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Tag Archives: pain

Power and Dual Relationships

Power, along with dual relationships, is a minefield that has left countless leaders, along with their followers, maimed and disabled. The most painful lessons I have learned in my thirty-five years of Christian leadership have been around power and dual relationships. It has also been one of the greatest means God has used to mature me as a leader. Getting equipped to use our power well in order to free people, especially those closest to us, offers potential to advance Christ’s mission and release joy in ways we have never dreamed. Remaining uninformed, however, exposes us to deadly dangers –both to ourselves and those we aim to serve. I’ve been thinking on this for a number of years and am now writing on it for the book I am working on called: The Emotionally Healthy Leader (Zondervan, 2015). The following is a snippet: The 10 Commandments of Power and Dual Relationships 1. Be prudent,. Read more.

Power and Dual Relationships

Power, along with dual relationships, is a minefield that has left countless leaders, along with their followers, maimed and disabled. The most painful lessons I have learned in my thirty-five years of Christian leadership have been around power and dual relationships.  It has also been one of the greatest means God has used to mature me as a leader. Getting equipped to use our power well in order to free people, especially those closest to us, offers potential to advance Christ’s mission and release joy in ways we have never dreamed. Remaining uninformed, however, exposes us to deadly dangers –both to ourselves and those we aim to serve. I’ve been thinking on this for a number of years and am now writing on it for the book I am working on called: The Emotionally Healthy Leader (Zondervan, 2015). The following is a snippet: The 10 Commandments of Power and Dual Relationships 1. Be prudent, not. Read more.

The Illusion of a "Strong" Church

What looks like great strength is actually great weakness. What appears to be great weakness is actually great strength. We think a “strong church” is big in numbers, powerful in influence, has great programs, lots of money, great buildings, a gifted staff, and tens of thousands of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram followers. As Jean Vanier says, the push of the world is to pretend we are big. We are not. We are extremely,  fragile, dependent, and vulnerable. Paul learned a hard truth over many years and though much pain – that “God’s power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor.12:9). What will it take for me, for us, to deeply learn this and thus become the change our world so desperately needs?

Earthquakes and Transformation (Pilgrimage Reflection 5)

Last week, Geri and I found spent 2 nights in Christchurch, NZ in the midst of a neighborhood devastated by the earthquake of Feb. 11, 2011. People talked about their losses at our conference much like we did in NYC after 9/11. 9/11 didn’t transform us as the church in NYC – long term. Why? I don’t believe we allowed God’s gift of losses to do its deep work in our soul. The following is an adaptation from The Emotionally Healthy Church: Updated and Revised, 2010. I lay it out here for my new friends in New Zealand as well as a pause for all pastors and leaders who are reading this today. Biblical grieving has three phases: 1. Phase 1: Pay Attention Deeply. The ancient Hebrews physically expressed their laments by tearing their clothes and utilizing sackcloth and ashes. During Noah’s generation, Scripture indicates God was grieved about the state of humanity (Gen. 6).. Read more.

Our Greatest Longing and "Goal"

Most Christians are more focused on the here-and-now than on the then-and there, i.e., our future life that is anchored in heaven (Heb.6:19). Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini (1647-1652) and his sculpture of Teresa of Avila. and the angel with the spear, portrays the following episode from her autobiography where she describes her encounter with God. We see in her a picture of our greatest longing: I saw in his hand a long spear of gold, and at the iron’s point there seemed to be a little fire. He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could. Read more.

The Gift of the "Wall"

Emotionally healthy spirituality requires you to go through the pain of the Wall, or, as the ancients called it, “the dark night of the soul.” Circumstances and crisis beyond our control interrupt our plans. Chapter 6 of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality unpacks this theme, but a further insight has emerged for me over the years. It comes from someone who spent a lifetime in prayer and silence, a French Carthusian monk, Augustin Guillerand (1877–1945): Someone (God) wounds our soul with a wound that will never heal, and it is through that wound that He finds His way to the very center of our being. Ponder this today as you walk through your own setbacks, disappointments, and difficulties. Think about it: How else can God peel away the hard layers of our false selves in order to free us?