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.
I had a big day on Sunday – preaching three services, greeting and talking with lines of people, and participating in a lively, 3-hour marriage ministry leadership meeting with four couples till 5 pm. Geri and returned home at 6 pm. My sermon was “finished” by Thursday, but then the 5-hour rule kicked in late Saturday night when I took a final look at the message: Add 5 hours to your sermon prep after you think it is finished. That got me to bed after midnight and up early in the morning. Fortunately, I no longer want to quit on Mondays as in my earlier days. In fact, I woke up excited for the week. I dedicated the morning to a few hours of silence, praying the Psalms, and rereading my highlights of Merton’s Contemplation in a World of Action. How is that possible? I have learned a few things over the years about. Read more.
The following is a story based on the life of Abba Anthony from the Sayings of the Desert Fathers that I have pondered for years: Abba Anthony received a letter from Emperor Constantine to visit him in Constantinople. He wondered if he should go and asked Abba Paul who said, “If you go, you will be called Anthony, but if you stay here (in the desert alone), you will be called Abba Anthony.” What makes this story so important is that it speaks to the inner anchor of a life rooted in the love of God. We assume our overactive spirituality is normal. It is not. In fact, our tendency to seize more and more opportunities for God has destroyed many a good leader. Innumerable demands and distractions confront every one of us. Doors of new opportunities swing open before us – to speak, to strategize for further expansion, to intervene in ministry problems,. Read more.
During this visit to Southeast Asia, we have given 3 different Emotionally Healthy Spirituality conferences in 3 very different venues. This included a conference for the 27 churches of the Anglican diocese of Singapore (along with a number of other churches) and the Eagle’s Leadership Conference with over 1600 leaders representing 19 countries. We joined a diverse group of speakers that included high-ranking government officials, CEO’s, bishops, pastors, and the President of Fuller Theological Seminary. While we spoke on “Leading out of Your Marriage or Singleness” to the whole conference, we also gave an all-day EHS seminar to about 200 participants that was simultaneously translated into Bhasa Indonesian, Cantonese, and Thai. The third leg of our trip was in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where Pete preached at a dynamic, 3000+ member SIBKL church. Over the next two days he will be giving a conference on “Transforming Your Church through the EHS Course, EHS Skills, and. Read more.
A fundamental kingdom of God principle is that God’s ways are little and small. This smallness has been a scandal since Jesus’ day. Next to Herod’s massive Temple, the intellectuals of Athens, and Artemis’ temple in Ephesus, Jesus didn’t look like much. I can understand why Judas quit. I am learning this principle in a new and deeper way these past 12-24 months as the EHS movement has expanded remarkably around the world. I write from Asia where Geri and I are conducting 3 different EHS conferences for very large audiences in Singapore and Malaysia with participants from 19 countries. Last month we were in South Korea partnering with Onnuri church, an amazing global ministry with 75,000 members. And just a couple of months before that we were in Brazil with an outstanding Willow Creek Brazil team who are conducting EHS seminars around their country. Add to this the release of The Emotionally Healthy. Read more.
Each of us takes a vacation every year, for one, two, three, or more weeks. The problem, however, is that we take on the culture’s view of “vacations,” treating them simply as days off away from work. Let me suggest a larger biblical perspective, one that sees them as Sabbatical gifts from the Lord our God. Once Geri and I began to do so 12 years ago, it completely transformed the way we prepared and planned. We began to receive our vacations as annual gifts from God that resembled the ancient Jew’s participation in the festivals of their day (the three national feasts of Pentecost, Booths, and Passover). We simply applied the four characteristics that defined our weekly twenty-four-hour Sabbaths – stopping work, enjoying rest, practicing delight, and contemplating God – to our vacations. Remember, the purpose of all earthly life and matter is to lead us to communion with God. The entire cosmos. Read more.