To embed emotionally healthy spirituality into your church (i.e. a serious discipleship model that involves The EHS Course and The EH Relationships Course)is slow…very slow. As I shared at my final talk at the EHL Conference 2016 last week, if we are not to be derailed, we must grasp two core biblical truths – limits and loaves. My greatest sins over the last 30 years of leadership have revolved around embracing God’s limits. It remains my greatest temptation to this day – enticing me into rebellion, anxiety, and impatience. Like you I am limited, for example, by my time, my age, my physical energy, my gifts and talents, and the ministry context/people God has entrusted to me. As a result, it is easy to grow frustrated and look for a quick fix, especially when it comes to discipleship. If we define a disciple as a follower of Jesus who surrenders to His will and. 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.
Our limits are often the last place we look for God. But when we fail to look for God in our limits, we simply bypass Him. In the last three weeks, God has limited me through a bicycle accident that required surgery (breaking my right wrist and dislocating my left elbow) and through personal identity theft (where my banking, credit cards, and online accounts were all compromised). These limits have revealed to me, once again, the condition of my own heart and the challenge it is for me to surrender in trust to Him. O how easy it is to rebel against God right in the midst of my work for Him! I have been reminded of Robert Barron’s insight that the heart of original sin in the Garden of Eden was their refusal to accept God’s limits and not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:15-17). John. Read more.
How we respond to the limits Jesus intentionally places before us is a core issue for every leader. The feeding of the 5000 (actually the 10,000-20,000 when we include women and children) offers us an opportunity for transformation – if we patiently allow this revelation of Jesus to penetrate us. It is the only miracle, except for the resurrection, found in all four gospels. This summer God has invited me to patiently listen to Him through the John 6:1-15 account. The following are four of the insights I continue to ponder: Jesus intentionally places limits before us to mature our faith. One third of the account concerns itself with Jesus testing and growing their faith. He placed them in an impossible situation. What is an impossible leadership challenge before you today? Jesus is more than enough. Andrew said: “Here is a boy with 5 small barley loaves and 2 small fish, but how far. Read more.
Geri and I received an email yesterday from Sarah, a New Life member, about her application of EHS into her workplace. Hi Pete and Geri! I hope this brightens your day as it did mine! The truth behind boundaries, limits, and emotional health resonates with the affluent parents at the school I teach at! Our students are often committed to many different activities. At our information meeting for our spring musical the past two years, I’ve started painting a picture of “A Healthy No.” I give the students permission to say no if the commitment would be too much for them. Here is an encouraging email I received this morning…. I wanted to thank you for articulating, “A Healthy No,” when you spoke at the Musical Parent’s Meeting last week! I love that phrase and made a note of it when you were speaking. It’s a reasonable and respectful statement for people to both say and hear and. Read more.
“He who returns from a journey is not the same as he who left” Chinese proverb. Geri and I now depart with respect (for our partners The Willow Creek Association New Zealand and Australia, and Eagles Communications in Singapore, along with New Life Fellowship Church out of which EHS flows), with affection (for the many wonderful people we have met), and with gratitude (for the people who worked hard to serve EHS in this part of the world). I think we are finally getting it that EHS offers a powerful message of deep, beneath-the-surface spiritual formation that resonates around the world, and not simply in New York City. At the same time, a consistent thread weaved itself through this trip – our doing must flow from our being. In other words, live the message we preach, giving out of the overflow of a full cup. What does that look like when we are traveling?. Read more.