In this week’s podcast, I expand on the fourth quality of a church culture that deeply changes lives: healthy community: Slowed-Down Spirituality Integrity in Leadership Beneath-the-Surface Discipleship Healthy Community Passionate Marriage and Singleness Every Person in Full-Time Ministry In a church culture that changes lives, people recognize that there is a disconnect when those who claim to love Jesus are experienced by others as defensive, judgmental, unapproachable, and unsafe. Leaders prayerfully and thoughtfully model how to do relationships differently in the new family of Jesus. In this podcast, I offer six insights to building a healthy, transformative community: Be careful to serve and develop your people, and not use them. Be diligent to confront the elephants in the room. Be intentional to teach new skills. Be vigilant of how power is exercised. Be mindful of the weaker, more vulnerable. Be aware that you will experience betrayal and pain. Once again, let me invite you. Read more.
Imagine making your personal list of the top 10 most emotionally healthy leaders found in the Bible. Would John the Baptist make the list as a strong leadership role model? Possibly not. Taken from the opening sermon of the 2017 Emotionally Healthy Leadership Conference, Pete looks at three aspects that make John the Baptist an extraordinary model of leadership. He knew himself and he knew God. John the Baptist was very aware of who he was and was not influenced by what others thought of him. He was free from impressing people but was completely attuned to what God’s mission was for him. He was deeply aware of issues surrounding him. John the Baptist realized there was a cultural crisis of shallow spirituality in which people kept the rules but did not have a vibrant relationship with the Father. He knew his limits. John the Baptist realized that his job was not to change. Read more.
Following Jesus is not first doing things for Jesus; it is first listening to him speak, and then doing what he says. Peter, James and John were the cream of Jesus’ leadership team. Yet when Jesus was transfigured before them, Peter was unable to resist making plans to maximize this exciting new open door. Fortunately, a voice from heaven shut him up, commanding him to listen to Jesus (Matthew 17:5)! It is easy to lead FOR God without listening TO him. The word listen or hear is found more than 1500 times in the Bible. That is why the most important question every one of us must ask throughout our days is: “God, how are you coming to me, what might you want to say?” In this podcast, I give specific examples of how I regularly apply this question to different areas of my life and discernment process. I apply it to: How I. Read more.
Who is your “enemy” today? I’m referring to someone who drives you crazy, who irritates you, a person you resent because they’ve hurt you or betrayed you. This is, undoubtedly, one of the largest challenges for each of us A number of years ago, while on a Trappist monastery retreat, the Prior shared a profound insight about enemies as “saint-makers,” and that, whenever we live in community, God sends them to us as a gift. Why? So that we mature into the likeness of Jesus. In this podcast I talk about a number of powerful truths around Jesus’ command: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you… If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? (Matthew 5:43,46). For example, you will learn why: Few things are more important than learning not to judge, or despise, others. Our enemies are not an interruption to our spiritual life with God,. Read more.
Living with integrity, whether you are in your twenties or seventies, is no small task. In this podcast, I lay the foundation for a leader’s integrity by discussing four critical areas: 1. Integrity with God. Throughout church history, one of the seven deadly sins was described as sloth. This referred not just to laziness, but to busyness with the wrong things. We are overly active because we cannot bear the effort demanded by a life of solitude with God. The Desert Fathers had no patience for activism, even godly activity, unless it was nourished by a rich interior life with God. They repeatedly warned about being engaged in activity for God before the time is ripe. 2. Integrity with Yourself. Leadership in the church can do violence to your soul. When we give to others out of our emptiness, we are of little value to those we serve. One of our greatest challenges is. Read more.
The first crisis the early church confronted was a crisis of integrity. In the book of Acts, a married couple named Ananias and Sapphira pretend to sell their property and give all that money to the church. The reality, however, was they kept back part of it. They pretend to be something on the outside that they are not on the inside. And God’s immediate and drastic judgment falls on them. The apostle Peter, the leader of the church, sees this lack of integrity as an invasion of the powers of darkness into their community of the Holy Spirit. He knows the power of the Spirit will be quenched without truth and integrity. Thus, he calls it out. I have rushed through areas of my leadership more times than I want to remember. I have avoided meetings I knew would be hard. I have skimmed on truth when it was uncomfortable. I have preferred. Read more.