In August, the EHS small group curriculum will be released as The EHS Course with new covers, a new DVD, and a new name for the Daily Office book (Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Day by Day). I am deeply passionate for the world to be transformed by Jesus. In fact, I was known in my early years as an Inter-Varsity staff worker as an evangelism specialist and open-air speaker on university campuses. Our mission at EHS is to equip the church in a deep, beneath-the-surface spirituality that transforms people who transform the world. Without spiritual transformation taking place in our people, our long-term mission for Christ will be severely limited. To transform the world for Jesus, we need to be transformed by Him first. What Alpha is for evangelism as a centralized course to introduce people to Jesus, EHS is for spiritual formation. The EHS Course will enable churches to embed transformational spiritual formation in their culture long-term and. Read more.
Most of us have been taught to measure our success by external, or outer, markers: Add ten new small groups by August 1. Increase our budget by 5% in the next fiscal year. Expand our youth ministry by 20 new teenagers by June 1. Launch a ministry to teach English as a second language in 2014. Few of us have been trained, however, to measure our success by monitoring internal, or inner, markers: – Twenty core members will begin integrating silence as a means of abiding in Christ. 50% of our key leaders will engage in Sabbath-keeping as a spiritual formation discipline. Ten of our married couples will invest time and energy in their relationship each week to serve as a mission to others. Each new member of our church will learn one emotionally healthy skill in order to love well. Measuring the internal markers of success is challenging. Yet I suspect the difficulty. Read more.
I have been reading Peter Drucker for years. I recently finished Bob Buford’s new book, Drucker and Me, where he records his learnings from being mentored by Drucker over a thirty-year period. The following are the insights that challenged me to pause, to pray, and to ask God what adjustments He might be inviting me to make in my own leadership. 1. “Build on islands of health and strength.” 2. “The predominant need in our culture is for individuals to make their lives useful to themselves and other, and nonprofits are best suited to do that.” 3. “The best nonprofits devote a great deal of time to defining their organization’s mission.” 4. “The fruit of your work grows on other people’s trees.” 5. “When the horse is dead, dismount.” 6. Have people you mentor meet with themselves before meeting with you. Drucker forced Buford to write a letter outlining the challenges he faced. Read more.
Just returned from an EHS trip to Brazil to train Pastors and leaders who represented over a hundred thousand people. Here are some “fun facts” and reflections. No black tea in the country. We are tea drinkers but Brazil is the world’s largest producer for coffee of the last 150 years. We were in tea withdrawal. “Fala ingles?“ When I went to the mall looking for chocolate I could not find anyone who spoke English (I asked at least a dozen people). I bought the wrong chocolate (it was wrapped and I didn’t know it was white chocolate). Sao Paulo alone has enough cars to go around the globe twice. That explains why there are so many auto shops and why a 27 min. ride to the airport takes 90 min. in rush hour. People everywhere. Sao Paulo has 20 million people. NYC has 8 million. But Sao Paul is less than ½ the size of. Read more.
Our two-week vacation in Italy confirmed what I had heard for the last 30 years: Italy is one of the least evangelized countries in the world. It is a country filled with beautiful, historic churches and, perhaps, the best Christian art in the world. While open to spirituality, the population is alarmingly disconnected to Christ and His church. As much as I attempted to shake off my grief (and enjoy vacation), I had a deep sense God might be saying something. Allow me to offer you a few gleanings that emerged out of my wrestling and listening: We need to recognize that the old wineskins and ways of doing church are over. We need new wineskins today for the wine of God that flows from His throne. The way we presently do church cannot contain what God wants to do, not only in Europe, but in North America, Asia, Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe,. Read more.
Last week at our NLF monthly teaching team meeting (Drew Hyun, Rich Villodas, Geri Scazzero and myself), I summarized our learnings over the last two years. I am convinced that training and developing teachers/preachers is essential for the future of the church. This process has been a great learning experience for us. And I pray we are laying a foundation to develop other communicators for the future of the church – both inside and outside New Life. Many of you who read this blog are in a teaching role of leadership – whether it be preaching, teaching classes, leading small groups or worship, doing retreats or providing spiritual leadership. The following summary has applications, I believe, for a variety of settings beyond preachers/teachers: Integrity in our lives is first. This involves taking care of ourselves, our marriages and making sure we live what we preach. One of the most important things we can do is to invest in our. Read more.