Can we make biblical, deeply changed disciples of Jesus without learning from the successes and failures of our church family over the last 2,000 years – and from the global church today? The answer to both those questions, I believe, is no. Unfortunately, many of us have a limited, often mistaken understanding of how the church unfolded since the book of Acts. This lack of historical memory has done great damage to our approach to discipleship as well as our leadership. This podcast traces the history of Christianity, looking at the two great splits (in 1054 and 1517 A.D.) and how this has impacted us in evangelicalism today. I conclude with two simple, but profound, applications: 1. Be a humble learner. We have so much to learn from our brothers and sisters who have gone before us, especially those who are very different than us. We also have so much to learn from the. Read more.
In this month’s podcast, Pete interviews Rich Villodas, the Lead Pastor at New Life Fellowship, on how the The EHS Course provides the foundation for discipleship/spiritual formation in our local church. It offers an inside look of Rich’s perspective on how The EHS Course provides a robust theology, shapes New Life Fellowship’s culture, and serves as a means to create long-term, healthy community. Click the video below to watch or the link to listen to the audio file. LISTEN HERE Join Pete on Tuesday, March 8 @ 12 ET for his Emotionally Healthy Leader Webinar “Culture and Team Building”. Click below to REGISTER.
How are you being formed spiritually as a leader? This formation does not take place in a vacuum; it occurs within a certain environment and context. There are, at least, four primary ones today: Active leadership. The emphasis is on learning skills, cutting edge ideas, and creative means to preach Christ and be a more effective leader. Most conferences and para-church ministries in North America focus here. Intellectual leadership. The emphasis is on theological formation, Scripture, orthodoxy. Evangelical seminaries and a few denominations and conferences focus here. “Revival” leadership. The emphasis is on growing a heart with passion for Jesus. Awesome worship gatherings, power encounter conferences, and growing hearts on fire for Jesus are prized. Much of my charismatic, prophetic formation occurred here. Contemplative leadership. The emphasis here is on developing a contemplative, prayerful life that is rooted in Scripture and results in loving union with God in Christ. Out of this we are. Read more.
These are my further reflections , and changes, on the theological underpinnings and foundations for what it means to integrate emotionally healthy spirituality into our lives and the people we serve. It is much more than simply doing the small group material, Daily Offices, or the church-wide initiative. That is simply a beginning. A larger, more expansive training along the lines of the twelve points listed below. Over the next few weeks, I will blog on each and their implications for us. 1. Theology– We must root our lives and churches in the living Jesus who is God Almighty as revealed in Scripture by the Holy Spirit. We are first and foremost about practices biblically rooted. We take seriously the model of the early church fathers (e.g. Ignatius of Antioch, Athanasius, Cyril of Alexandria, Basil, Gregory the Great, Augustine, Iraneus and others) who were leaders of local churches or bishops, theologians who studied Scripture. Read more.
This blog title comes from Soong-Chan Rah’s outstanding book entitled The Next Evangelicalism(IVP, 2009). I have given over thirty years of my life to the task of building racially, ethnically and culturally diverse communities, first as an Inter-Varsity staff worker and the last twenty-one here in Queens at New Life. Doing theology and leadership,within this context, has been a rich privilege. Along these years I have often felt the need to write a book about racism, reconciliation, and the church There is no need. It has been written by Soong-Chan. I highly, highly recommend it! The following are a few of my highlights from this well-seasoned, thoughtful work on the challenges before us around the world (and not simply the USA) as we seek to build churches that demonstrate the power of the gospel to bridge race and culture. The white, Western cultural captivity of the church is marked by individualism, consumerism and materialism, and racism. Less. Read more.
One of the great challenges for leadership, and the church in any generation, is to see itself as clearly as possible within the large scheme of history so as to not limit or distort the gospel to a cultural, ethnic, or nationalistic agenda. How do I be a Christian in the 21st century West dominated by pleasure, comfort, money, secularism, upward mobility and in a conflict with Islam that looks like it will go on well-beyond our generation? How do we be the church when nominal Christianity is the norm ? Last week my good seminary friend, Scott Sunquist, came and taught a church history course at New Life on Friday night and all day Saturday. For twenty plus years, I have longed to partner with someone like Scott. He is a PHD from Princeton Theological Seminary, a former IVCF staff worker and now a professor at Pittsburg Theological Seminary. He has been studying and writing on. Read more.