The Order of Jacob’s Well. Our Way of Thinking about the Kingdom of God.
Over the last two thousand years, the Christian Church, despite the very best intentions, has sadly kept the ministry of Healing and Wholeness effectively on the side lines of ministry. From the view point of those who are in need of God’s healing grace, much of the Church’s Ministry of Healing may seem more like an optional extra. It can often be rather hidden from public view. Unlike Jesus’ very public earthly ministry, it is typically ‘performed’ in semi privacy at the end of church services or in people’s homes. OJW thus sadly observes, that the purpose and practice of the healing ministry as used in many parts of the mainstream churches, and despite the very best intentions, consequently sometimes appears too narrow and inward looking.
This might seem a rather harsh judgement, so we need to explain what we mean by describing the healing ministry as being ‘performed’.
For the Order of Jacob’s Well, this has been a long journey of almost 30 years in the Healing Ministry. Like all the other kind, loving, caring people in this ministry, we, of course, also wanted the people who came to us to be healed. And there have been, and continue to be, many wonderful miracles that happen when we minister in faith for healing and wholeness.
We began, as do most, as ministers of healing, knowing it to be a specialist ministry with many different techniques and shades of complex Christian theology. Then, realising that Jesus taught the Kingdom and healed the sick in the simplest possible ways and in far greater numbers, we started to venture into that Kingdom. Into its condition, its motivations, its steadfastness, its grace, the message of the cross and its longing to heal creation. Thus, the journey we have undertaken has in recent years brought about a radical change in us and how we minister. ‘In our way of thinking’, we hope and trust this is not a ‘performance’ but rather, a living and direct expression of the reality of the Kingdom of God. Our working theology now combines two separate but foundational tenets of our Christian faith, which would be accepted by the whole Church and makes them one (as in fact they always have been):
That Jesus sent us out to follow Him and heal the sick.
That Jesus came to establish the Kingdom of God.
In the Kingdom of God, as we have learned to share it, all those who are sick in body, mind or spirit find healing and wholeness.
This is how we believe it works.
The Kingdom of God, as described in Scripture, is the expression of God’s grace and is designed to ‘mend’ the whole of creation in its entirety. To mend our own brokenness, our sickness and our emotional damage. Perhaps most important of all, to mend and to grow our relationships with the Father through the living Jesus Christ, His Son, our Lord.
The Bible reveals the promise of this ‘mended state’ of being for all living things on the planet, in the universe and the whole cosmos. It witnesses to God’s joy in giving us all his Kingdom in which we can live in his grace, in peace and harmony with Him and thus with each other.
In order to align ourselves with God’s plan for His Kingdom, OJW tries to go back to the source, the original teaching of our Lord Jesus. That is to play our part in his call to help ‘mend’ all people. Our point of both departure and arrival is always the same as His, to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of God.
We do our best to ensure that we are not limited in this mission by the ‘performed’ requirements of any particular techniques or methods of working that we might use; there is rather at the heart of this Kingdom Ministry only Jesus. We see this approach as obedience; playing our part by continuing to fulfil the promise of Jesus’ earthly ministry.
Our aim is to grow in friendship with God in spirit, and be partners with him in service. The results of such an approach are both numerous and miraculous, giving greater glory to God for his love and his grace. This is the permanent state of the gift that is the consequence of residing in the Kingdom of God.
Nowadays as Kingdom Walkers, our mission is to share all we have learned and practised with all who would grow in faith. Those who through prayer would change the world to see His Kingdom come and His will being done on earth as it is in heaven.
Whilst we continue to offer ‘Kingdom Ministry’ in this way, we also have a major mission drive, (spearheaded by our new Kingdom Adventure Study Groups). This programme exists to encourage others to work with Christ in the same, authentic Jesus-taught way. God truly wants to bless all people with a deeper knowledge of himself and His Kingdom and to thus encourage everyone to work more closely with him in implementing his plans for world recovery, which is the glorious hope set in His Kingdom. The deeper our journey in understanding the Kingdom, the more it’s message sets in us and flows to the whole world.
Revd Mike Endicott (Founder and Prior of OJW)