I received a comment on that post that I felt could use a more detailed answer. An anonymous writer asked:
I’ve recently been reading this book but still don’t understand how this process works. We are supposed to pray for a few minutes for the Spirit to give us these words of knowledge as a group? or individually? Can you tell what is usually done before you go out?
I thought it would be beneficial to my readers to give a little more insight than just what happens before a Treasure Hunt, so here is the process as we run it in our youth group.
Before going out on a Treasure Hunt, I will often show my group some vidoe footage of other people sharing the Gospel on the streets. If you do a little digging for them, you can find a lot of these on YouTube (for instance, try searching for “street healings”). There are a good number of free videos of Christians walking up to strangers, praying for them in the name of Jesus, and seeing supernatural results. Admittedly, some are lame, and some are frauds, so do a little homework and get the good stuff.
I share these videos because I find that many Christians have never experienced anything like this. “Street healings” are totally off their grid. So by showing them video of other people doing it, it breaks down some of the walls.
I also sometimes read one of the testimonies from Kevin’s book because it specifically illustrates the Word of Knowledge leading to the person (you could even read the testimony of the treasure hunt I took our teens on.).
Both these things help people better comprehend what to expect and what is possible, thus building their faith for the “impossible.”
Next, I hand out a list of five categories that are in the Appendix of Kevin’s book (places, a person’s appearance, names, things someone might need prayer for, and “the unusual”). Each person receives a blank worksheet and a pen. I then explain that we’re going to ask the Holy Spirit to give us clues about who Jesus wants to target today and that we’ll spend the next ten minutes writing down whatever comes to mind as we wait in His presence.
Depending on the group, I sometimes insert a little, 5-minute teaching here about the simplicity of receiving “visions”–like pictures popping into your head. I might also be specific about how it may just be a passing thought, an impression, a physical sensation, or just a word. Then I put on some music, pray a 20-second prayer for the group (inviting the Holy Spirit to speak to us), and let people write. As each person writes, he or she places each thought under one of the five categories on the paper.
I don’t time things exactly because it is usually obvious when people are wrapping up. When it seems that things have gone long enough (usually 5-10 minutes), I give a one-minute warning and close.
I then walk through the list of categories and have everyone share everything they wrote down under each category. For instance, everyone shares what they wrote under “places.” Then everyone shares what they wrote under “names.”
Not everyone has to have something in each category, so I don’t push it. But as people share, I find that it helps them take ownership of their list. People are sometimes nervous to share because they don’t want to be wrong, so you may want to share your own answers first.
In a large group, we divide teams up based on what general locations or coinciding clues they heard from the Holy Spirit. In a small group, we see if combining the different thoughts seem to point to one location over another. This takes continued sensitivity to the Spirit because some connections may be a little obscure.
We don’t combine the lists into one because that tends to result in the stronger personalities taking all the opportunities. On the other hand, if people keep their own lists, they seem more apt to all step out in action. The soft-spoken suddenly become bold and focused. However, I’ll often jot down a “master list” for myself so that I can spur people on… “Hey, didn’t someone write down ‘brown vest’? Who has ‘brown vest’? Go for it!”
Together as a group, we head out to the public, each of us armed with our individual lists. I encourage everyone to be on high-alert, looking for clues from their own lists. (Kevin Dedmon describes a good way to fold the paper in his book. I won’t go into that here, but the point is that you should be able to see all your “clues” at a glance without having to unfold the paper.)
When we spot someone, we’ll send the person who had the clue, plus someone else. If the “target” is a male, I’ll always make sure to send at least one guy. If the person is female, I try to send two females–even when this makes a group of three with one male.
I make it a point not to send more than three people because this can become overwhelming for the person. The rest of our group will then walk to another area so we’re not looming and staring. In fact, I encourage them to keep looking for more clues.
There are a lot of other specific things to think about–like when to end, what to do when it seems like nothing is working, how to approach people, how to pray for people, and so forth. Kevin Dedmon does a great job explaining all this in his book. Again, if any of my other readers want to check it out, grab a copy of The Ultimate Treasure Hunt by Kevin Dedmon.
Also, forgive me for my shameless advertising, but I want to remind everyone about my first book that will be coming out in April. The title is The Word of Knowledge in Action: A Practical Guide for the Supernatural Church. This will give you further insight about this gift of the Spirit.