In emotionally healthy teams, people understand that their family of origin has enormous significance in their ability to function maturely as a team. They’ve realized from Scripture that an intricate relationship exists between the kind of person they are today and their past. Numerous external forces may shape us, but the family we have grown up in is the primary and, except in rare instances, the most powerful system that will ever shape and influence who we are. In this podcast, I examine how it is that making sense of our stories (with their flaws, gaps, losses, and blessings) can powerfully transform us, our teams, and those we lead. I frame the podcast around five major points: 1. Identifying how your family has shaped you. 2. Discerning the major influences in your life. 3. Doing a genogram of your family and sharing it with your team. 4. Remembering genogram is something we work on. Read more.
Emotionally Healthy Discipleship impacts preaching in multiple ways. Over a 24-year period, I organized these learnings around a series of ten questions that I ask myself, and others, when preaching a message. In last week’s podcast I introduced the first five questions: 1. Am I preaching for Jesus out of a life of being with him? 2. Am I present to myself and to the people in the room? 3. Am I allowing the text to intersect with my family of origin and culture? 4. Am I preaching out of my vulnerability and weakness? 5. Am I allowing the text to transform me? This week, I explore the final five, and make a few concluding suggestions to make your long-term preaching experience rich, full, and enjoyable. Questions six through ten are: 6. Am I surrendering to Christ’s process of birth, death and resurrection? The sermon preparation process follows, I find, the life of Jesus. We. Read more.
Emotionally Healthy Discipleship impacts preaching in multiple ways. Over a 24-year period, I organized these learnings around ten questions that I ask myself, and others, when preaching a message. In this podcast, I deal with the first five of those questions that ensure we make room for God to do His transformative work in us and then preach in ways that lead others to authentic transformation as well. They are: 1. Am I preaching for Jesus out of a life of being with Jesus? We are men and women who bring the living God to our people out of our relationship with Him. But I cannot bring Him deeply if I don’t know Him deeply. I cannot bring people in the spiritual journey beyond where I have traveled with Jesus myself. Good exegesis and structuring a message well are important. But perhaps, a more important question is: Do I have enough contemplative time around. Read more.
The turning of the calendar year is an appropriate time to step back and get perspective on ourselves and our leadership. This podcast offers an inside view of Moses and his leadership in the midst of great pressure at the Red Sea as Pharaoh takes “600 of the best chariots, along with all the other chariots of Egypt…and pursues the Israelites boldly… overtaking them as they camped by the sea.” (Exodus 14:7). Moses makes a number of wise, critical leadership choices and, in so doing, offers us a model for us. 1. He chooses not to get entangled in the fear and anxiety around him. Instead, he remembers the larger, deeper work God is doing. 2. He chooses not to take the easy, short-sighted path to keep everyone happy. Instead, he courageously does what is best despite other’s lack of support. 3. He chooses not to react or rush. Instead, he balances God’s call. Read more.
When I preached the message of this podcast a number of years ago, I introduced it by saying it was one of the most important messages I had ever preached! A bit melodramatic, to be sure, but it captures the impact on my own life around the powerful spiritual truth found in the story of Mary’s visit to Elizabeth in Luke 1:39-56. The miracle of the Incarnation, the birth of God in the world, is also a reality we are to live into – i.e. receiving the new things He is birthing in and through us day by day. Let me invite you to ponder the painting below, The Visitation, by He Qi , and his capturing of the great story in Luke 1:39-56. First, notice Mary’s right arm protecting her womb. She knows God is birthing a precious gift inside her. She thus makes a three-month visit to Elizabeth’s house after she becomes pregnant, seeking support and. Read more.
This podcast serves as a devotional on one of the key challenges to every leader – exercising patience in an impatient world. Whether the issue is discernment or the timing on when to have a difficult conversation, learning to wait patiently is one of the greatest gifts we can give those around us. I share briefly from Alan Kreider’s The Patient Ferment of the Early Church where he notes that one of the primary reasons the church grew in her first 300 years was because of her commitment to patience. He argues they created a comprehensive “culture of patience,” with the early church fathers writing more about the Christian virtue of patience than about evangelism. People looking on from the outside were attracted to this non-anxious lifestyle of the early Christians. As a result, the church blossomed evangelistically. Quoting the early church father Tertullian (3rd century), he writes: God’s mission is unhurried and unstoppable.. Read more.