What is the Body Life Model?
Body Life Model for Ministry
There are two basic ministry models or formats in which TPM is being used; the "therapy model" and the Body Life Model. Many mental health professionals use a "therapy" model when applying TPM in their practice. Ministry sessions provided in this context are only deemed to be Theophostic Prayer if the therapist follows the ministry session guidelines and protocol specific for TPM. If therapy or counseling occurs in this context then it ceases to be TPM. TPM is clearly defined by the Basic Training and the TPM Session Guidelines. Though the therapy model is used to apply TPM by non-professionals it is not the recommended model suggested by this ministry. However, every church must decide for herself what works best in her setting.
The therapy model consists of a ministry facilitator and a single ministry recipient. Typically in the therapy model the ministry recipient will schedule an appointment and attend a series of ministry sessions. The ministry facilitator will not likely have a personal relationship with the ministry recipient in that dual relationships are generally avoided. In this model the facilitator provides ministry sessions with the ministry recipient over an extended period of time, but at some point terminates the ministry relationship due to the need of others needing ministry.
The second model is the Body Life Model used primarily by churches and non-professionals. Churches and non-professionals are encouraged to adopt the Body Life Model as opposed to the therapy model when using TPM. Though people cannot be required to embrace the Body Life Model, this approach is the recommended and the official model promoted by this ministry website. Here again, this ministry is not seeking to enforce one approach over another, but does encourage every church to prayerfully consider the advantages and disadvantages of each.
The Body Life Model is distinctly different from the therapy model in many ways. The Body Life Model is relational in nature whereas the therapy model is not. The Body Life Model is made up of a designated group of 3-5 people who are relationally connected and minister to each other under a covenant agreement and the specified Ministry Session Guidelines. The group is called a prayer group and the ministry facilitator is called the Prayer Group Leader. The therapy model operates on scheduled sessions whereas the Body Life Model is spontaneous and determined by the prayer group member's choice and lifestyle. In the therapy model a facilitator schedules sessions with whom ever makes an appointment whereas, the Prayer Group Leader does not provide ministry outside of his or her designated prayer group.
In the Body Life Model the Prayer Group Leader will complete his or her training (the same as for the ministry facilitator) and then sponsor 2-4 new people to become a part of his or her specific prayer group. Though all members of the prayer group pray for each other only the trained and designated Prayer Group Leader administers TPM. As potential Prayer Group Leaders emerge from these groups they may be enlisted to participate in the 16 week text training (Basic Seminar Manual and DVDs) and 8 month practicum (practice and supervision) to become Prayer Group Leaders. Since the Body of Christ functions through the gifts its members possess, all members of the body can participate in a prayer group, but not all will become Prayer Group Leaders.
It is also possible that some churches will provide both models side-by-side allowing for members to be a part of a prayer group and also make appointments for prayer. Training in this format of ministry can be found in the 2007 Basic Training Seminar and 2007 Basic Seminar Manual that is available now in the bookstore.