Vacations offer a unique opportunity to integrate and apply our theology. But like all areas of discipleship (e.g. relationships, sexuality, work, singleness, marriage, retirement, money), this requires intentionality. Otherwise, we fall into the pattern of doing vacations like our family of origin or the wider culture. Each of us comes into vacations differently. Some of us, for example, have small children, aging parents, a special needs child, or severe financial constraints. Moreover, each of us has a specific temperament, personality, and set of passions. Last year, I wrote a blog entitled Turning Your Vacations into Sabbaticals, applying the principles of weekly Sabbaths to our vacations. Here I want to offer you five words, or principles, that have helped Geri and I structure our “vacations” each year: Prayer. This is so obvious that we easily miss it! Take time to be still before the Lord and listen (Ps 37:7). You may be surprised. Thoughtfulness. Wise. Read more.
I wrote The Emotionally Healthy Leader with one primary goal in mind – to profoundly transform the leadership culture in our churches. Why? Long-term, sustainable, and effective mission in the world requires a deep spirituality which informs the way we: build cultures and teams, engage in planning and decision making, handle power and boundaries, and do endings/new beginnings. For this to take place, our leadership teams need time to talk about the core concepts from The Emotionally Healthy Leader for our specific leadership contexts. Towards that end I wrote a free EH Leader Study and Discussion Guide and now have recorded 3-8 minute video introductions on each of the chapters as you launch into the discussion of the book. (These have been immensely helpful for us in our New Life Staff Team discussions). Introduction to the EH Leader Chapter 1: The Emotionally Unhealthy Leader The Inner Life Chapter 2: Face Your Shadow Chapter. Read more.
I seriously embraced the spiritual practice of silence 13 years ago, and my relationship with Jesus began to deepen and widen in ways that I never could have imagined. This podcast is our invitation to you to seriously consider deepening your practice of being still before Him (Ps. 37:7). For as Isaac of Nineveh (7th century) said so eloquently: If you love truth, be a lover of silence. It brings you a fruit that tongues cannot describe. In the beginning we have to force ourselves to be silent. But then, a certain sweetness is born in the heart and the body is drawn almost by force to remain in silence. Click the video below to watch or the link to listen to the audio file. LISTEN HERE
“Who would call a day spent reading a good day? But a life spent reading – that is a good . . . life” Annie Dillard. That is so true! The following are my recommended top 10 picks from this past year: 1. The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma – Bessel van der Kolk This is a critical, important read for every one of us wrestling with discipleship in the church. Bessel van der Kolk , medical director of the Trauma Center in Boston and one of the foremost authorities on trauma in the world, offers innumerable insights on how to serve the increasing number of people in our churches stuck due to trauma. I continue to prayerfully read and study this book weekly. 2. Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie This timely book gives us insight from the perspective of a Nigerian immigrant who comes. Read more.
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
We are so excited for this year’s EH Leadership Conference (along with the one day Pre-Conference –The Leader’s Marriage April 19, 2016). This is our premier training event, offering a broad, yet deep, taste of EHS as it has developed at New Life Fellowship over a 20-year period. We had a significant year of new learnings in how EHS answers the great problem confronting the church–people’s lives are not being deeply transformed in our churches. Because of our commitment to high quality training, we limit the Main Conference to 350 participants and the Pre-Conference to 120 people (60 couples). We believe God may have you among that group. Pray and ask for His direction about this coming April. Super Early Bird Registration rates end November 30th. Register HERE.