Christian leadership, like few other vocations, exposes us to levels of temptation that require a depth of spirituality. Why? Jesus’ sheep are at stake. The Evil One knows that. So splitting us from loving union with Jesus, and from our true selves, is his number one aim. Without an interior life that enables us to stand in what we are doing, we will find ourselves obsessing with numbers in our ministry, popularity, or power. In this podcast I speak with Rich Villodas about the great temptations that confront each of us at the different seasons of leadership. Take a few minutes and listen to us talk about the spiritual warfare in which we find ourselves. Warmly, Pete LISTEN HERE Save Save Save
Over the years I have been asked: “Pete, what is your approach to the driving out of demons in the church?” I didn’t know much about deliverance until we planted New Life in the largely immigrant neighborhood of Corona in Queens, NYC (about 1 mile from our present location). The area was well known for drug dealing, homelessness, and poverty. We shared a narrow street with a large mosque, a thriving Jehovah’s Witness congregation, and an active Santeria (voodoo) shop. Within the first few months of launching, we encountered a demon screaming out and disrupting the service at the end of my sermon. Not just once, but twice, and then finally, a third time. To say, “I was over my head,” is an understatement. Nothing in seminary, Inter-Varsity staff, or my previous church involvement had prepared me for something like this. I embarked on a crash course in deliverance. For the next two years, I took courses,. Read more.
I’m excited to participate in Movement Day 2015 in New York City this coming Thursday to participate on a panel around a frank discussion on bridging barriers of race, culture, and class. In preparation, I thought I would get on paper my top 10 reasons of why racism continues in the church today. Here they are: Failure to capture Scripture’s vision of the church as a multi-racial community that transcends racial, cultural, economic and gender barriers. The gospel is the power of God that bridges the infinite gap between humanity and God as well as the “dividing wall” between races, cultures, ethnicities, social classes, and genders. Measuring success primarily by numbers. We want to grow our churches. We want it to happen quickly. The problem is that bridging racial barriers is slow and will rarely produce “big” numbers. Superficial discipleship. We focus on getting people “over the line” into salvation and connected. We don’t. Read more.
I agree with this post. I’m researching something about unhealthy relationships involving spiritual warfare. …read more
I recently finished Ruth Haley Barton’s Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership: Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry (IVP,2008). I enjoyed it thoroughly and found a number of valuable insights for my own leadership at New Life. I recommend it to you. One unique insight was to clearly articulate the values of your leadership team as you enter into challenging, difficult discussions. The following is my first draft for our NLF staff team (Her team’s can be found on pp.176-178 of her book). 1. Personal Spiritual Transformation – We consistently labor to maintain balance in our lives as leaders, ensuring that we have time for prayer, rest, healthy relationships (play) and work. Our rhythms are our first work and foundational for both our lives and leadership. 2. Community – We are a microcosm of the larger New Life and seek to maintain and build unity in our relationships as Christ did with the Twelve. While the work itself can easily distract us away. Read more.
I spent my first fifteen years as a Christian studying and absorbing some of the best books and materials around the subject of spiritual warfare. I have encountered demons in Sunday services and in one-to -one sessions. I have sat under people deep into the field of deliverance. Yes, we have plenty of material here about demons from our years here at New Life in Queens, NYC. Yet something was deeply wrong — with me. In some ways, an imbalanced understanding of warfare (powerful and true discipleship paradigm as it is), only reinforced some of my immature, unhealthy behaviors rather than liberate me for Christ. So as I approached Ephesians 6 on the armor of God to preach on it, I wanted to do one sermon on it and move on. I could not imagine what I would say with all the pathology and craziness that goes on around it in the church. (That is the great. Read more.