Why this emphasis on supernatural ministry—what we call “normalizing the supernatural”—in CRM? Why are we so interested in it becoming normal, instinctive? Here are five core reasons why we are committed to ministering to others in supernatural ways, and why we believe it is so crucial for believers to embrace the supernatural dimensions of the Christian faith.
Listen to Bill's message, or read through the five core reasons he presents for the necessity of the supernatural in ministry...
1. Because healing and deliverance were major themes in the life of Jesus. It was his normal response to pain and suffering.
The first answer to that, for me, is so obvious. And that is because it was normal for Jesus. He faced the brokenness and pain of the world with what was available to him, and what he said was available to us—prayer for healing, and prayer for deliverance and breakthrough. Supernatural ministry was the normal response to pain and suffering for Jesus. We are not focusing on the supernatural because we want to be charismatic. We focus on supernatural ministry because we want to be like Jesus. Jesus is saying to us, “Come on! Follow me!” How many of us know it’s a good thing to follow Jesus? He’s calling us to follow his example, to become like him. It’s a matter of discipleship, of spiritual formation. And it’s a matter, for myself, of reading the Bible and saying “I want to be like him.” If you just read what Jesus did, it doesn’t take too long to figure out what Jesus would do. I want my instincts to be what Jesus’s were, when he was in the kinds of situations that I sometimes find myself in. So as I’m standing at my mailbox and my neighbor reveals that he has a brain tumor, I just pop the question, “May I pray for you?” I want to be like Jesus. That’s the number one reason why I focus on this in my life.
2. Because the ministry of signs and wonders have played a critical role in every sustainable gospel movement throughout history.
The second reason is this. The number one characteristic of all gospel movements throughout history and in the Bible is prayer. The quality of prayer that creates the environment for supernatural ministry has always been a part of the launching of movements of the gospel, and of the sustainability and renewing of movements of the gospel. It takes the power of God to create and sustain the movements of God. Otherwise it’s not a movement of God. You will see throughout scripture as you examine it and as you hear the stories, that this is just the way that it is. Somebody, somewhere, is praying, and stuff is happening. And that stuff many times is healing, and deliverance, and signs and wonders. And so that’s why we focus on it.
3. Because the ministries of healing and deliverance provide such a strategic way to defeat Satan and overcome his kingdom (cf. Luke 11:14ff.; 1 John 3:8).
The third thing that we see in scripture, which is also the testimony of many of us in this room, is because it is such a powerful way to advance the Kingdom. When God heals the sick through you, when he sets the captives free through you, it defeats Satan and overcomes his kingdom. It’s a setback for the enemy, which is an advance for the Kingdom. How many of you know that when there’s an advance in the Kingdom there’s a setback in the kingdom of darkness? How many of you have noticed in the book of Acts, it’s battle, breakthrough, breakthrough, battle, battle, breakthrough, breakthrough, battle? And that’s the way it is. One of the ways we get new breakthroughs is through spiritual warfare; it’s through supernatural ministry.
4. Because miracles serve as “signs that make you wonder” about God and the Kingdom that is now among us (cf. Mark 16:20; Acts 8:6-8, Acts 14:3; Hebrews 2:3,4).
The fourth reason we see—theologically, through scripture—that signs and wonders, healing, deliverance, and miracles are important, is that they are such a good apologetic that God is good and God is powerful. One way I look at “miracles, signs, and wonders,” is that miracles are signs that can make you wonder—that can make you wonder about God and his Kingdom. And that’s what it did every time. Phillip would go into a town and it says “when they heard and saw the signs and wonders that God did through Phillip, they believed.” And when we talk about apologetics with millennials, we need to know that they are not waiting for a better described doctrine of God. They want to see God show up. The apologetic that is working in the world, in nations, among other religions, and among next generation, is the apologetic of the supernatural manifestation of God—God showing up, showing that he’s good and true. It’s an imperative.
5. Because Jesus declared that supernatural ministry would become every believer’s “new normal” under the influence of his Spirit’s anointing (John 14:12).
We’re committed to this notion of normalizing the supernatural, finally, because Jesus said, “Anyone who has faith in me will do what I’ve been doing.” Jesus is declaring that supernatural ministry will become the new normal of every believer anointed with his Holy Spirit. Anyone! “In fact,” he says, “they will even do greater things.” And then he tells us why: “Because I’m going to be going to the Father.” That’s John 14:12. Looking at the rest of chapter 14 and into 16, we discover that the importance of him going to heaven is because he sends the Holy Spirit. He says that anyone who has faith in him will do what he has been doing, and he doesn’t even say how much faith; it’s anyone who will exercise faith in him. So what has he been doing? Well, this is in John chapter 14. Go back, chapter 13, 12… Or go back into the synoptics, Matthew, Mark, and Luke. He’s been healing the sick, setting the captives free, taking a message and showing the reality of it in his ministry. Friends, he said, “If you have faith in Jesus.” He didn’t say, if you’re part of a certain denomination. This is the normal Christian life. Culturally, we have dumbed down normal to the point where it’s so subculture to be normal, to follow biblical Christianity. And that’s what we need to thrive again, in movements of the gospel.
We need to be the kind of believers, followers of Jesus, who are saying and doing what Jesus said and did, in the manner he said and did it, for the reasons that he did it. That’s why we are committed to the supernatural: so that we can see movements of committed followers of Jesus growing around the world, and so that Jesus is known, loved, worshipped, renowned.
Dig deeper into the biblical and theological foundations for CRM's perspective on the supernatural in a free e-book, Engaging the Supernatural: Experiencing the Reality of God's Presence and Power.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bill Randall and his wife Jill live in Nampa, Idaho. They are part of the ChurchNEXT Lead Team, where Bill serves as the Director of Pioneering Initiatives, both nationally and internationally.