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.
Listening and discerning what God is saying is one of the most important areas of discipleship for any Christian. This especially applies to leaders. When we listen wrongly, the ripple effect is far-reaching. In this classic passage from Matthew 17, we observe Peter in a hurry to advise Jesus. He attempts to do the right thing for Jesus, but instead of waiting and listening, he is too eager to make plans. God the Father rebukes him and calls him to right listening, a listening that allows the word of Jesus to do its full work and create a relaxed, un-frenetic obedience in and through him. In the same way, God invites us to know all that we have in Jesus of Nazareth. Revering and listening to him is more important than any cause, program, or project we may be involved in. Why? Our notions of what is good for Jesus are often far off.. Read more.
In this podcast, I share the 6 unique contributions Emotionally Healthy Discipleship brings to the challenge of bridging barriers of race, culture and class. These gifts emerge out of journey at New Life Fellowship Church as we committed ourselves to be a multiracial community core to our witness to Christ here in New York City. God met us powerfully in our 32 year journey, shaping us into an incredibly diverse community with over 75 nations. The theological, personal and practical gifts that came with our failures and successes were innumerable. In this podcast, nonetheless, I talk about the final four contributions of EH Discipleship to this pressing global issue that confronts us as the church in the 21st century: Calling people to a radical desert spirituality with Jesus Utilizing genograms for self awareness and transformation Valuing brokenness and vulnerability Creating a new language with a new culture as the new family of Jesus Embracing. Read more.
In the midst of a Roman Empire marked by severe prejudices and hatreds, the first Christians viewed themselves as part of world-wide family that transcended national, class, cultural, and racial barriers. They understood Jesus, through his blood shed on the cross, had destroyed these barriers and created a “new human race,” a new society, a new people, i.e. the church (Eph. 2:14-15). It is significant that millenials and Generations Z’ers are so passionate for a multiracial, multicultural church in our day. And it is also significant that one of the biggest stories of our time is the mass movements of people around the world (i.e. migrants, refugees, internally displaced people, and asylum seekers). In this podcast, I share my own journey and story in coming to grips with this complex reality over forty years ago as a new believer, and how it led us to plant New Life Fellowship Church in New York City. Read more.