for our good.
Point Three: In Exodus, God is pretty badass. His plagues confront the Egyptian “gods” and show them to be powerless. Then he leads a couple of million people out of slavery right on the schedule he had announced several centuries earlier.
And here’s where my ears seriously perk up.
God, the omniscient, omnipotent super-planner leads his people into the desert, famous for having neither food nor water. And what a surprise, the people have no water, no food.
So they complained. Like people do.
They wanted food (Exodus 16). So he fed them meat (quail: good eating!) in the evening, and bread (manna) the next morning (v12).
Then they complained about not having water (Exodus 17), and in the midst of their whining, they asked for water (v2). And God gave them water. He used a pretty epic miracle (v6) to do it, too.
And in these ways he provided for his children for forty years in the desert. (Hint: read Exodus again. What epic stories!)
We’ve all heard sermons about their complaining, and how that irritated God and really frustrated their leader, Moses. Reasonable lessons to draw from these stories.
I was talking to God the other day as we were going through Exodus. “You’re so good at planning. Why did you lead them into the desert without food or water?”
And suddenly, my mind was taken back to The Magician’s Nephew, CS Lewis’s book about the beginning of Narnia. Polly and Digory were on a mission for Aslan, the Christ figure, and they were hungry:
“Well, I do think someone might have arranged about our meals,” said Digory.“
I’m sure Aslan would have, if you’d asked him,” said Fledge.
“Wouldn’t he know without being asked?” said Polly.
“I’ve no doubt he would,” said the Horse. “But I’ve a sort of idea he likes to be asked.”
AndFather whispered to me, “I wanted them to ask me, so I could answer them.”
I realized that God was training them how to come to him to meet their needs: his goal is relationship, a relationship of trust.
Someone smart once said, “Without faith, it is impossible to please God.” God works on our behalf to teach us that faith, how to relate to him in faith.