Discerning what season you, and your ministry, are in right now is one of our most important leadership tasks. Scripture teaches us there is a time or season for everything under heaven: There is “a time to plant and a time to uproot…a time to weep and a time to laugh… a time to be silent and a time to speak” (Eccl. 3:1 – 8). Discerning properly the season we are in determines our priorities, decisions and pace. Failing to do so results in all kinds of internal anguish for ourselves and unnecessary pressure on those we lead. In this podcast I will expound on the seasons of Fall (transitions), Winter (death), Spring (fruitfulness), and Summer (abundance), examining how each holds its own gift from God – if we cooperate with it. A number of questions, hopefully, will emerge for you out of this podcast. For example: What does it mean for you to. Read more.
A world without a Sabbath would be like a man without a smile, like a summer without flowers, and like a homestead without a garden. – Henry Ward Beecher Every country in the world has public holidays – from the Chinese New Year to Brazil’s Carnaval to India’s Vasanta (or Basant). This coming Monday in the United States, we celebrate Memorial Day, remembering those who died while serving our armed forces. Yet I believe God desires that we receive particular gifts from Him that emerge in these “extra” Sabbatical days. God wired us for a weekly rhythm of Sabbath rest for a 24-hour period. He also wired us for longer Sabbath stretches of time for rest. We observe this in the way He built into the life of Israel Sabbatical weeks and even Sabbatical years. God knew that if Israel were to be true to her calling and purpose, they would need more than. Read more.
God invites us not only to rest from our work, but also to work from our rest. That is, perhaps, nowhere more crucial than in preaching. The question is how do we preach from a place of Sabbath rest, i.e. how do we carry over the riches of Sabbath (to stop, rest, delight, and contemplate God for a 24-hour period) into our work of preaching. The following are a few points to consider: Say No to Perfectionism. Sabbath is first and foremost a day of “stopping” – even with our to-do lists unfinished. We embrace our limits. And we trust God. Sermons are never finished. Regardless of our preparation, when we step up to preach, we do so in faith. I have never preached a perfect sermon. Even my best sermons remain incomplete. God reserves perfection for Himself. While I believe we need to prepare well, it never exempts us from the hard work. Read more.
Jesus focused a disproportionate amount of time discipling the Twelve – and one of them didn’t even work out! This was His upside down strategy to reach the world with the love of the Father. Yet we have programs to run, meetings to lead, people to pray for, money concerns, attendance to monitor, administration to be done, messages to prepare, strategies to execute, visions to cast, and crises that won’t wait till tomorrow. We live in the great tension of the big and the small – a tension I carry with me each week as I set priorities. How do I focus on the few, my Twelve, when modern culture demands the big… and now? It helps me to remember that so much in and around me resists focusing on the few. Why? Discipling the few is slow. The kingdom of God is a mustard seed and always will be. Discipling the few is. Read more.
The EHS Course is now being used by hundreds of churches as their core way to introduce people to a deep, beneath the surface spirituality with Jesus so they in turn can transform the world. At New Life Fellowship, I recently led the course with about 125 people meeting in 14 small groups. Click below to watch a video of some of the stories we captured during the course: Consider preparing now to launch The EHS Course in your church this January. Go to https://www.emotionallyhealthy.org/the-ehs-course/ and lead your people into a deep formation in Jesus so they can impact the world for Him! The EHS Course: An introduction to a deep beneath the surface spirituality that transforms people who transform the world.
I am excited to announce the launch of our EHS Spanish Webpage! God led Geri and I to learn Spanish in Costa Rica in 1985, and then plant and pastor Iglesia Nueva Vida here in New York from 1991-1996. Now, 30 years later, through our partnership with Editorial Vida, we are entering a new phase of offering all the EHS books/curriculums to the Spanish-speaking world – from Spain to Latin America to North America. We are beginning with The EHS Course (El Curso EES) and the EHS Church-Wide Initiative Kit (Paquete de Campaña Para La Iglesia). The EHS Personal Assessment is also available on our EHS Spanish webpage as a FREE digital questionnaire or downloadable document. Pass this on to your Spanish-speaking pastor/leader friends and pray with us as we discern together (and look forward to) what God will do through EHS in Spanish!! Bendiciones!