To live and lead like Jesus requires that we embrace the fact that we are people with deep weaknesses and vulnerabilities. At the same time, it also requires we embrace the glorious truth that we are incredible – with unique passions, histories, gifts, experiences, sufferings, and destinies. In the early years of my faith, most of the discipleship I received focused primarily on depravity and sin. The good seeds of God hidden beneath my unique person as an image-bearer of God were rarely mentioned. Granted, every part of our being is flawed and disfigured by sin. Nonetheless, because of God’s image in us, goodness also dwells within every human being. Henri Nouwen describes it well: For a very long time I considered low self-esteem to be some kind of virtue. I had been warned so often against pride and conceit that I came to consider it a good thing to deprecate myself. But now. Read more.
In this podcast I complete a 2-part study on the radical contrast of the world’s easy-to-follow discipleship to Jesus’ hard-to-follow discipleship. The Twelve had to hear it repeatedly from the lips of Jesus. We do as well. We may have many goals and sub-goals throughout our lives, but the single great goal of every Christian is to hear “wonderful” spoken at the end of their life at Final Judgment (Matthew 25:23). Our human hearts desperately crave praise, notice, and honor (usually from the wrong places). But actually, we were made to be noticed and honored by God as the primary aim of our lives. Join me as I finish expounding on this chart below on the formidable task of making disciples today: Listen to Part 2 here: Warmly, Pete
I have spent 19 months studying the theme of discipleship in the Gospel of Matthew (I expect to finish this month), taking careful notes, and making specific applications to my own life and leadership. Last month, at the opening Session of The EH Discipleship Summit, I shared the summary of my learnings. The response was so significant that we decided it was worthy of a 2-part podcast. Below is a chart of the outline of my points out of which I make specific applications to the formidable task of making disciples today: Listen to Part 1 here: Warmly, Pete Learn a discipleship framework that deeply changes lives!
Practicing Sabbath, much like prayer or reading the Bible, doesn’t save us. We are saved by Jesus alone. But if we are not routinely reading Scripture or praying, it is unlikely we are growing much spiritually. Keeping Sabbath is a core spiritual practice – an essential means God uses to slow us down and mature us. In this podcast, I expound on ten core reasons Sabbath is so indispensable for us who lead in Jesus’ name: Sabbath is something God did, and being made in his image, we are created to do it as well. Sabbath was built into the DNA of the creation. Sabbath time is set apart as “holy” within God’s creation of a 7-day week. Sabbath helps us embrace our humanity, vulnerability, limits and finiteness. Sabbath protects us from doing violence to ourselves. It doesn’t save our souls, but it saves our lives. Sabbath reminds us God’s world is good, offering. Read more.
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.
The world may minimize, rationalize, deny, or medicate their losses, but God calls us to a different path in the new family of Jesus. Simply put, grieving well is a core discipleship issue – especially for those of us who lead. Consider a few of the great men and women in Scripture who were great grievers and great leaders: Isaiah, Hannah, Jeremiah, Moses, Mary, Paul, Peter, and most importantly, Jesus. Unless we courageously allow our losses to break open our hard hearts, we will project or inflict our unprocessed pain on others. But if we follow God’s pathway for us – paying careful attention to our pain, waiting with him in the confusing-in-between, and letting the old birth the new – we experience a stripping away of our false selves in order to become the new men and women we were truly meant to be. We move from spiritual babies with an incessant need. Read more.