“If you are going to marry,” thundered the speaker to the 17,000 of us attending the Urbana Student Missions Conference, “…make sure you marry someone who doubles your ministry, and doesn’t cut it in half.” Nobody had said it quite that bluntly before but that was the message about marriage that I was taught as a young Christian leader. The focus of my energy became accumulating knowledge and skills. I read books, attended seminars, traveled to conferences, and invested three years of my life in seminary. Marriage was only talked about in the context of helping other couples. Most present-day theology on a leader’s marriage reflects this secular view: I am a leader who happens to be married. The Christian view, however, is very different. We lead out of a marriage that serves as a sign and wonder of God’s love for the world (Ephesians 5:32). Since Geri and I started our emotionally healthy. Read more.
I spent a good part of this week reflecting on more than twenty-five years of preaching as I spoke this morning at a Preaching Rocket conference here at New Life in NYC. Others, like Andy Stanley, have done an outstanding job describing the craft around preaching. My task was to consider the unique applications of emotional healthy spirituality to the preaching/teaching task. The following are the ten questions to which I return over in preparation my own sermons and work with our NLF Preaching Team: Am I contemplatively grounded in God Am I centered in myself? Am I allowing the text to intersect deeply with my family of origin? Am I preaching out of my vulnerability and weakness? Am I allowing the text to transform my spiritual journey? Am I surrendering to the birth, death, resurrection, and ascension process? Am I taking sufficient time to think through clear and pointed applications? Am I thinking. Read more.
We just completed our pastor, leader and spouse conference here at Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. It was a whirlwind of preparation, people, meetings, and speaking. We added a preconference on the skills Geri and I have been working on since September. People came from South Africa, Eastern Europe, England, Mongolia, Canada as well as from around the USA. It was wonderful and, of course, a great output of energy from us. Between that, our regular two day conference and then preaching on Sunday, I was quite spent and am taking it very slow this week. Something major, however, happened in me this weekend. I followed Christ and took a next step in my spiritual journey with Him by showing up LATE for church on Sunday. Yes LATE – for the first time in 20.5 years as Senior Pastor at NLF. Like slowing down for silence, Offices and Sabbath can feel like one is. Read more.