In March 2006 a world-famous evangelist came to Jakarta, Indonesia for a historic Crusade. During one of the evenings, a crowd estimated at 400,000 people—the largest in the history of Indonesia—gathered to hear him speak. Great miracles of healing were witnessed, giving glory to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ in Musl__m Indonesia. As great as this event was, it signaled perhaps the end of an era and the beginning of an even greater one.
At the 2006 Resurrection Day service at Abbalove, one of Jakarta’s most vibrant and thriving megachurches, Pastor Eddy Leo brought up a significant point. Crusade sponsors calculated that about 400 people were healed at the historic meeting. Percentage-wise, we could conclude that one-tenth of one percent of the people who attended the meeting received a miraculous healing. (Of course it is understood that not everyone who attended the meeting was infirm.) These are the results achieved at an evangelistic meeting where one person does all or most of the ministry. I call this type of ministry one-man-show, superstar evangelism.
God has begun to do something new and better which involves the body of Christ ministering instead of just one individual. This takes the focus away from the celebrity evangelist and puts the spotlight on the body of Christ—alone the true representative of Christ on earth. When no one person or ministry can “take the credit” for the miracles, God receives more glory.
For example, at an evangelistic healing service I witnessed in April 2006 in Manado, Indonesia where the gospel was shared, there were approximately 2,000 people present. After the gospel was proclaimed, trained believers representing the body of Christ came forward to minister healing to the infirm according to Luke 9:1-2 and 10:1, 9. The purpose of this was to demonstrate to the lost that the gospel of the Kingdom of God is indeed true. The number of people who immediately afterwards came forward to give public testimonies of their healing was estimated to be at least fifty. About a half dozen of these involved tumors and growths that shrank and disappeared. A simple calculation shows that the percentage of people attending the meeting who were healed (and testified) was at least 2.5%. Comparing this to the 0.1% of the people who were healed at the historic meeting in Jakarta, we see that the percentage of people healed in Manado as seen in this light was at least twenty-five times greater than the number healed in Jakarta.
Now God is certainly glorified whether 0.1% or 2.5% of the people are healed. But when far more people are healed, God certainly receives more glory. And when the body of Christ is involved in healing the sick in Jesus’ name instead of simply one individual evangelist, God receives more glory. The “superstar” is Jesus Christ instead of the renowned evangelist. (Great fame and the often accompanying lifestyle of the wealthy can be a personal stumbling block to the “unworthy servant” of God.)
In a much smaller evangelistic Crusade later the same month in predominantly Hindu North India, there were a bit over 100 people present. Those who gave testimonies of their healing after the trained believers ministered to them exceeded twenty in number. Thus in this case up to perhaps 20% of those attending were healed in Christ’s name. The miracles along with the preaching of the gospel resulted in at least 50 Hindu people (comprising nearly all of the Hindus who were present at the meeting) deciding to follow Christ as their Lord and Savior that evening.
These are not isolated incidents. Whenever believers are taught to heal the sick the way Jesus and His disciples did in the Scriptures, similar results are witnessed when these believers are actively involved in ministering to the sick at evangelistic events.
In a January 2004 Crusade in Eastern Rivers State, Nigeria, the host pastor reported to me that 2,000 infirm people had been healed over four nights of meetings. He said the attendance was 5,000 people.
Only when the Church wakes up and stops depending on the one-man-show evangelists will she fulfill the Great Commission. Jesus Christ has already given to every believer authority to heal the sick and cast out demons for proclaiming the Kingdom of God (John 14:12; Mark 16:15-18). At this time the Church can in fact be taught how to use this authority to heal the infirm as Jesus did. The age of the superstar evangelist is fading away; the age of the nameless, faceless believer has begun.