As we enter a New Year I like to take time to review and listen afresh to what God might be saying and doing. This process includes my blog. The blogs that I thought were most important (e.g. Beyond an Airbrushed Spirituality) didn’t make the top ten. Blogs that I considered less important did. A key lesson for me is that people are very interested in detailed applications of EHS in different, real life situations (e.g. “Emotionally Healthy Birthday Planning” is a future blog). Here are my top ten posts from 2015: 10 Qualities of an Emotionally Healthy Wedding Top 10 Quotes from Elie Wiesel’s Memoirs Characteristics of the Emotionally Unhealthy Leader Quit Living Someone Else’s Life Four Steps to a Meaningful Sabbath You Know Your Not Doing Endings Well When Quit Overfunctioning Four Unhealthy Commandments of Church Leadership My #1 Mistake as a Leader Why Can’t We Slow Down
This past Wednesday, Geri led our New Life staff team through a Blue Christmas service. It was so profoundly moving, that we plan to do it with our whole church later this month. A Blue Christmas service is a space created for people to grieve their losses while holding on to the reality that Jesus is the Light and Savior of the world. It is usually held around the winter solstice (December 21 or 22), the longest night of the year and the day that marks the start of winter. Theologically, it integrates the fuller Christmas story – both the joy surrounding Jesus’ birth and Herod’s horrific slaughter of all the male children two years old and younger. For many people the Christmas holidays are a painful time. A loved one has died. Others have lost meaningful relationships, marriages, jobs, security, or a sense of direction. Others find themselves battling cancer or some other health crisis. Read more.
The first inner life issue addressed in The Emotionally Healthy Leader is our need to face our shadow. Why? It is one of our greatest challenges. Our shadow undermines our ability to serve others and undermines the best of who we are. This is nowhere more true than in our preaching. The following are ten signs your shadow is negatively impacting your preaching: You are overly concerned with people’s approval and affirmation after you preach. You exaggerate, spin, or tell half-truths from the pulpit for impact or to get laughs. You preach about things you don’t live. You spend an excessive amount of time focusing on being clever, smart, and finding great illustrations rather than taking time to allow the biblical text to transform you. You use the pulpit to inappropriately manipulate a particular response, failing to do the hard work of developing your speaking gifts. You use the pulpit to indirectly address conflicts. Read more.
Success is first and foremost doing what God has asked us to do, doing it his way, and in his timing. Years ago, when I was first wrestling with redefining success, I imagined what it might be like to come before God’s throne at the end of my earthly life and say, “Here, God, is what I have done for you. New Life now has 10,000 people.” Then he would respond, “Pete, I love you, but that was not what I gave you to do. That task was for a pastor in another part of New York.” Have you ever considered that your ministry, organization, or team may be growing and yet actually failing? Think with me for a moment about some of God’s faithful and, hence, most successful leaders: Jesus said of John the Baptist, “Among those born of women none is greater than John” (Luke 7:28). Yet, if we were to create. Read more.
Rich Villodas, who is now Lead Pastor of New Life Fellowship, led one of the workshops at our recent Emotionally Healthy Leadership Conference on “Emotionally Healthy Preaching.” Once again, it made a large impact on all who attended. One of Rich’s greatest gifts to the larger body of Christ is, I believe, in the art of preaching. The following is the core of what he shared: Preaching is foremost not about preaching. It’s about a life with God; a life of integrity, out of which we speak. This is the core of emotionally healthy preaching. Like many pastors and preachers, I love the art and science of preaching. I work hard for stories and illustrations that make biblical content accessible to our congregation. I work hard to understand the text exegetically. I think critically about how a passage of Scripture applies in our NYC context. All of these things are important. In addition to. Read more.
Studies indicate that EQ (emotional quotient) is so critical that it accounts for 58 percent of performance in all types of jobs. In fact, emotional intelligence in the workplace trumps almost every other factor — IQ, personality, education, experience, and gifts — when it comes to effective performance. Businesses rely on emotional intelligence (EQ) to help employees learn key personal competencies (e.g. self-awareness, basic management of their triggers) and social skills (e.g. empathy, conflict management). Our concern in emotional healthy spirituality (EHS), however, is much more than this. We are after long-term inner transformation for the sake of the world. Our goal is that Jesus Christ be formed in us. The greatest difference between EQ and EHS is that we worship and follow a crucified God. His will and presence informs all we do. We don’t simply learn conflict resolution tools, for example, to be more effective at work. Our motivation, above all else,. Read more.