We are now in our 20th year of cultivating emotionally healthy spirituality (EHS) into the soil of our local church here at New Life Fellowship in Queens, NYC. It has deepened and enriched every aspect of our life together.
In the last two years, however, we have begun to intentionally and carefully bring EHS to the global church. God has brought churches from different languages, cultures, streams, movements, and countries to us looking to integrate EHS into their context. So we are early in our learning process.
What do we know to be true?
- EHS must begin with leadership. When leaders teach EHS without living it, there is little fruit.
- EHS involves the transformation of an entire church culture; it is not a program.
- EHS equips the church in a deep, beneath the surface spirituality for the sake of long-term mission. This is a major shift for leaders.
- The EHS Pathway answers the long-standing problem of superficiality in the church.
- The high-quality tools of EHS, when implemented, create room for the will and presence of Jesus to deeply change people.
Our pathway to transform a church through EHS is clear and specific.
The Emotionally Healthy Leader, with the Discussion Guide, is a precise laser beam tool that guides leadership teams to the inseparability of our core leadership tasks with a deep inner life with Jesus.
The EHS Course, when offered on a regular basis, provides a proven means to both introduce the core principles of EHS to the church and keep EHS in the culture.
EH Skills 2.0 offers practical, powerful tools and language to create a new culture and equip us to love well in the new family of Jesus.
What don’t we know?
- The EH Woman curriculum (Workbook, DVD) is the most accessible, easy-to-use material in EHS, transforming lives in amazing ways around the world. The testimonies we receive take our breath away. For many people, and churches, it is the entry point into EHS, yet it is not central to our Pathway. Should it be?
- How do we deliver EH Skills 2.0? Can it be a centralized course like The EHS Course or should it remain as a small group curriculum? I will pilot it as a Course at New Life in October.
- How do we expand our equipping of point leaders inside churches, EHS consultants who serve others beyond their church in doing the EHS Pathway, and trainers able to teach EHS seminars in churches/ministries/countries?
- How do we steward the wide open doors and passion for EHS around the world while seeking to build a sustainable financial model at our home base in North America. (EHS is supported through our sales of materials/books/tools).
My invitation to you.
- Listen to God in creatively applying EHS in your culture and context.
- Share your learnings with us at EHS (signing up your church/ministry on our website map). Talk with a nearby consultant if possible. Communicate with us. Every church in North America that registers on our EHS website is getting a call from Steve Creange (firstname.lastname@example.org), our Church Relationship Coordinator. Our goal is to learn about what God is doing so we can better support churches.
- Read prayerfully, slowly, and reflectively The EHS Leader book. It contains the fullest, clearest expression of how to transform your church/ministry through EHS.
Pray with and for us that we might faithfully place our few loaves and fishes into the hands of Jesus, trusting that He will multiple our “little” to feed many.
And join with us in praying for wisdom. God has called EHS to function as a ministry of New Life. We want to keep our infrastructure lean while, at the same time, building a strong team to support churches around the world.
Bobb Biehl, a seasoned executive mentor who has served global ministries over a 40-year period (e.g. World Vision, Focus on the Family, Cru) has wisely counseled us to have a long-term perspective. He reminds us we are only in year 2 of a 10-year process, and that we have a lot to learn from churches now integrating EHS in their contexts. In other words, we are only in our infancy as a movement!
I think he is right.