On Friday and Saturday last week (29th and 30th Oct. 2010), I attended The Elijah Challenge at Bethesda (Bedok-Tampines) Church in Singapore. Before the course, I was a bit familiar with it, having gone through some (not all) of their materials, which can be downloaded here (videos and manual). The Elijah Challenge is all about equipping ordinary believers to heal the sick for primarily evangelistic purposes and it has had some impact throughout the world.
Overall, I thought it was a pretty good course. While I wouldn’t agree with everything taught, and there are some things I’m still reflecting upon, I think there’s a lot of good there. The teachings are quite (not totally) similar to Curry Blake and Andrew Wommack in terms of focusing strongly on the authority and faith of the believer. For me, I’d like to complement this perspective (on authority and faith) with the teachings of people like Bill Johnson, Joseph Prince, Roger Sapp and Mike Endicott.
It’s a pretty short course (perhaps about 4 hours teaching in total) and so it can’t go into everything related to healing. But the purpose of setting a foundation of equipping believers to heal the sick was, I think, definitely achieved.
Two strong points stood out for me in The Elijah Challenge. Firstly, the presentation is extremely organized and clear. Curry Blake’s Divine Healing Technician (DHT) course is awesome and more comprehensive but it tends to lack organization (especially his manual!). I’ve always felt the main points of Curry’s DHT can be condensed into 10 hours or less (instead of about 18 hours) of teaching. If you’re passionate about healing, Curry’s DHT would blow you away and you’ll learn tons. But if you’re not committed to last through 18 hours of teaching, The Elijah Challenge gives a good short foundation for those new to healing that will make you yearn for more (then you can go to Curry and others).
Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, was the practical demonstrations of healing that actually involved audience praying (or commanding healing). This is simply priceless and I can’t speak too highly of it. There were about maybe 700 to 1,000 people attending the course. As far as I know and can tell, the church is not charismatic. The people were probably not accustomed to seeing a lot of healing. (By the way, this is another good point of The Elijah Challenge – it is able to reach out to non-charismatic churches too). So I don’t think these were people who were passionate about healing and the miraculous. Throughout the course (after about an hour of teaching or so), William Lau (the founder of The Elijah Challenge and the teacher on this occasion) called for a demonstration of healing. He did this about 5 different times throughout. He first called people who were sick to the front, then he called for people to come and pray for them. He never prayed for the sick but got others in the audience to do so – led by him speaking out the words. There were probably hundreds of people who participated in healing the sick.
The course culminated in a healing rally on Saturday night. William preached the gospel, linking it to healing. Basically, he told the unbelievers that Jesus can forgive their sins and the proof of it is the fact that He can heal the sick and they are going to see the sick being healed. After the gospel was preached, the sick was called to the front to be prayed for by specially trained counselors. When people were healed, they went on stage to testify of their healing. There were probably dozens of people coming to testify of their healing. Not a lot of “big” healings – mostly pain and the like going away.
It was really awesome to see hundreds of people seeing real life demonstrations of people being healed before their eyes. And also to see many people actually participating in healing the sick probably for the first time. I would think that what they’ve gone through would make at least some more open to pursue healing and moving more in the healing power of God. One can only imagine what could happen if the church adopts fully what they’ve learned and continues on pursuing more.
P.S.: Those who attended The Elijah Challenge (and also those who didn’t) who want to get to know a group of Christians who desire to learn and move more in the healing power of God, come and participate in Singapore Healing Forum and join us for one of our weekly meetings where we study and practice healing.
P.P.S.: Elijah Challenge Asia’s official report of the event can be found here.