Defining success as a Christian leader is one of our most challenging, vexing and difficult tasks. If we get this right, fruitfulness, contentment and joy follow. If we get it wrong, feelings of failure, misery, and envy follow. In part 1 of this podcast, we will look at two idols that dominate current Western culture and church leadership: 1) Measuring numbers; and 2) Excessive concern for what others think. Jesus shows us that success, as the world defines it, is NOT how God defines success. He was content in appearing to be a failure in the world’s eyes. He did not do much to change the basic structural problems in Israel during his 3-year ministry. The Pharisees/Sadducees still controlled the Temple and religious life. Herod still remained on the throne. And John the Baptist still remained in prison. On the surface, it appeared Jesus ran more of an ‘ambulance’ ministry than actually attack the. Read more.
This is the last in a series of 3 podcasts we are sharing while Pete is on vacation/sabbatical. We hope that these podcasts have been an encouragement in your leadership journey. Blessings! Social media has become perhaps the largest universal communication platform for sharing new information, ideas, current events, and discussion. Sadly, it has also become a forum for unhealthy conflict. Pete shares his thoughts, based upon the Sermon on the Mount, on how Jesus might have us engage in social media. Listen and ponder how Jesus might be asking you to engage in your social media circle. – The EHS Team on behalf of Pete Scazzero PS – The soon to be released Emotionally Healthy Relationships Course offers practical skills to empower people to love and relate to one another in a way that builds community. You’ll want to consider attending Pete’s training session on how to bring this powerful course to your. Read more.
Would the apostle Paul have engaged social media for the sake of the expanding the message of Jesus? Based on the way he creatively utilized the pax Romana (Roman peace), along with Greek culture and language, the answer is, I believe, a resounding yes. Can you imagine Jesus giving us a few tips on our use of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube? Based on his Sermon on the Mount, the following are a few parameters He might recommend to us: Be careful not to show off or pretend. The definition of hypocrisy is to pretend to be something we are not or to present an idealized version of ourselves that is not true. Jesus calls us to avoid being “showy” or doing anything “spectacular” to call attention to ourselves. Seek the notice of our Father in heaven. Our goal is to impress Him, to hear Him say, “well-done” at the end of each tweet,. Read more.
On Monday I begin a three-week vacation. Part of that will include not blogging, tweeting, or posting on Facebook and Instagram. Why? To Honor Sabbatical Rest. I prefer to frame vacations as sabbaticals from the Lord, a gift to let the soil of one’s soul get replenished by stopping our work, resting, delighting, and contemplating Him. A good part of my work now includes social media engagement. So I will stop and let it rest. To Respect My Vulnerabilities. I like Sherry Turkle’s point that “laptops and smartphones are not things to remove. They are facts of life and part of our creative lives. The goal is to use them with greater intention. We are faced with technologies to which we are extremely vulnerable and we don’t always respect that fact.” Is it possible to be addicted to social media? I think so. (Not all researchers agree.) Disconnecting will be good for my soul.. Read more.
The great temptation in social media (e.g. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) is to exploit every experience as material to teach others, to speak of truths we don’t live, to present ourselves as someone we are not. This shrivels our souls as we stray further from what is authentic and true. It damages our integrity, widening the gap between our outer and inner lives. It is easy to “remain all our lives on the threshold, never entering into the banquet, but always running back into the street to tell the passers-by of the wonderful music (we) hear coming from inside the palace of the King” (Thomas Merton). How then do we guard against this temptation? We want to lead (e.g. tweet) out of a deep place of being with God, saying like David: I love the house where you live, O Lord The place where your glory dwells. Ps. 26:8 One thing I ask of the. Read more.