The first Christians viewed themselves as part of world-wide family that transcended national, class, cultural, and racial barriers. They understood Jesus, through his blood shed on the cross, had destroyed these barriers and created new people, the church (Eph. 2:14-15). Pete shares his story in coming to grips with this complex reality as a new believer and how it led him to plant New Life Fellowship Church in New York City with a mission to bridge racial, cultural, economic and gender barriers. He also discusses three contributions of EH Discipleship for building reconciled communities.
Years ago, we were doing some strategic planning at the church I had founded in Queens, NY. We were reflecting on what contributed to our growth over a 26 year period.
A single word kept reappearing on the whiteboard - "BASEMENT"
How did we disciple so many quality leaders, many of whom are still leading today?
Hint: it wasn't what happened on the stage. It was what happened in the basement.
Matthew 28 tells us to "make disciples of all nations". But many leaders today feel a pressure to make their discipleship strategies big and public rather than small and hidden.
Jesus modeled a different way of making disciples. In fact, he flipped the entire thing upside down. In today's podcast, I share with you why real discipleship starts in the basement.
Affliction. It's a topic that nobody wants to talk about (including me).
But as it relates to TRUE LEADERSHIP, it is a costly mistake to avoid our afflictions. Why? Because this is how God matures us into spiritual mothers and fathers of the faith.
By "affliction," I'm referring to any kind of hurt, loss, betrayal, broken relationship, abandonment, or disorienting circumstance. While these are obviously things we don't want, they are also unavoidable.
Many of us run from our afflictions, seeing them as obstacles to our life and leadership. We distract, jump over, sidestep, and ignore. But Jesus called us to take up our cross and follow him. And when you're on the cross, you can't just jump off!
The good news is that God doesn't abandon us in our hardships. In fact – if we're willing to PAY ATTENTION, God uses our afflictions to develop us into the type of leaders worth following.
Take a listen to today's podcast episode.
One of the greatest threats to leading with joy is giving into the temptation of overcommitment.
When our lives are crowded, cluttered, and cramped, it is difficult to hear God and live in loving union with Him. The irony is, we can "fit in" regular practices of Sabbath and silence while still being driven by an overscheduled life.
But how do we resist this temptation?
Silence, solitude, and sabbath must become our practices.
AND spaciousness must become our mindset.
In order to live spacious lives, we must avoid the critical traps that keep us settling for an overcommitted life.
On today's podcast, I identify several traps that keep you from the gift of spaciousness and offer wisdom that will help you live with a renewed sense of joy.
Many leaders today "know" the importance of a slowed-down spirituality.
So why do so many continue to feel overloaded and over scheduled, often working 3 jobs, taking on new side hustles, and remain driven by the fear of missing out? Why can't we stop overcommitting?
Listen, I know this struggle firsthand. And I've found that it goes deeper than knowing intellectually and theologically the right thing to do.
Recently we crossed an unbelievable threshold with the Emotionally Healthy Leader Podcast with over 10 million lifetime podcast downloads. I couldn't be more surprised, humbled, and thankful for this milestone moment.
I say "surprised" because back in 1996, when we first started, the term "emotional health" was considered heretical in much of the church!
Now 25 years later, we can see that the cultural landscape has changed dramatically. Not only is emotional health received, but in many ways, it is now considered a promotional buzzword.
In today's podcast, I share my observations of what I consider 3 counterfeit versions of emotional health that we settle for, but then cast a vision for an authentic life with God.
I was recently asked by someone...
"Pete, if you could go back and give yourself advice in the different seasons of life and ministry, what would you say?"
The truth is – every decade has its own unique invitations. As I reflected, I realized that I would say something slightly different to myself at 25, 35, 45, and even 55.
Today on the podcast, I share with you some fresh insights as I look back on my own journey and development. While my journey is different than yours, I'm hoping you'll be able to learn from my lessons - both the good and the bad!
I was 19 when I came to Christ and started my training as a Christian leader.
As a young leader, I was taught many valuable things. But nobody told me about the most powerful gift leaders can bring to those they lead.
But I've learned (through my own failures) that the greatest gift leaders can actually give is becoming an "incarnational presence" – being DEEPLY PRESENT with people like Jesus.
In today's podcast episode, we look at the norm for most churches and leaders, but then we'll explore the beauty of what can happen in our church cultures when we learn to lead in this way.
I encourage you to watch our full training video online in our Leader's Training Vault. It's completely free and only takes one minute to register.
For now, you can listen to today's episode here...
As a pastor or leader, your primary role is to develop and disciple others.