Pastoral Care Schools
From Leanne’s Archives (Winter 1982)
“Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isa. 40:28-31)
Dear Friend and Fellow Laborer in the Work of the Lord:
The response to the ministry of prayer for healing of spiritual and emotional problems in general, and to The Broken Image in particular, has forced me to organize my life on new lines. The mail to be answered (and the ministry that that represents) is simply overwhelming. Many of these letters are from persons who have long suffered in silence some sexual neurosis, or some equally debilitating emotional block, and for the first time they are opening up to help. How can these people be put in touch with persons who know how to pray? How can more people be trained to pray effectively for healing in others?
Many other letters come from clergymen and other Christian counselors seeking answers to emotional and spiritual problems they are finding in their counselees. They ask, “Can you come and help us out here, help train gifted laypersons, hold healing missions?” And, as you probably know from some similar experience, every time I had to say, “Sorry, I can’t come; I can’t help you,” I got a little wearier, a little more discouraged.
In the midst of my weariness, however, the Lord began to minister those wonderful words out of Isaiah 40 as well as other scriptures to my spirit. And, as I rested in Him, He began to stir up and strengthen organizational gifts within me which I have always resisted and even declared were simply not there. I knew there had to be new ways to have seminars and retreats for ministers and doctors, new ways to help laypersons get in touch with their God-given gifts and mature in them, new ways to help pastors in the mainstream of renewal, whose flocks have grown to phenomenal numbers and whose responsibilities for persons with special spiritual and psychological needs have grown accordingly. I also knew that persons with healing ministries, such as myself, must work shoulder to shoulder with other ministers in the mainstream of renewal, receiving strength from them while training others, or they will simply burn out.
As I prayed about all this, key people and circumstances quickly moved, like pieces of a puzzle, into place, and a wonderfully clear picture of what to do appeared. Briefly, the plan is as follows. There will be five-day retreats held annually in several locations in the United States and Canada, and these will be in close proximity to and even in conjunction with churches presently in renewal. The purpose will be twofold. First, that of training clergy, professionals, and gifted laypersons in healing prayer. Second, the ministry of healing. These retreats would provide the place for those seeking help and healing prayer to come. Once again, those such as clergy and professionals in the health fields who are in a position to “pass the healing on” should be given first priority, and then selected needy persons.
Insofar as possible, these seminars would be held about the same date annually and in the same locale. If all goes as planned, there will eventually be four to five schools per year, and they will be located in the Midwestern, the Eastern, and the Southern parts of the United States. The Western retreat will likely be in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I, along with one or two lecturers, will teach. There will be times for private interviews and prayers with the leaders and other persons who have been trained in the host institutions. There will be workshops in prayer for healing.
I ask for your suggestions, observations, godly wisdom, and above all, for your prayers as I work with legal advisers and my prayer partners in setting up Pastoral Care Ministries, Inc. The Lord has graciously provided the home and the office space, and the many praying hearts and hands to assist me in this endeavor. The Lord bless and keep you, one and all.
In His Service,
Reprinted with permission, copyright ©1999-2013 by Leanne Payne Literary Trust