Equipping our leaders and teachers is a crucially important task! The people who deliver the Dunamis Project and other events are a vital part of PRMI’s ministry, and Exousia is our leadership training program for them.
In May and June this year, we were joined by 30 people – Apprentice Teachers, Track Directors, and members of event Leadership Teams – and we shared with them decades’ worth of insights and experience that will help them grow in their roles. It was an exciting and truly rewarding time!
One of the participants wrote after the event:
It was a great joy to see you and your staff empowered by Jesus to pass on what you learned to your fellow co-workers in Christ. You did embody what you teach! The content and the teachers were amazing, the worship was perfect, and the prayer intercessors held back the enemy so that we could learn and grow! I see in the stories you shared the devotion, transparency, and humility you demonstrated to get things sorted out for the glory of God. Thank you all for your commitment and sacrifice, it matters!
So, what was involved in Exousia?
Exousia Online Learning
Two initial meetings were held online. With participants coming from multiple locations across America, and from England too, this provided a chance to begin building new friendships as well as engaging with some aspects of leadership within PRMI. These included:
- Reviewing the History and Purpose of Dunamis
- Looking at the Pinnacle Sayings that characterize our work
- Understanding the ‘Why’ and ‘When’ of Debriefing
- Reflecting on our Call to Leadership
Between meetings, and in preparation for the event at the Community of the Cross, participants were able to watch a series of teaching videos addressing topics such as:
- Leadership Team Meetings
- The Three Pillars of PRMI’s ministry
- Why Leaders need to Cast Vision
- The Story of One
The Exousia Course Continued at the Community of the Cross
We gathered in person at the Community of the Cross in Black Mountain, North Carolina, June 19-24, and each of the four full days had its own particular focus.
Being in Spiritual Leadership
Brad Long and Paul Stokes spoke about their own early experiences of growing in spiritual leadership – the rewards and challenges, and lessons that had been learned the hard way. Participants were given time to reflect and pray with one another about the nature and sphere of their own calling from the Lord.
We spent one session in small groups, looking at several real-life, challenging leadership scenarios from Dunamis Project events. These are always a valued part of the course, and once again provided a helpful opportunity to highlight some key principles of spiritual leadership and how those apply within a Dunamis setting.
Lab times are an important component in the learning process. For Exousia we do this by giving different groups of participants the responsibility of planning and leading one evening session. They had only an hour available to pray and prepare before the evening meal, which reflects what happens at Dunamis events, with the emphasis being on seeking guidance from the Holy Spirit and then leading as he directs. We debriefed each session afterward to help everyone learn from what took place.
Personalities and Teamwork
Self-awareness and an understanding of interpersonal dynamics are crucial for leadership teams, and this aspect of Exousia has received a major re-write over the past year which is why we refer to it as Exousia 2.0.
Pauline Eyles and Paul Stokes spent a full day looking at the variety of factors that affect how team members relate to one another’s similarities and differences. It was a deeply thoughtful day, punctuated with touches of humor. We considered the differences in spiritual gifts and calling; personality and experiences; and our sin, wounding, and what ‘pushes our buttons’.
Drawing on her professional background, and with insights from current psychology, Pauline taught about introvert/ambivert/extrovert tendencies, and the difference between task-oriented Pioneers and people-oriented Guardians. She explored the tensions between flexibility and a desire to plan carefully; verbal and reflective processing; and decision-making that is focused on feelings and relationships, or on analysis and data.
Paul highlighted the importance of the inward work of the Holy Spirit in shaping our character through the fruit of the Spirit, and the responsibility of leaders to model and nurture koinonia. These are two of the basic works of the Holy Spirit that are acknowledged in Gateways to Empowered Ministry.
Topics and Team Roles
Each Dunamis Project topic brings its own distinctive challenges. In Gateways we need need to build a careful, biblical foundation before moving to pray for the baptism in the Holy Spirit. When we come to The Power of Prayer the event needs to be much more participatory, with much of the learning happening as people do the praying. In The Healing Ministry of Jesus, we need to understand the biblical rationale and process before then moving into personal practice. Brad and Paul worked systematically through each of the six topics and drew attention to the various distinctions.
Similarly, each role on the leadership team needs its own special consideration in relation to the rest of the team. We considered Worship Leaders, Lead Intercessors, and Prayer Ministry Leaders, along with the sub-teams that work with them, how the schedule affects each of these areas, and what understanding and support they need from one another.
Exousia provides an ideal opportunity for some people to explore – or continue growing in – the skills for teaching Dunamis material. Due to numbers we divided into two groups and gave an opportunity for 15 people to have a go at teaching a chapter from Gateways to Empowered Ministry. They received feedback from the other participants, as well as from experienced Dunamis Institute Teachers who are familiar with helping to nurture these Apprentice and potential Teachers.
Of course, each teaching slot was shorter than would normally be the case. But it did mean that everyone could be refreshed with an overview of the whole of this Dunamis Project teaching material in one day!
Power and Praise at Exousia!
The Lord worked powerfully among us during this event. Some of this took place in personal prayer ministry and in much-needed conversations as He molded hearts, set people free from past hurts, and restored koinonia. As we prayed for empowerment, the Spirit fell upon the gathered group. Some testified to receiving specific guidance or were prayed for and received gifts of healing or evangelism, while others rested in the Spirit as He came upon them.
And then, what amazing privilege it was for this group to be at the Community of the Cross when we finally received the (temporary) Certificate of Occupancy for the PRMI Prayer House on the Friday morning! Thanks to some hard work over lunchtime, one of the two Teaching Workshop groups relocated to the PRMI Prayer House for the remainder of our sessions. We all continued in that space for the remainder of the event, praising and worshiping the Lord and celebrating His goodness.
We are thankful for the blessing of being able to work with this wonderful group of people who are seeking the Lord and stepping out in faith as He calls them into leadership.
Exousia will be offered again in 2024 at the Community of the Cross. We will also be offering a special teacher training event in November 13-17, 2023 that will focus on teaching Gateways to Empowered Ministry (Dunamis Project #1) and In the Spirit’s Power (Dunamis Project #2). These equipping opportunities are critical to the future growth of PRMI teachers, and are part of the ministry multiplication that is taking place.