While I am a high extrovert who gathers energy from being with people, I love silence. So the highlight, up till now on my yearly visits to the Trappists has been the rhythms of the Daily Office, especially Vigils at 3:30 in the morning! And when the chants conclude at about 4:10 am, I generally go back to my “cell” and try to follow them in meditation and prayer until Lauds (the 2nd office of the day) at 6 am. I love their emphasis on the ordinary, the obscure and simplicity of work. This year, however, God met me very powerfully in a new way – through my spiritual direction and conferences with Father Dominic, the prior of the monastery. The prior would be like the COO or executive pastor of a large church. Formerly a professor at Georgetown University and a Dominican priest, he joined the Trappists 26 years ago to focus on. Read more.
I am often asked, “Pete, what exactly is emotionally healthy spirituality?” The above chart describes her five different components. 1. Contemplative Spirituality (Slow Down to Be With God). EHS is a commitment to slow down our lives in order to create a rhythm to be with Jesus. It is about creating space through contemplative practices (e.g. Daily Offices, Sabbath-Keeping, silence, solitude and Scripture) so that we remain in Jesus’ love. We draw deeply from the radical movement of the desert fathers as well as Moses, Elijah and John the Baptist in order that we might love others out of the love we have first received from Jesus Himself. 2. Emotionally Healthy Discipleship – EHS recovers a number of lost biblical themes often ignored in evangelical discipleship. These include a theology of grieving (e.g. Psalms, Lamentations) and limits, of breaking the sinful patterns of our family of origin and cultures, loving well and brokenness as the basis by which we. Read more.
As pastors and churches are beginning to explore integration of emotionally healthy spirituality into their lives and churches, I believe it is important to step back and reflect on the wider theological and historical foundations upon which we are building. The following is my list: 1. Prayed Theology 2. A Humble Spirit to Learn from the Whole Church 3. A Sense of Global Church History 4. Contemplative, Monastic Spirituality 5. Integrity in Our Leadership 6. Emotionally Healthy Practices 7. The Marriage Covenant 8. Sexuality 9. Calling, Life and Work 10. Preaching and Teaching 11. Bringing Christ to Culture (Contextualization) 12. Bridging Racial, Cultural, Economic and Gender Barriers Last week I showed our staff a four minute video on the revolution occurring in our culture with regards to social media and its implications for NLF (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVXKI506w-E&feature=player_embedded#t=92). While I am not sure of all the implications of social media for us today, I am convinced of. Read more.
I just finished reading Jim Collins’, How the Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In, and found it filled with excellent insights. While his study and work is focused on corporations and why great ones decline, a number of the principles he lays out have application to the leadership of churches and non-profits. The following were 3 highlights for me with particular application to my journey in answering the question, “What does an emotionally healthy leader look like? How does one bring contemplative leadership that waits on the Lord and actually leads?” Be careful about being distracted from your primary, core values that make you who you are (He calls it your primary flywheel). In our case, it is emotional health and contemplative spirituality, reconciliation and leading people to deep, personal relationships with Jesus Christ here in NYC. He observed that great painters (Picasso), musicians (Beethoven), and companies (Walmart) continue to intensely and. Read more.
These are my further reflections , and changes, on the theological underpinnings and foundations for what it means to integrate emotionally healthy spirituality into our lives and the people we serve. It is much more than simply doing the small group material, Daily Offices, or the church-wide initiative. That is simply a beginning. A larger, more expansive training along the lines of the twelve points listed below. Over the next few weeks, I will blog on each and their implications for us. 1. Theology– We must root our lives and churches in the living Jesus who is God Almighty as revealed in Scripture by the Holy Spirit. We are first and foremost about practices biblically rooted. We take seriously the model of the early church fathers (e.g. Ignatius of Antioch, Athanasius, Cyril of Alexandria, Basil, Gregory the Great, Augustine, Iraneus and others) who were leaders of local churches or bishops, theologians who studied Scripture. Read more.
The Holy Spirit has created, I believe, a holy discontent with our contemporary spiritual formation models that are not changing lives deeply. Without genuine, authentic testimonies of people profoundly transformed by Jesus Christ, our mission, strategies and plans will ultimately fall short. Let me begin by affirming: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst (1 Tim.1:15). This being said, I remain passionate as you might be, that the church be transformed into all Jesus Christ has called her to be. In the past few years, a growing number of pastors, leaders and others have reached out to us in their efforts to live out a radical discipleship paradigm that remains solidly evangelical and missional, while at the same time, integrates the riches of contemplative spirituality and emotional health. I seek to do this in my context at New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, NYC with people from. Read more.