Why do so many Christians make lousy human beings? Why are so many of us judgmental, unaware, and defensive? Part of the answer lies in a failure to biblically integrate emotional health and spiritual maturity. A vast industry exists around emotional intelligence that ignores spirituality. A vast amount of information also exists that defines a “mature” Christian. Rarely are the two integrated. The following are 11 signs of an emotionally mature Christian: You anchor your life in the love of Jesus. You don’t divide your life into “secular” and “sacred” compartments. Instead, you rather enjoy communion with Him in all areas of your life – work, recreation, church, and parenting. Towards that end, you regularly practice spiritual disciplines (e.g. meditation on Scripture, silence, solitude, community, confession, worship) to position yourself to practice His presence all throughout the day. You break the power of the past. You can identify how issues from your family of origin (e.g. character flaws, ways of. Read more.
Sadly, Advent is a low point spiritually for most Christian leaders. This was surely the case for me–especially in my early years. I was told Christmas was THE time we had to do everything possible to get as many people to the church. I was told that the number of visitors at Christmas Eve services would indicate our growth over the next year. I was also told this was THE time to close the financial year strong, THE time to thank all our leaders, and THE time for me to model reaching out to our neighbors for Christ. This results in very few of us actually celebrating the wonder of the Incarnation, that the truly divine Son of God became truly human mortal flesh in Jesus of Nazareth. Here are my top 4 Advent killers along with their antidotes: Anxiety. After thirty years of pastoring, I can now say with authority: “The growth and. Read more.
Being a leader’s spouse is one of the most challenging roles a person can face in life – especially in the church. For this reason, we dedicated this podcast to talk with Geri about the hard lessons she has learned over the last 30 years in this area. In this podcast, you’ll hear Geri’s response to a number of questions such as: If the young spouse of a pastor came to you and asked, “Tell me one thing you wish you knew before you got started,” what might that be? How did you manage the pressure of people and their expectations? Why are concepts like differentiation and enmeshment so important if one is going to thrive as a leader’s spouse? Click below to watch the video or the link to listen to the audio file. Enjoy! LISTEN HERE – Pete @petescazzero
The challenge for us as leaders is the self-awareness to discern how our shadow impacts the way we lead– e.g. decision-making, strategic planning, team building, ways we deal with conflict, and transitions. When I first wrote The Emotionally Healthy Leader, I was acutely aware that readers wanted the last four chapters of the book first, i.e. what I call the outer life, the immediate practical helps to improve their leadership. The problem is that all our leadership tasks are informed by who we are, i.e. our inner life. For this reason, the first half of the book is dedicated to unpacking those core issues. And the first inner life issue every leader must confront is his or her shadow. Why? Everyone has a shadow. Shadows are those untamed emotions and behaviors that lie, largely unconscious, beneath the surface of our lives that constitute the damaged versions of who we are. They may be sinful;. Read more.
The most painful lessons I’ve learned in thirty-five years of Christian leadership have involved the exercise of power and having wise boundaries. The minefields surrounding the use of power are rarely acknowledged, much less openly discussed, in Christian circles. How do I handle dual relationships (e.g. when I am both pastor, friend and employer)? What are the boundaries I need to set with people whom I serve? How do I respond when inappropriate people, at inappropriate times, exert power? These are only a few of the many issues around this critically important topic. In fact this was the impetus for me to write The Emotionally Healthy Leader. Take some time with the chart below. It will give a quick overview of the core issues around applying EHS to power and wise boundaries.PS Send me your comments and thoughts on Twitter @petescazzero.
A few weeks ago, I posted a blog on the crisis of discipleship in our churches… …based on the recent Barna Report on The State of Discipleship. It discovered, for example, that only 1% of church leaders believe “today’s churches are doing very well at discipling new and young believers.” Moreover, participation in discipleship activities in our churches is as low as 20%! We currently emphasize numbers, and keeping people connected/active. The problem is that, not only is this not changing their lives, but is resulting in minimal missional impact. A transformation discipleship model, however, is quite different. It gets beneath the surface in people’s lives, but results in a greater, long-term impact in the world. Their lives become so filled with Jesus that it cannot help but overflow to others. The EHS Course is the fruit of 20 years of wrestling with the problem of superficial discipleship. We have seen its power. Read more.