This podcast invites you into a lesson God brought into my life that shifted my view of myself and my leadership. I was struggling to lead New Life into her next phase. I had founded the church 18/19 years earlier and was at a personal crossroads. I struggled with self-doubt and pessimism around my abilities and wondered if I had the inner resources needed to take our church forward. Perhaps, I had given New Life all I had to give and it was time for someone new to be the senior leader. Then God met me powerfully through the story of David in 1 Samuel 17. Unlike the army of Israel that was filled with great fear, he stepped over the counsel of Saul and his older siblings who said, “You are incapable and will fail.” And he attacked Goliath, leading God’s people into a new future. How did he do it? He remembered. Read more.
I approached the podcast this week as if we were sitting across the table from one another and you asked the question, “Well Pete, how do you measure success in your own leadership and how might that be different from the way I’m measuring it today?” Here are the nine points I share as a response to that very important question: Success is Remaining in communion with Jesus throughout each day. Success is Embracing the Season God has me in – be it Fall, Winter, Spring or Summer. Success is Resisting Temptations of the Evil One, i.e. demonic powers. “This is the great work of a man: always to take the blame for his own sins before God and to expect temptation till the last breath.” Anthony the Great Success is Trusting Jesus. Our work is to “be trusting in (i.e. relaxing in) the One he has sent” (John 6:29). Success is Living as a Sign. Read more.
When we step back to see the global, cross-racial, international, historical church as God sees, it is powerfully transformative. God has raised up one church spanning continents, cultures, ethnic groups, and languages. And while we were born into that church in a particular country, in a particular time in history, and in a particular church tradition or stream, the larger church is incredibly diverse with a long, rich history. In this podcast, I expound on why it is so essential to learn from Christians different than us, as well as from history if we are going to make serious disciples of Jesus. After giving a brief overview of church history, I share the ten treasures for mission from Scott Sunquist. Scott, a friend of mine for the past 36 years, has a PhD in Asian Church history and missiology. After teaching World Christianity in Singapore, Pittsburgh and Fuller, he is now President at Gordon-Conwell. Read more.
Where did we get the idea that it’s possible to be spiritually mature while remaining emotionally immature? How did we slice out the emotional portion of who we are, deeming it suspect, irrelevant, or of secondary importance to our relationship with God? Why do we value the spiritual over every other aspect of our God-given humanity – the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual? In this podcast I explore the gaps in our theology that have caused such a tragic state of affairs in the church. I had been a Christian for seventeen years when I discovered the link between spiritual and emotional health. The spiritual-discipleship approaches of the ministries that had shaped my faith did not have the language, theology, or training to help me in this area. It didn’t matter how many years passed, whether seventeen or another fifty. I would remain an emotional infant until the emotional component of God’s image in. Read more.
It has rightly been said: “If I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend fifty-five minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about the solution.” In other words, without clearly identifying the roots of the problem, we will only offer inadequate, quick-fix solutions. We may work harder and initiate new programs, but we will continue to reproduce shallow, thin disciples who are not significantly different than the wider culture. What, then, are the leadership blind spots that prevent us from developing mature, deeply changed disciples and leaders? Over the past five months I have been wrestling with that question and have identified four: 1) We give away what we do not possess; 2) We sever emotional health from spiritual maturity; 3) We ignore the treasures of the larger, global church; and 4) We wrongly define success. In this podcast I address the first blind spot, exploring the sobering truth that. Read more.
In this week’s podcast, I build on last week’s message, “Listen,” and move to practical applications that have served me to sharpen my own discernment process. In particular, I draw from the insights of Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of Jesuits, a work that has endured 450 years. His joining of active mission in the world with the riches of a slowed-down spirituality, along with a deep awareness of God moving through our feelings, is unique in church history. After discussing Ignatius’ unique contribution, I share four insights that have served me in listening and discerning God’s will: Silence: Responding to God’s Invitations to Greater Silence. There are seasons where God invites us to carve out larger blocks of time for silence and stillness with him. Feeling: Listening to God in Your Feelings. We don’t blindly follow our feelings but acknowledge them as a part, a significant part, of the way God communicates to. Read more.