Cautious and calculated was my posture going into the Soul Care Conference recently hosted here at Vernon Alliance Church. I had used the words “test drive” to describe what we were going to be doing. As the registration numbers rolled to about 270 people, it felt a little bit more than the test drive I had envisioned.
Rob Reimer came and presented his teaching with much conviction and clarity. The core material of identity, repentance, and forgiveness was not new to any of us. The piece I was waiting for with apprehension was the deliverance talks. How would this go? Would it erupt into a gong show? Would it get flaky and annoying with lots of swooning, twitching, and falling? Grateful to say, none of the above happened. It was in fact a profound and transformative experience for many in our church including myself. Rob studied the theology and history of deliverance and has developed a ministry method that is unlike any I have experienced. It is peaceful, precise, understated, and very effective.
We did hours of ministry with over a hundred people, with virtually no drama or disturbance. When there were little moments, they were quickly and calmly resolved. It was a beautiful thing to witness our 10 prayer teams quietly ministering away at the front of the church to “set the captives free”, applying Jesus’ prayer to “deliver us from evil”.
Someone described the weekend as a trajectory-change weekend, but I disagreed. I prefer to see it as an enlargement experience, an invitation to take responsibility for more ground, to appropriate more of the gospel. My cautious and calculated test drive became a holy ambush in the best possible way!
This story is taken from the Fall 2018 Alliance Connection magazine. You can get a free copy of the Alliance Connection at Alliance churches across Canada or view the digital copy online. We hope you will be encouraged and inspired to go deeper in Jesus and as a result, further on mission.
Stuart McKnight has been the Lead Pastor of Vernon Alliance Church (Vernon, British Columbia) since 2004. Originally from Scotland, Stuart is known for his love for theology, insightful teaching, dry humour, and passion for rugby. He is married to Teresa and they have eight chickens, two dogs, and six children.