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Tune In and Let Go: Lessons from the Prayer Life of Jesus
Posted on: Tuesday February 20, 2024

As leaders, we know that PRAYER is the heartbeat of life in Christ. But often, our vision of prayer can become lop-sided, leading to a heavy weight on our shoulders.

For my first 17 years as a Christian, I had a one-dimensional view of prayer. I thought prayer was a tool I was supposed to use to make God's kingdom come. So I would devote 6-8 hours a week in prayer meetings, interceding for revival and believing that unless I prayed, God wouldn't come. I thought that was what Jesus called us to.

But over time I learned to see something different in the prayer life of Jesus. The gospel of Luke highlights a way of being with God that is less about striving and more about attunement.  It is true that prayer DOES require perseverance and devotion, but for reasons different than we think.

In today's podcast we explore the prayer life of Jesus and what that means for us today.

Archives:
Tuesday May 16, 2023
Eight years after planting New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, I was exhausted.

The pressure of preaching and teaching weekly messages, along with the rest of my
leadership responsibilities, left me depleted. Although our ministry was growing, I
often felt like I was gaining the world but losing my own soul.
 
What I lacked, and what so many of us still lack today, is a way to teach and preach for Jesus that properly flows out of a deep inner life with him.

What I discovered is that there is a way to engage in this weighty work of speaking for Jesus that is light and easy rather than heavy and hard, that strengthens rather than diminishes our relationship with him, and that is marked by joy and spaciousness rather than anxiety and pressure.

Tuesday May 02, 2023

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.

Tuesday April 18, 2023

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.

  • What would it feel like to live with breathing room?
  • How would it feel to limit your "Yes" and claim more margin in your schedule?
  • What if you could build in time for extended thinking, praying, and being?


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.

Tuesday April 04, 2023

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.

On today's podcast, I tackle this question head-on in two parts:
  1. How do you break free from the roots of overcommitment inside yourself?
  2. How do you help others break free from overcommitment as you lead them?
This is an important one. I pray that as you listen, you begin to experience a newfound freedom in Christ.
Tuesday March 21, 2023

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.

Tuesday March 07, 2023

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!

Tuesday February 21, 2023
Many of us have come to believe that the Christian life is synonymous with constant happiness. We think we're on the right track if the trajectory of our lives is "up and to the right" - always improving, always leveling up.

But this way of thinking leaves little room for grief and sadness. When we experience real loss, we see it as an abnormal alien invasion, not as a divine invitation.

And yet, Jesus shows us that to welcome and hold sorrow before God is central to our leadership and discipleship.

In today's podcast episode, I share the importance of finding the treasure buried in grief and loss, and how we can train other leaders to do the same.

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...
Tuesday February 07, 2023

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...

Tuesday January 24, 2023

As a pastor or leader, your primary role is to develop and disciple others.

More than simply "getting things done", we are called to prioritize the growth and maturity of the people and leaders around us. We do this by learning particular skills and tools with which we can coach our leaders, our team, and those in our ministry. 
 
One game-changing tool that I use to coach others is called the “Genogram”.

The genogram is a powerful visual map to document the history and dynamics of our family relationships and their impact on us, over three to four generations.
 
In today's episode, I share the 6 stages I use to coach other leaders through the Genogram so that you can do the same.
Tuesday January 10, 2023

Not long ago I was spending time with some young pastors, hoping to learn how leaders today define ministry success. The word "influence" seemed to be a common theme.

Many leaders obsess over growing their followers, gaining digital credibility, and creating captivating sound bites for social media. While there is nothing wrong with having a following, there exists a pressure and allure to making that the primary scorecard for ministry impact. This way of thinking only leads to destruction.

In many ways, this is nothing new. The 3 deadly temptations that Jesus faced in the desert, are the exact temptations we face as leaders, no matter what generation you are from.