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Starting an OSL Chapter

reading2.jpgCalled to do more

The need for God’s ministry is increasing at such a rapid rate that more and more laborers are required to handle the needs of the future. Though Jesus was the epitome of the “anointed man of God,” He had to be taken away in order for the Holy Spirit to come and empower the apostles and disciples to increase the scope of ministry. Today the individually “anointed servants of God” are the great army of ordinary people and ministry teams empowered by the Holy Spirit to meet the huge demand for Christian healing ministry.

Any new chapter must find its call from God. It may begin with one person whom God has touched and urged into the healing ministry, or it may be a group of people with a common interest in starting a Chapter. A new Chapter must be birthed in prayer as that person or group seeks God’s will about the shape of the ministry to be established.

It continues with a group of people who will make the commitment to meet together regularly for prayer and study. It does not require a large group. Just those who are committed to God and to each other to seek His will.

When an individual or group believes that it is God’s call on their lives to form an OSL Chapter, they should contact the OSL Office for information on how to start a chapter and to apply for membership.

OSL Chapters do not have to be limited to members of a single congregation. Some of the most effective chapters have members from several congregations of a variety of denominational and non-denominational Christian churches.

Finding a Chaplain

chaplain medallionweb.jpgThe Chaplain serves as the spiritual leader of the Chapter with the responsibility of encouraging and nurturing the spiritual life of the members and the spiritual growth of the Chapter as a whole body – especially in the areas of healing and wholeness. Clergy should purchase the “OSL Clergy Handbook” available on the OSL website or by calling the OSL Resource Office.

If there is not already a member of the clergy involved with the group, pray that God will raise up a Chaplain that is from the clergy in your area. It is best to have a Chaplain who is prepared to conduct a regular healing service for the Chapter and for everyone who seeks to avail themselves of this ministry.

Chaplains should be reminded that Christian healing is not just a ministry of the clergy. It is a ministry of the whole Body of Christ and the lay members of OSL must have the opportunity to exersize their ministry to others – both as individuals and as teams.

Contacting the Chapter’s Regional Director

OSL has 14 Regional Directors in North America and they provide leadership, counsel, and representation for the Chapters of the Order. A complete list of the Regional Directors can be found on the OSL website, in Sharing magazine, or by contacting the OSL Business Office.

Your Chapter’s Regional Director or Chaplain will induct Associate Members from your Chapter into theOrder. This is a good opportunity to plan a healing event. This event will let the whole community know of the presence and work of the OSL Chapter and when it meets for study, prayer, and healing services.

For more information about planning and hosting a healing event order “How to Run andOrganize an Healing Event” brochure online at www.orderofstluke. org or by calling the OSL Resource Center.

Electing Chapter Leaders

Each Chapter elects a Convener, a Co-Convener, a Secretary and a Treasurer for the purpose of prayer, planning, and business.

Once these positions are filled and the Chaplain has been identified, your Chapter can now become a “provisional Chapter.” Depending on the size and needs of your Chapter, you may want to add other positions such as: a communications person, a librarian, a hospitality person, or a music person. The OSL Handbook provides more information on these additional positions.

convener medallionweb.jpgConvener & Co-Convener

One of the most important jobs in the Chapter is the Convener. The Convener is responsible for planning and organizing the activities of the Chapter and promoting resources for study and education. In cooperation with the Chaplain, the Convener plans and arranges interesting and challenging programs, as well as encourages active participation of the Chapter’s members in activities. Consult the OSL Handbook for more information about Conveners. The Co-Convener simply assists the Convener, but is an important position to have in a large Chapter.

Secretary

This person coordinates all communications to the members and to the community. This can be done by email, postcards, phone calls, etc. This person may also record any minutes from the last Chapter meeting − if the Chapter chooses to keep minutes.

Treasurer

This person collects the Chapter dues and manages financial obligations.

Chapter Meetings

It is vital that each Chapter establish a schedule for their meetings with frequency and times of meetings agreeable to the majority of the members. Some meet monthly and others more frequently. Many of the healthiest Chapters seem to be those who meet weekly, but each chapter has different circumstances and needs.

Choosing a location to meet

The place chosen for the meetings is also important. The Chapter may meet in a church, home, or other location depending on the wishes and size of the group. It is desirable that the place be safe, accessible for everyone, and comfortable with no distractions. The members should be kept informed of all meetings. They may be called ahead of time of each meeting or notified by e-mail or post card.

Typical meeting agenda

Each chapter may decide on the content or format for their meetings, remembering that the meetings are to be a spiritual experience for those attending. Some of the elements for successful meetings are:

  • Music, prayer, and meditation
  • Scripture readings
  • Teachings and discussion
  • Communion − when appropriate
  • Prayer and personal ministry

The length of the meetings may vary. If held frequently, the meetings may be shorter than those held once a month, but generally the meetings may last from one and a half to two hours depending on the program.

Communication

It is helpful to keep members up to date on chapter plans and activities. Newsletters, e-mails or mailed notices from the Chapter may be sent to all members and also to other OSL Chapters in the area to keep them abreast of what is planned. Resource Library If the Chapter does not have one, it should consider establishing a library and encouraging its use by members and others interested in the healing ministry. In addition to books, the library may include audio and video tapes, magazines, articles, and other resource material.