Limits are often the last place we look for God. We want to conquer them, plan around them, deny them, and fight them. We attend leadership conferences so we can step out in faith and break through the limits before us. The problem is that when we fail to look for God in our limits, we often bypass him. And we get ourselves, our families, and those we lead in a lot of trouble. Why? Because in God’s economy, the obstacles before us are often the path itself. When God sets limits before us, he rarely provides a reason or explanation. Limits do, however, confront us with his authority. They force us to make a decision – to trust his goodness or to rebel against him. For this reason, limits take us to the heart of the spiritual warfare that rages around our leadership and relationship with Jesus. In this podcast, we will consider. Read more.
One of the greatest spiritual challenges for every leader revolves around how we frame and respond to the limits God places around us. Yet receiving limits as a grace disguised touches the core of our relationship with God and thus the core of our leadership. I began exploring a theology of limits in 1996 in the midst of my own spiritual, leadership, and marital crisis. This theology has continued to deepen and broaden for me over time. My interaction with young, middle-aged, and older leaders also confirms this is one of the most critical issues we face as pastors and leaders – personally, biblically, and practically. We are not alone. Paul wrestled with it. So did John the Baptist, David, and Jesus. In this podcast, I begin offering a biblical framework to understand limits as disguised gifts of grace coming from the hand of God to us and our leadership. At the same time,. Read more.
To allow Jesus’ and Scripture’s view of success to shape the way we lead is very, very challenging. Teaching about it is one thing. Living it is another. In this podcast, I offer three examples of how to redefine success in ways that look beyond numbers in different arenas: at New Life Fellowship, for an upcoming family wedding event, and in the ministry of Emotionally Healthy Discipleship. The remainder of the podcast then looks closely at the three factors necessary to internalize the kind of radical change necessary to make the doing of God’s will, regardless of where it leads, the measure of our success: A deep integration of silence and solitude A deep integration of Ignatius’ concept of indifference, remembering that a true surrender of our will to God’s will is a learned, struggled-for, and prayed-for obedience; and A deep theology of God coming in our limits. Here is Part 2 of this. Read more.
This blog is an update from last year called Summer Spirituality. I re-wrote it because I believe this theme needs to be revisited each year by each of us, starting with me. The Bible teaches there is a time and a season for “everything under heaven” (Eccl. 3:1). God has built this into the very fabric of nature’s seasons as we observe the cycle of death and newness every winter and summer. Our churches experience seasons. And so do we. These seasons are limits given to us by God. They are gifts from His hand meant to keep us grounded and humble. I have violated God’s seasons in my leadership more times than I want to remember. But treating our vacations, and summers, as mini-Sabbaticals can be powerful if we build this into our lives. The way we do this can be summarized in three words. Receive. Summers are a time to do less. Read more.
The principle of limits as a gift from God is one of the most profound and important truths in Scripture. It touches the core of our relationship with Jesus and the core of how we lead our ministries. Limits ground us so we don’t hurt ourselves, others, or God’s work. While Pete discovered this truth 20 years ago and wrote about it in The Emotionally Healthy Church (Zondervan, 2003/2010), he has continued to mature in his understanding of this truth in significant ways. In this podcast, Pete talks with Rich about these learnings, offering specific ways we can befriend the rich gifts that come from the hand of God through His limits. Click below to watch the video or on the link to listen. LISTEN HERE Sa FREE Webinar – October 18th @ 2 PM ET – REGISTER TODAY Save Save
One of our greatest temptations as leaders is to want to be more, have more, or do more than God has given us. We discard the gift of God’s limits and take charge. We try to do things only God can do and attempt to fix people and situations only God can fix. This has consistently been my greatest spiritual challenge. When we cross over the line of God’s limits, symptoms such as the following surface: anger, tiredness, anxiety, frustration, judgmentalism, a lack of compassion, and discontentment. When we go beyond our limits, we end up in the Evil One’s territory and the consequences are severe. (Consider Genesis 3). Our loving union with God is disrupted and, like Adam, we end up hiding behind our over-activity. When we let go and surrender to God’s limits, however, we meet Him in surprising ways. I recently implemented a new practice that has served me to prayerfully. Read more.