|Style and Approach|
The Style and Approach of the Dunamis Project
At the beginning of each Dunamis Equipping event, the following principles are reviewed. They also appear in a brochure. This has helped guard against excess and emotionalism. The following was prepared by the Rev. Bill Emrich from the Three Rivers Dunamis in PA:
"All of the streams of Christian renewal have different traditions, customs and guidelines, that arise out of many different theologies. The Dunamis Project is no exception.
The information contained in this brochure has been prepared to acquaint you with what might be called the Dunamis Style of Ministry. We offer our thoughts to participants to enable a uniform understanding of the ways in which we affirm ministry to be done as a part of The Dunamis Project.
Our style may differ from those with which you are familiar or may have used in other settings. We believe that all of the specifics with which we concern ourselves find themselves grounded and rooted in the same reformed perspective as does our teaching.
The scriptures affirm that knowledge is never just an abstraction; it is also experiential. Putting it another way, the practice of ministry is never separated from the teaching of ministry.
Our teaching and practice of ministry have some distinctive characteristics that set them apart from other streams of Christian thought.
You may believe that your style is better or preferable. You may determine that what we affirm is not congruent with your needs, experience, and understanding. That’s fine. You are free to elect not to continue using the 7 Effective Habits for People in Ministry after you leave our time together.
But while you are with us, we ask you to adopt our7 Effective Habits for People in Ministry. We appreciate your understanding."
About The Dunamis Project
The Dunamis Project of PRMI has as its fundamental purpose the equipping of an extended fellowship of Christians, both clergy and laity, in the ministry of the Holy Spirit all of which is for the glory of Jesus Christ.
The Dunamis Project provides a setting where Christians not only receive teaching, but also begin to experience the reality of spiritual leadership as promised to us by Jesus Christ – that is to have the Holy Spirit within us for salvation and Christian character formation, and upon us for the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit enabling us to witness to Jesus Christ.
The Dunamis Project is . . .
Seven Effective Habits for People in Ministry
We hold as crucial the unique personhood of all God’s people, and diligently work to preserve this principle. This means that in ministry, we must act only in ways that honor, respect, and affirm one another. To this end, we use 7 Effective Habits for People in Ministry.
Scripture teaches this principle, and experience teaches that teams of two to four persons normally are the optimal ones. Larger teams often are fertile grounds for confusion. Several people all feeling “led” to minister in different ways at the same time cannot operate in any sort of spiritual unity.
One team member serves as the leader or point person within a ministry team. The Holy Spirit often works through all members of the team, but only one member leads ministry and makes ministry decisions. This provides clear direction and avoids diversion of focus.
This dignity is preserved more easily when men minister to men, and women to women. Ministry teams with mixed sexes are also effective. In those cases, persons of the sex opposite to the one receiving ministry may be asked to excuse themselves to allow 'personal' ministry matters to be effected.
There is Biblical precedent for these practices, but there is none requiring either. There are many times when the laying on of hands may cause undue anxiety on the part of the one seeking prayer.
When either practice accompanies prayer, it should always be done in a polite, proper, decorous and respectful manner, and with permission of the person seeking ministry and healing.
We affirm the necessity of receiving permission before moving into any ministry. This means that we move forward in a trust relationship, within bounds that are comfortable to the one seeking prayer.
Always ask for permission to touch the one seeking prayer. Always ask for permission to move ahead in a particular area of ministry.
Ministry is always effected within the authorized limits set by the one in spiritual authority [Matt. 21: 23ff].
All ministry is conducted within the limits set out by the Dunamis leadership.
Often, particular kinds of ministry are discouraged because the Biblical and theological foundations for these kinds of ministry have not yet been set into place by the Dunamis teaching team.
Participants may have had prior experience in specialized kinds of ministry, but until they are introduced in the teaching, we must insist that participants refrain from any specialized ministries.
The ministry of deliverance is not to be effected except under the express and specific permission and authority of the Dunamis leadership.
The best way to learn about ministry is by doing it, and a part of learning is to discover some things that usually are helpful to do and some things that usually are helpful not to do. Learning involves doing, and doing often involves making mistakes.
So, we are all responsible to each other and need to talk about what happened or didn’t happen through us, as well as what happened to us and questions that arise. This is why the evening debriefing sessions are an essential and crucial ingredient of the Dunamis Project.
Ministry is not effective because of outward signs or manifestations.
Ministry is effected through prayer, not outward signs [Acts 9:40ff]. Signs do not insure the efficacy of prayer. For this reason, manifestations are never fabricated, sought after or forced upon individuals. If they occur, they occur entirely at the initiative of the Holy Spirit. We are to be obedient to and to cooperate with the Holy Spirit, not to direct Him.
There are many manifestations. For some, these may be new, while for others they are not. There are two about which we wish to comment, namely . . .
It is not unusual for the Holy Spirit to come upon a person receiving ministry in a unique way, resulting in that one’s physical yielding to the spirit [II Chron. 5: 14, Dan. 10: 9, Acts 9: 4, and Rev. 1: 17]. If this happens to you, and you find yourself falling to the floor, do not become alarmed.
There are many different descriptions of what happens within people at this time, but the end result normally is the same - the person rests in the Spirit and the Lord is often able to minister in a deep, special, and highly personal way understood only by the one who is resting. Exactly what happens in this particular manifestation of the Spirit cannot be reasoned and perhaps best falls into what theologians call mystery.
If your ministry team prays for someone who rests in the Spirit, only one team member should remain with the person until the resting is completed. The others need to withdraw for private prayer or other ministry opportunities. The one remaining may engage in general kinds of silent prayer. Physically touching the one resting may be more distracting than helpful, and is normally discouraged.
You may notice some of the ministers praying in words which you do not understand. This language is a gift from God [I Cor. 12: 10] and is given to help us pray directly to God in His Spirit when we do not know how to pray. [Rom. 8: 26, 27].
Each Dunamis Project track is directed by a Faculty member of the Dunamis Fellowship. The Director will pull together a team needed to conduct the events over a three-year period in this one location. The team will include people gifted for hospitality, administration, intercessory prayer, worship and prayer ministry. The teachers are selected from members of the Dunamis Fellowship Faculty with the advice and consent of the Pastor of the Dunamis Fellowship. The events take place either at a retreat center or at a local church.
It takes this diversity of gifts to effectively conduct the Dunamis Project equipping events. The teams usually meet together for prayer and planning between events.
To all teaching and to all manifestations that take place in the Dunamis Project we rigorously apply the following questions that aid in discernment:
Four Guidelines for Discernment of the Holy Spirit
1. Does it give Glory to Jesus Christ in the present and in the future?
2. Is it consistent with the intentions and character of God as revealed in Scripture?
3. Do other people who are filled with the Holy Spirit have a confirming witness?
1 Cor 14:29
4. Is there confirmation in objectively verifiable events or facts?