Phil's ESOM Q&A

Encounter School of Mission is a supernatural school of mission designed to equip and raise up kingdom carriers who bring back life to every corner of culture. It is a nine month course that helps you discover your kingdom identity, understand your kingdom authority and brings clarity to your kingdom assignment. → Find Out More

Why did you sign up to Encounter?

In the past, me and my wife Rachel had seen some healings, some words, some things like that, but giving a year to those things seemed really interesting. We prayed about it, thought about it. Then Rachel released me into this year. So I did it to see more of God, more healings, taking more risks. But not really knowing what that looked like – we'd sometimes done a few give-aways, prayed for a handful of people, but never cleaned toilets and given prophetic words and things like that. We didn't know what it'd look like to go out a day a week and do only that.

It surprised me how open people were to be prayed for. How people openly shared their emotions with you when you offered prayer or spoke some hope into their lives. I thought a lot more people would say, 'nah I'm okay'. Actually, when you go with openness, caring, and gentleness, people would often cry in the middle of the street as they told you their story, and you got to speak life into it and bring some of God's hope into it. 

What was your biggest highlight?

This was early on. The morning had been wet and cold and not great. Then I felt God tell me to go and speak to this group of young teenagers, chatting among themselves. God said one of them had a sore knee. I said, 'hey we're out today praying for healings, who has a sore leg?' And they all looked to this one guy who says, 'Yeah I damaged my hamstring, and actually, I'm a sprinter for Ireland so it's really important.' Three of the group seemed up for it,  so we prayed. 

As we prayed he felt something, so we prayed again. Then we asked if he could try his leg out, and he started to jog on the spot telling us it felt great! And then he started running, round and round. So his friend sees this and he's amazed, and he said he'd damaged his knee playing football, so we prayed – he felt it click and he looked at us in shock. Then God healed him too, as he was standing there saying 'my knee my knee...' The two guys who were healed and gave their lives to Jesus. The third guy didn't know what was going on. 

What's now changed in your life?

From September to June, there's been so much change. And it hasn't always been forwards, there have been times when I've took my foot off the pedal, some outreach days I've struggled, but its never made me not want to do it. I've always had the hunger to see something, to push into something. It's changed the way I view the Holy Spirit, now he's not confined to a Sunday thing. Now tuning in to him isn't a switch I can turn on and off, like it's just for a Sunday morning, or ministry times. Like when God tells you why the girl you work with is so anti-Jesus and anti-religion. God tells you she's lonely. You can't turn that off, you have to share hope and relationship, share your own journey with loneliness. A guy had a sore knee at work and, you know, when you've seen so many people's knees healed, you can't not say, 'I have a solution'. There's this thing in me that has to say, 'Jesus is the answer to this, too. Can I pray for you?' It's been the journey from hearing his voice to actually stepping out. The switch is on all the time now. 

It's changed my daily readings, my prayer times, how I read the Bible, how I go to sleep and wake up expecting him to speak. Or family situations – that switch is always on, when your ear's tuned to it you always hear it. It's changed both mine and Rachel's lives – now we're moving to the other side of the world to help plant a church. Your yes of saying yes to Encounter opens up your yes to bigger things. Even in healing: when you start small praying for headaches, next thing you're praying for cancer and wheelchairs. Your expectancy level rises. Your list grows, it doesn't shrink. I started with four things I wanted to see God heal, now the list is huge.