What is leading out of your marriage or singleness? In this month’s Emotionally Healthy Leadership podcast Rich Villodas and Pete Scazzero continue the conversation around this core leadership theme in Pete’s new book: The Emotionally Healthy Leader. We hope you will take 15 minutes to view and consider sharing it with other leaders. Click the image below to watch the conversation on YouTube.
One of the high points of our EH Leadership Conference this past week was Geri’s opening message around Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus. The following is an excerpt. “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked. “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? Nicodemus, one of the top spiritual leaders of all Israel, seems clueless to the deep transformational spirituality that Jesus is talking about. Jesus looks at him with a bit of shock and says: “How can it be that you’re a leader in God’s Kingdom and… You have little or no emotional connection with your spouse, children, parents, siblings, friends, or congregation You have not had emotional or physical intimacy with your spouse for weeks, months, years You intimidate others with your anger You are defensive, critical, and judgmental You avoid. Read more.
Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (EHS) is a paradigm that ultimately informs every area of a church, ministry, or organization. And so the one question that continually emerges in our work with leaders is: “How do I bring EHS into our church—and then how do I keep it there!?” There are a variety of tools, books, conferences, and curriculums for leaders who want to teach and train their people in emotionally healthy spirituality. Three tools in particular are essential to becoming a transformed EHS church: The EHS Course, EH Skills 2.0, and The Emotionally Healthy Leader. The Three Core Tools The EHS Course. This eight-week spiritual formation course provides a foundational overview of the EHS paradigm for your church or ministry. It includes reading Emotionally Healthy Spirituality and learning to cultivate a rhythm of meeting with Jesus twice a day using Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Day by Day: A Forty Day Journey with the Daily Office. Daily. Read more.
For the first 1500 years of the church, singleness was considered the preferred state; it was considered the best way to serve Christ if you were a leader. Singles sat in the front of the church. Marrieds were sent to the back. After the Reformation in 1517 AD, single people were sent to the back and marrieds moved to the front – at least among Protestants. Yet the New Testament describes, and deeply affirms, two types of Christian singles. The first is a vowed celibacy, for those who “renounce marriage because of the kingdom of heaven.” They freely choose not to marry but to set themselves apart in a total, exclusive and lifelong gift to Christ and His church. A very few are invited to receive this grace and gift from him (Matt. 19:11-12). The vast majority of Christian single leaders fall into the category of dedicated celibates. This term encompasses a broad range. Read more.
Last night Geri and I shared God’s vision for Christian marriage (over against secular marriage) with our New Life FIRM small group of 18 people. Among other things, we talked about the necessity of bathing our marriages in prayer if our relationship is to become what God intends. Only God’s power and strength, accessed through prayer, can transform us so that our marriage vocations might become “signs and wonders” of the kingdom of God on earth. I promised our group that I would post the prayer Geri and I pray, separately and together, each day. I often include it in my morning Daily Office. Meditate on it. You may want to memorize it. I don’t necessarily pray these exact words each day, but the rich theology and vision contained here keeps me anchored in God’s high vision for a uniquely Christian marriage. (This is adapted from a pamphlet distributed by the Pastoral and Matrimonial Renewal. Read more.
Geri and I have been praying this prayer each day for our marriage as it articulates our vision as we enter into 2014. If you are married, pray it for your marriage several times a day. And if you are single, pray it for the marriages in your church. It is a prayer filled with a rich theology that the sexual love between a man and woman is the closest thing we have to the intimacy of the Trinity and the passionate life-giving desire God has for each of us. (This is adapted from a pamphlet distributed by the Pastoral and Matrimonial Renewal Center.) Lord, grant us the strength to answer your callto become a living sign of your love.Make our love for each other like your love for us:passionate, permanent, intimate, unconditional,and life giving. May we be as present to each other as you are to us,so that all the world can see your presencemanifested. Read more.