When you run a school of supernatural ministry, you will most likely encounter supernatural activity! One area that you may come across is students’ physical encounters with Holy Spirit. To lead and grow your students in the supernatural, you will want to know how to help them navigate what they are experiencing both individually and corporately. We believe the following tips will help you successfully take your students deeper into the presence of God.
1. Ask Applicants the Right Questions during Interviews
If you encounter applicants who have not experienced Holy Spirit manifestations, ask questions to discover where they’re at in this process. Ask them if they have experienced with churches in renewal, such as seeing individual filled with the wine of the Spirit. At BSSM, it’s okay with us if students have not had these experiences before coming to our school; we just want to know that they are open to learning more about Holy Spirit and desire to encounter His presence in new ways.
2. Create a Culture of Empowerment
We encourage you to create an empowering environment that encourages students to pursue Holy Spirit. To develop naturally supernatural lifestyles, your students need a safe place to seek and experience Holy Spirit! Make space for your students to experience His presence and be willing to drop your original plans for class when you sense He wants to touch them afresh.
3. Trust the Process
It is vital to trust the growth journey your students are on with Holy Spirit. Sometimes when people are less familiar with Him, they need room to grow and mature. In fact, there may be times when they are operating more out of their “flesh” rather than His presence. We believe it’s important not to become frustrated with their lack of maturity and celebrate what God is doing in any situation. At BSSM, we do not try to control how our students encounter His presence. We simply trust that with time, our students will learn and operate from their identity. Also, we believe it’s important to take students through Scripture that supports the experiences with the Holy Spirit they see and encounter in your school. Providing them withe a strong biblical basis is key to their spiritual development!
4. Pastor Your Students
If students are having trouble feeling the Holy Spirit, validate that they are not lacking in any way. When students are not having the same supernatural experiences as those around them, they can often feel inadequate, that there is something wrong with them, and become discouraged. Pursue these students’ hearts by asking them what they are experiencing during times of corporate encounters with Holy Spirit. Validate who they are as children of God and remind them of their access to His heart. Lastly, encourage these students to pursue Holy Spirit and to celebrate when they feel something! These encounters in His presence will only increase!
5. Define True Encounters
Communicate to students that an ”encounter” is any experience they have that reveals God’s nature and love. An encounter is not just a physical manifestation, but is any revelation that points to God’s heart. We encourage you to create space for students to share about any encounter they have with Him and to celebrate those breakthroughs. They are equally important as physical encounters with His presence.
6. Engage in Honor
Teach students how to engage with Holy Spirit manifestations in a way that is honoring to those around them. There may be times when students’ manifestations are disrupting to others. For example, students may manifest when a speaker is sharing in class. It’s important to either have these students to continue to encounter Holy Spirit in a different space (to not dishonor the speaker or distract others) and/or communicate that it is not the time to manifest if they can control it. Remember, Holy Spirit is a Person of honor and we want to reflect His nature. As a leader, help your students discern what it looks like to honor Him and others in these moments.
7. Ask Students the Right Questions during Manifestations
If you are not sure if students are experiencing God (i.e. demonic manifestation), simply ask them what they are experiencing. When students are experiencing God’s presence, we believe it is important to create space for them to continue to encounter His heart. If they communicate that the manifestation is not God, we encourage you to consider taking them into a different space to walk them through freedom. It’s important to make these students feel safe and to cover them by walking through deliverance in a way that is honoring.
To further help you navigate manifestations in your school’s environment, below is a scenario you could come across with a student and some ways to address the situation:
Sarah has been attending a supernatural school for two months. While she is active and participates in all of the class activities, she withdraws when people around her start to manifest or “get drunk” in the Holy Spirit. She often leaves class during times of spiritual activity. Sarah expressed to her small group leader that she feels like several of the students are “faking” Holy Spirit manifestations. She also wonders if it is really God because she is not having the same experience as others students. As Sarah’s leader, how could you approach her and address the situation?
- Seek to Understand: As Sarah’s leader, it’s crucial that she feels safe to share and process what’s going on in her heart. It’s important not to judge her or accuse her. To create a space for Sarah to feel valued by you and to share her feelings, ask her questions to discover what she is experiencing.
- Communicate Truth: It’s crucial to communicate to Sarah that avoiding class is not the right way to deal with what she is feeling; it will not help her overcome her experience. Rather than Sarah avoiding the situation, you could suggest that she come talk to you or another leader whenever an issue comes up for her in school. Also, it’s important to share with Sarah that when people may or may not be faking manifestations, it is not our place to judge their hearts. That is Holy Spirits’ role.
- Teaching About the Holy Spirit: Tell Sarah that Holy Spirit shows Himself in different ways to different people. In fact, He reveals Himself to people physically and not physically (e.g. an impression or thought). Both are good and are equally celebrated! Also, we encourage you to validate her and and tell her she has as much access to God’ presence as those around her. She can encounter His heart in so many different ways. Lastly, encourage Sarah to take risks to experience more of Holy Spirit! He so desires to reveal His nature to her in new and greater ways.
At the end of the day, the best way you can serve your students is positioning yourself to be led by Holy Spirit. When you come under His leadership, you will be able to tap into His wisdom to know how to best lead and support your students. Even in situations you have not encountered before, He will lead you in all truth and love!