I am convinced more and more of the impossibility of the deliverance war being won by "closet" sessions and private appointments, in the New Testament, demons were cast out on the streets and in the meetings of the believers with no attempt to hide or conceal what was going on. There is no indication that the events were private affairs. Deliverance from evil spirits is not a limited or restricted field.
More and more it becomes apparent that the only way the war is to be won is to arouse the whole body of Christ to march against the enemy camped within the walls of the city. In order for workers to be raised up and trained, they must witness the manifestations of the demons being cornered and learn about the enemy. We believe that audio-visual lessons backed by Scripture are among the most potent of the weapons we have in teaching the people how to go on the warpath against the satanic forces.
Many are distressed and say that such displays would disrupt the "worship" and the sweetness of the services. I say that if it can be interrupted by a New Testament ministry, let her rip! It must be made of sterner stuff that cannot be disturbed by valid ministry. There will be far more to worship and praise God for AFTER deliverance I assure you.
A lot of hypocrisy and shallowness will be washed out of the church when deliverance comes. By its very nature, uncovering the nests of rottenness and evil the demons have built into Christians lives, the ministry is a very humbling thing. It does much to disperse pride and arrogance from those who imagine themselves to be super-spiritual. We are all rotten clay and very susceptible to the inroads of the enemy and just closing our eyes and pretending they are not there will not make the demons go away. They will only get stronger and bolder.
If only a select few, rather than "those who believe," (Mark 16:17) become involved in casting out evil spirits, there will be no massive army of fighters entering the fray. Jesus gave marching orders to the entire church to take up the weapons of spiritual warfare and attack the enemy. The only hope to stem the awful tide of supernatural wickedness which is sweeping almost unchecked throughout the land is to raise up thousands of workers. They must be trained to attack the enemy with as great a ferocity as the satanic forces are using on us now.
People worry about the effect on babies and young children coming up in a fellowship which practices deliverance. I can assure you that they are exposed to more dangerous spiritual forces at school, at home or in the neighborhood than at a church practicing deliverance. In a fellowship with experienced teams there is little likelihood of demons attacking anyone; they are much too busy defending themselves. With workers who understand binding and loosing spirits there is more protection there than any other place. Baby Christians take to deliverance easily, and unless it is explained away, they really relate to it enthusiastically. In our church the children are not afraid, but eagerly assist in the deliverances.
To surround the work of deliverance with some sort of spiritual mystique that only the deeply "initiated" can do, helps to form class lines. We throw young babes into the battle and they thrive on this. They are teamed with older, more experienced workers but in a surprisingly short time they are capable of leading the attack on the spirits, as well as acting as a reinforcement and back up to other workers. Teamwork is essential. There are no stars in this battle other than the Lord Jesus.
To critics who warn of the dangers inherent in such a program of training, I reply that all spiritual endeavor involves risk and danger from the enemy. Becoming involved in this work has generated more enthusiasm in believers for Bible study, prayer, witnessing and soul winning, and other forms of spiritual growth than anything I've seen in over thirty-one years in pastorates.
Deliverance is a body ministry in which everyone who believes can participate. At first newer workers will have to defer to those more experienced, but the gifts of the Holy Spirit definitely begin to operate on demand, even in babies! The Holy Spirit who taught the experienced workers can and does teach the babies also.
People needing help must come to the services and admit that they need help by presenting themselves for prayer. In a deliverance oriented church there is no stigma in this for it is accepted as normal and necessary.
In our fellowship it is common for fifteen, twenty or even more deliverances to be proceeding simultaneously. With each person, two or more workers quietly find the source of the problem and force the demons to manifest and leave. There is, in this open situation, an amazing amount of privacy for the individual. Each group is intent on the person they are seeking to help and are scarcely aware of what the next group is doing. In this situation, the combined pool of spiritual gifts, power and energy available to attack the enemy is imposing, if a group needs help, there are always other reserve workers ready to move in and reinforce and strengthen the lines drawn up against the enemy.
I do not minimize the need for training and experience for workers, however, where are they going to get necessary equipping for the job? Obviously they must get into the battle and I believe that the training can be done most rapidly and efficiently within the framework of the local assembly of believers. We put interested newcomers in a team with one or more experienced workers and in a short time they will become efficient, effective workers. In meetings across the country, I have seen groups of workers raised up in an amazingly short time. This will build an eager army who will not shrink from battle but rather thrive on it. If your soldiers are to be constantly at war, they must derive real satisfaction and enjoyment from the battle, otherwise they will burn out. Deliverance workers get to see the fruit of their labors come to pass and this is great incentive to work and to grow personally.