Monday 11 July
Sarah Richards shared a number of lessons about healing in mission that she and her husband Julian have learnt from their experiences with Cornerstone church in Swansea and around the world. Here Andrew Garvey-Wiliams shares some notes from her seminar.
Sarah and Julian were involved in planting Cornerstone in an area of North Swansea noted as economically and socially deprived. The church grew from a very small team and they developed a variety of projects to partner with and address the needs of the community.
In their church services they started praying for healing. They realised conventional services would not attract many people and began regular healing cafes. Setting up the venue as a café with tables and a simple format of secular and Christian music, sharing testimonies of people who had been healed, the telling Bible stories of healings by Jesus and giving words of knowledge. All this created an environment were more people were drawn in for healing and were prayed with by church members around the tables.
This model has been adopted by many churches across Wales and in other countries. From early days their emphasis has been on equipping and encouraging church members to minister healing.
Throughout the workshop Sarah shared a stories of those who were healed. Sarah said not everyone who gets healed becomes a Christian, but healing changes the climate. As church members see and experience regular healings in Jesus name they are more ready to talk about their faith with friends and work colleagues and pray for people in their everyday situations, so healing becomes a great tool for mission.
As they started to praying for non-Christians they saw the percentage of those healed increased. In early days, it seemed that maybe one out of ten people they prayed for received healing. Today Sarah said that has increased to nine out of ten receiving healing. As the church grows in confidence in Jesus to heal grows, she explained how they are becoming more intentional in sharing the gospel and the message of salvation expecting more people to not only be healed physically but to become Christians.