mentoring (5)

Do you long to hear from God better?
Would you like to be mentored in your prophetic gift? 

Join Deborah online for the
E3 Prophetic Training Course!

Picture: E3 Prophetic Mentoring Course

"E3" is an online training course in prophetic ministry and the art of hearing God. E3 is short for "Encourage, Exhort, and Edify," the prophetic mandate given to believers in 1 Corinthians 14. This 6-session course can be taken anywhere in the world via the "Zoom" app, and includes teaching on:

*Pursuing God:           How to Hear from God and Receive Prophetic Insight

*Dreams & Visions:   Receiving, Sharing, & Interpreting Dreams & Visions

*Process & Protocol: Prophesying & 5-Fold Ministry in the Local NT Church

*Prophetic Pitfalls:    Avoiding Typical Traps & Temptations  

*Authenticity in Ministry:  How Character Impacts Your Anointing

*Activation and Release:     Session includes Personal Prophecies

Testimonies from Previous Graduates: 

~"I was surprised that I was able to discern more clearly the Lord speaking to me, not just about myself but getting pictures or words for others as I prayed. I am more confident in what to do when I have them. I feel less confusion about the prophetic."

~"I feel free to not have to fit into some box but just to allow the Lord to use me how He made me. I don't have to try to hear like someone else!"

~"I feel less concern now about having to figure everything out like a frustrating puzzle. It's like a wonderful treasure hunt searching Him out!"


​Courses are offered twice a year in the Spring and Fall.

FALL COURSE DATES ARE NOVEMBER 4, 11, & 18th and DECEMBER 2, 9, & 16, 2019 (MONDAY NIGHTS) from 7:30-9 pm. 

Cost is $30 per person; you will need to download the Zoom app (free) to participate.

Replays are available to registered participants.

Class size is kept small to allow for additional personal mentoring from Deborah. 

Course includes outside access to Deborah for personal questions or ongoing mentoring.

​Interested? Register here or contact Deborah for more information on upcoming course dates and times. 
© Deborah Perkins /
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The Power of Encouragement


Encouragement is a rare commodity. Strife and division abound in today’s culture, so much so that it seems things have never been worse. Even within the church, we find sharp divisions between believers over politics, doctrine, gifts, and personalities. Despite our call to love one another, Christians often doesn’t look much different from the world.

If the lack of encouragement and unity makes you wish Jesus would simply come and rapture us now, you might be surprised to know that two of the most respected leaders in the early Christian church encountered the same problemjust a few years after Jesus walked the earth! The source of their division was a man named John Mark.

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Spiritual Hunger & the Legacy of John Hunter

More than 30 years ago, I received a call from an elderly man named John Hunter. Someone had given him my name, and he said he hoped I might be able to answer some of his questions about the new things God was doing in the church.

I agreed to meet with him, and after that initial meeting John and I got together often. I learned that he had already known the Lord for more than 50 years—much longer than I had even been alive at that point. He didn’t flaunt his credentials, but he also had many years of experience as a church leader and Bible teacher. John clearly knew Christ in a deep and profound way.

So why did he want to get together with me? That was something I always found puzzling. Was it that he had a fatherly concern for me as a young Christian leader? Yes, I’m sure he wanted me to succeed as a leader—but that was not why he wanted to get together.

Did he want to straighten out my theology? No, that was the furthest thing from his mind.

Still to this day, I’m shocked by John’s primary reason for wanting to spend time with me: He was so hungry for the things of God that he hoped to learn something even from a “youngster” like me.

This may not seem so remarkable to you, but it still challenges me to the very core of my being. Why? Because John Hunter was hungrier for the Lord than I was.

Let me explain…

Before I met John, I was pretty satisfied with the spiritual level I had attained. I felt knowledgeable about the Scriptures and in touch with the Holy Spirit—wasn’t that enough? But John exemplified the same kind of insatiable hunger for God that the apostle Paul wrote about:

   Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that    for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but        one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for        the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect [mature], have this      attitude (Philippians 3:12-15).

Until his dying day, John Hunter was still pressing on, not satisfied with the knowledge of God he already had. In his later years John developed Parkinson’s Disease, which made it much more difficult to “press on”—but he did nonetheless. His gait was more wobbly each time we met, as if his tall, lanky body might fall at any moment.

But he insisted on getting together anyway.

When we sat to have lunch, John’s hands shook violently if he tried to gesture or to bring a spoon to his mouth. Often his food spilled on his shirt, drawing the attention of those at neighboring tables in the restaurant.

As his final days approached, John’s words came out slowly and slurred. Sometimes he didn’t finish the sentences he started. But I could always sense the presence of the Lord during the times we shared.

It will be great to see John Hunter again someday. In heaven, I’m sure he has a fantastic new body, unaffected by anything like Parkinson’s. And I can’t wait to see how his childlike spiritual hunger is finally being satisfied as he dances in worship before God’s throne.

Let’s remind each other to follow John Hunter’s example, always yearning to go higher, toward the “upward call of God” for our lives. Let’s stay hungry until our hunger is fulfilled in eternity.

And perhaps the Lord would even have us invest ourselves in a new generation, as John Hunter did with me. Our lives will be changed when we do.

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Train Your Replacement!

The mighty prophet Elijah had been used by God in some dramatic ways: proclaiming to King Ahab that there would be no rain until further notice; multiplying a widow’s meager food; raising a boy from the dead; challenging the false prophets of Baal and calling down fire from heaven; and praying for the return of rain.


But these activities—and the demonic threats of Queen Jezebel—took a toll on the man of God, to such an extent that in 1 Kings 19 he pleaded for the Lord to end his life.


Yet instead of heeding Elijah’s request, God provided him with some time to sleep and eat, and then gave him a new commission: to train his replacement!

Then the Lord said to him: “Go, return on your way to the Wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, anoint Hazael as king over Syria. Also you shall anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi as king over Israel. And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place (1 Kings 19:15-16).


The assignment to anoint some new kings probably seemed like no big thing to Elijah (even though it’s interesting to note that it was Elisha who ended up actually carrying out the task). Yet Elijah clearly didn’t seem very excited about the prospect of anointing and training a prophet to serve, not just beneath him or beside him, but in his place.


How would you like being replaced? What if you were earnestly seeking God’s will for your life, and finally He spoke: “You need to train someone to replace you!”?


Although the Lord’s word to Elijah was a specific command applicable to his own situation, it illustrates a principle that applies to all of us who are in any type of leadership. Every leader is called to be a part of the process of training others do what he or she is doing.


Look at Paul’s challenge to Timothy, one of the men Paul was training to replace him:


The things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also (2 Timothy 2:2).

Paul was not threatened by the prospect of working himself out of a job by training others—in fact, he saw this as the very goal of his life and ministry. Not only did he raise up Timothy and Titus for ministry, but a careful reading of his letters and the book of Acts indicates Paul had equipped a large number of leaders for ministry (for example, see Acts 20:4 and 2 Timothy 4:9-21). Many of these were a part of his apostolic team.


Success Without a Successor


Tragically, many of the otherwise great men and women of God throughout history failed at this key element of effective leadership. They were gifted theologians, but other theologians were not trained. They were successful pastors, but no one was equipped to take their place. They mightily preached the gospel, but no one of similar caliber was left after their death.


Many years ago, I was sharing the “train your replacement” principle at a leadership conference in England. Although I thought I had given an effective presentation, the man who had organized the conference seemed to publicly rebuke me when I was done. “I’m not ready to retire yet!” he retorted. How sad. He had entirely missed the point. By training his replacements, he wouldn’t have to retire at all: God could have promoted him to a level of even greater influence.


Let us learn the lesson well: Success without a successor is really failure. Because of this, some churches that seem to be flourishing are actually in a very precarious position: Too much of their success is built around the gifts and charismatic personality of one dynamic leader.


What about you? Are you pouring your life into others and training them to do the things you’re presently doing? Are you willing to train your replacement?


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Take Off the Training Wheels!

Good leaders are like training wheels on a bicycle. They are a indispensable to get you started, but they’re removed once you’re able to ride on your own.


The transition away from training wheels can be scary, but it’s exhilarating to discover you can succeed without them. You can travel farther, faster, and have lots more fun on the journey.


Good parenting is the same way. Newborn babies are utterly dependent on their parents for their very survival. But gradually they mature and become self-sufficient, able to navigate life on their own. Wise parents understand this process. They are willing to remove the training wheels at the appropriate time, even though this involves a certain degree of risk.


However, some leaders—and some parents—insist on keeping the training wheels on for too long. Either they are fearful of an accident, or they simply love the sense of being “needed” by those they lead.


Ephesians 4:11-12 says leaders are called “to equip God’s people to do his work.” You see, the purpose of “training” wheels is to train people to ride without them. Do you see the parallel here?


Any other kind of leadership is self-serving and even toxic. Wise leaders and wise parents will resist the urge to create a culture of dependency. Like a mother eagle, they will prepare the next generation to FLY!


Of course, some people don’t want their training wheels removed. They are scared to ride through life without constant supervision and control. No wonder there are so many codependent families and churches—not to mention codependent politicians and their constituents.


As you assess your own relationships today, consider taking a step of faith and removing some of the training wheels. Entrust yourself and the people you are leading to God (Acts 20:32). Yes, some oversight and accountability may still be needed, but learn to maximize freedom. Teach people to depend on the Lord instead of on you.


This is the only way people can soar into their destiny. I don’t think you’ll see any training wheels in heaven.


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