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.
The vast majority of people in our churches have a second-hand spirituality, i.e. they live off the spirituality of others. Because people attend our weekend worship services, participate in our programs, give money and serve, we assume they are in a vital personal relationship of loving union with Jesus. We assume wrong. They are not. Ask the people you serve about their time with Jesus each day: “How often do you meet with Him around Scripture and prayer? What do you do, and for how long? How might silence, solitude, Sabbath, spiritual companionship, and study fit into your life?” Ask for specifics. You are in for a shock. The world has changed dramatically. We have underestimated the magnitude of information overload, the moral decline of Western culture, and the impact of the Internet/social media in altering our brain circuits. “Dozens of studies by neurobiologists point to the same conclusion: when we go online, we. Read more.
Pete Scazzero (EHS’s Founder, and New Life Fellowship’ Pastor at Large) speaks with Rich Villodas (New Life Fellowship’s Lead Pastor) about the transition at New Life Fellowship that was just completed. In the fall of 2013 Pete Scazzero transitioned out of the role of Lead Pastor of New Life Fellowship and Rich Villodas became New Life’s new Lead Pastor.
I presided yesterday over the installation of Rich Villodas as my successor at New Life Fellowship Church. It was one of the highlights of my 26 years there as the Founder/Senior Pastor. An installation is like a wedding in which two parties make vows. While that analogy is helpful, I believe the term “covenant” (i.e. a solemn agreement between two parties) is a better term to use when framing a pastor’s relationship with a congregation. While a covenant is not always permanent like a vow, it implies responsibilities, obligations, and privileges. It is a promise, a trust. I learned from some of my Anglican and Presbyterian friends about their process and theology. This, in turn, helped me to shape the installation around the public making of a solemn covenant. It was deeply moving and powerful. A number of people asked me if I would make the text of the covenant agreement available. Here it. Read more.
This comes from Archbishop Oscar Romero who was killed in his church in El Salvador by a right-wing death squad on March 24th, 1980 out of his commitment to the poor. It expresses my prayer for Rich and NLF as we prepare for his installation on Sunday. A Future Not Our Own It helps, now and then, to step backand take the long view.The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,it is beyond our vision. We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction ofthe magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.Nothing we do is complete,which is another way of sayingthat the kingdom always lies beyond us. No statement says all that could be said.No prayer fully expresses our faith.No confession brings perfection.No pastoral visit brings wholeness.No programme accomplishes the church’s mission.No set of goals and objectives includes everything. This is what we are about:We plant seeds that one day will grow.We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold. Read more.