Preach and Heal
I’m a missionary and, over the years, I have seen missionaries fall into two different groups: preachers and healers. Preachers are gifted at teaching but they rarely engage in ministries that care for physical needs. Healers usually have a background in health or education, they develop wonderful ministries that help the hurting but they aren’t comfortable with disciple-making.
Jesus was a healer and a preacher. He modeled the integration of these two skills, he taught it and he commanded it. These are not two tasks that are to be separated and performed by two sets of practitioners. The two tasks work together and are to be performed together by every missionary and, indeed, every disciple.
The combined ministries of preaching and healing are a two-handled plow. Both handles must be held with equal pressure and commitment for the one plow blade to dig deep into the ground and transform the soil into a place best prepared for the seed. If priority is given to one handle or the other, the furrow will go off at an angle and spoil the field. But if each handle is grasped firmly, and the worker does not look back, the plow will work as it was intended. When bias and preference have been crucified, and the preach and heal method is driven straight forward by the force of the Holy Spirit, God is able to plant the seed of His Gospel into the hearts of people.
In 2008 I wrote a book about this subject entitled, Preach and Heal: A Biblical Model for Missions. The book was intended as a strategy guide for missionaries, encouraging both preachers and healers to integrate these two ministries in their daily practice. It has also been popular among non-missionary disciples who want to learn more about missions.
Hard copies are available through the International Mission Board website at: https://store.imb.org/preach-and-heal-a-biblical-model-for-missions/ Kindle versions are now available at: https://www.amazon.com/Preach-Heal-Biblical-Model-Missions-ebook/dp/B005H3EUZ6.