Vacations offer a unique opportunity to integrate and apply our theology. But like all areas of discipleship (e.g. relationships, sexuality, work, singleness, marriage, retirement, money), this requires intentionality. Otherwise, we fall into the pattern of doing vacations like our family of origin or the wider culture. Each of us comes into vacations differently. Some of us, for example, have small children, aging parents, a special needs child, or severe financial constraints. Moreover, each of us has a specific temperament, personality, and set of passions. Last year, I wrote a blog entitled Turning Your Vacations into Sabbaticals, applying the principles of weekly Sabbaths to our vacations. Here I want to offer you five words, or principles, that have helped Geri and I structure our “vacations” each year: Prayer. This is so obvious that we easily miss it! Take time to be still before the Lord and listen (Ps 37:7). You may be surprised. Thoughtfulness. Wise. Read more.
Pursuing excellence in our leadership is a good thing. Perfectionism is not. Perfectionism, that refusal to accept a standard short of perfection, is the shadow side of excellence – undermining the best of who we are, limiting our ability to love, and damaging our leadership of others. How do I know? I know perfectionism so well in myself. Part of what makes us human is our imperfections and mistakes. Only God is perfect. At times I wonder if the church, in our desire to reach the world for Jesus, has hired a Pharaoh of perfectionism to help us. Sadly, many of us don’t need an external slave driver. We carry our own internal Pharaoh who drives us not to accept flaws and blemishes in our performance. The following are my top 10 signs that God uses to stop me when I fall into the sin of perfectionism: I am anxious – a lot. I. Read more.
Occasionally, a seminal book emerges that challenges our way of thinking and opens up new possibilities. Two books have done that for me in 2016 – Reclaiming Conversation by Sherry Turkle (a book I reviewed in this blog), and Peak by Anders Ericsson. For the last 30 years Ericsson has been studying expert performers and prodigies from scientists, to amazing athletes, to brain surgeons, to Olympian gymnasts, to composers, to fighter pilots. Peak is an easy read with fascinating stories of people like Mozart. The book challenged me in thinking about the way we teach, make disciples, and develop new leaders. The following are my top 5 learnings: Deliberate Practice. Nobody develops extraordinary ability without a tremendous amount of practice Top performers have dedicated a large amount of time to develop their abilities. In fact, they keep seeking to improve even when they reach the top of their field. With deliberate practice, things are. Read more.
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.
Nobody likes conflict. Nonetheless, conflict is a very real part of every leader’s ministry. Yet the illusion that “sweeping disagreements under the rug” is to follow Jesus continues to be one of the most destructive myths alive in the church today. We try to fix tension as quickly as possible. Like radioactive waste from a nuclear power plant, if not contained, we fear it might unleash terrible damage. In this podcast, Pete talks about how God intends every conflict to be a disciple-making and culture-shaping opportunity – both for us and those we serve. But it is not easy, revealing our level of self-awareness, our family of origin dynamics, and the depth of our loving union / identity in Christ. Listen in as Pete and Rich conclude with an example of Rich resolving a tension with another staff member, and how the tool, “Clean Fighting,” is regularly utilized to grow people up in maturity. Read more.
I am very excited this year for our 2016 EH Leadership Conference! God has met us these past 12 months in two very significant ways. First, after 8 years of work, I released The Emotionally Healthy Leader. This took us into new applications of EHS through the integration of a deep, interior spirituality with the outer tasks of leadership we deal with every day (e.g. planning and decision making). Secondly, after 20 years of working with churches around the world, God has given us a clear pathway of how to help churches implement discipleship that truly changes people’s lives — The EHS Course and The EHS Relationships Course. We at EHS have worked hard in making this available so you can lead your people into deep, beneath-the-surface transformation. I encourage you to REGISTER TODAY and join us via Live Stream with your team from April 20th thru April 21st. You, your team, your church, and your impact in the world. Read more.