Checklist for parishes
In order to be a healing presence in the local community, the church should:
- look within itself – address its own need for healing including issues within its structures;
- processes and groups which work against healing, such as conflict, strained relationships, lack of co-operation, abuse of authority, unwillingness to listen, predujice, spiritual bullying;
- make this ministry available to everyone within the congregation, not just the very sick or distressed; to preach and minister effectively about healing each member of the congregation should be helped towards full awareness of their own need for healing;
- look outwards: what are the issues calling for healing within the parish? Look at the social, economic and cultural context – environmental factors, history and hopes. Look for hidden factors as well as the obvious, such as individuals or groups with special needs;
- match the expression of the healing ministry to the needs of the local people;
- look beyond: how does this ministry affect the wider expression of mission and ministry in the parish? Consider how worship, pastoral care, collaborative ministry and ordering of buildings encourage healing and how these areas should be developed to meet local healing needs;
- think ecumenically; find ways of expressing the healing ministry ecumenically: develop this ministry with the other denominations within the local community;
- take a global view: discover how the parish church can support healing in other parts of the world. Relate the parish church’s support of mission and ministry overseas to this ministry and discern which projects should be supported.
Pray, review and be open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the renewal and development of the healing ministry.