I am often asked, “Pete, what exactly is emotionally healthy spirituality?” The above chart describes her five different components. 1. Contemplative Spirituality (Slow Down to Be With God). EHS is a commitment to slow down our lives in order to create a rhythm to be with Jesus. It is about creating space through contemplative practices (e.g. Daily Offices, Sabbath-Keeping, silence, solitude and Scripture) so that we remain in Jesus’ love. We draw deeply from the radical movement of the desert fathers as well as Moses, Elijah and John the Baptist in order that we might love others out of the love we have first received from Jesus Himself. 2. Emotionally Healthy Discipleship – EHS recovers a number of lost biblical themes often ignored in evangelical discipleship. These include a theology of grieving (e.g. Psalms, Lamentations) and limits, of breaking the sinful patterns of our family of origin and cultures, loving well and brokenness as the basis by which we. Read more.
I normally like to write one thoughtful blog per week. However, due to both vacation and the “pondering” time needed to reflect on the topics below, I am long overdue. I will start with the WCA Summit and finish with my next blog on China and Wendell Berry. WCA Leadership Summit, Aug.6-7, 2009. This was my first summit and I was extremely blessed, inspired, challenged, and encouraged by the speakers and flow of the conference. The gift of Bill Hybels and Willow to the entire discussion around global church leadership was evident. There are few venues like the Summit to challenge and stretch leaders like this one. I plan to bring our entire staff next year. Concerns: 1. The Slowing Down Omission. The gift of leadership, like all spiritual gifts, has a shadow side and is potentially damaging. I know this only too well! The fact that we can lead and seize opportunities for. Read more.
As I was reading Congregational Leadership in Anxious Times: Being Calm and Courageous No Matter What, by Peter Steinke (an excellent read), I began to wonder. Are we being honest about the depth nor extent of the fundamental illness afflicting our leadership of the church in the 21st century? Maybe better said, am I being honest with myself? As we work with denominations and pastors, many of whom are now doing the church-wide initiative in emotionally healthy spirituality, it is becoming increasingly clear that the call to slow down our lives so we have integrity, is much more comprehensive and far-reaching than we initially realized. Our faulty training and models for church leadership have so negatively shaped us that, to sustain long-term change, we need an enormous inward passion from within and external support for a new direction. Steinke cites an illustration out of the medical field. For thousands of years, women were dying of fever at childbirth. This. Read more.
For the past few weeks I have been reading, pondering and praying about what integrity actually is. Consider this definition : Integrity is when who I am on-stage is the same as who I am back-stage. It is when there is no separation between what is going on inside of me and what I am expressing outside of me. There is no separation of my inner and outer life. Easier said than done! I realize how easy it is for me to get so concerned with what is going on outside of me (my activity) that I lose touch with my soul. There becomes a gap between the inner ground, the center, my values and beliefs, my being and the actual life I am living. I can easily preach and write things I am not living!! To live congruent and internally consistent is difficult. This is integrity! This is what Parker Palmer has called. Read more.