The Emotionally Healthy Church, Expanded Edition: A Strategy for Discipleship That Actually Changes Lives

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9780310293354: The Emotionally Healthy Church, Expanded Edition: A Strategy for Discipleship That Actually Changes Lives

The Emotionally Healthy Church, Updated and Expanded Edition, the newly updated and expanded edition of the groundbreaking bestseller The Emotionally Healthy Church, features a fuller, deeper look at the six principles contained in the original and includes a crucial, additional chapter: Slow Down to Lead with Integrity. New Life Fellowship in Queens, New York, had it all: powerful teaching, dynamic ministries, an impressive growth rate, and a vision to do great works for God. Things looked good―but beneath the surface, circumstances were more than just brewing. They were about to boil over, forcing Peter Scazzero to confront needs in his church and himself that went deeper than he’d ever imagined. What he learned about the vital link between emotional health, relational depth, and spiritual maturity can shed new light on painful problems in your own church. In this revised and expanded edition of his Gold Medallion Award–winning book, Scazzero shares refreshing new insights and a different and challenging slant on what it takes to lead your congregation to wholeness and maturity in Christ. Our churches are in trouble, says Scazzero. They are filled with people who are · unsure how to biblically integrate anger, sadness, and other emotions · defensive, incapable of revealing their weaknesses · threatened by or intolerant of different viewpoints · zealous about ministering at church but blind to their spouses’ loneliness at home · so involved in “serving” that they fail to take care of themselves · prone to withdraw from conflict rather than resolve it Sharing from New Life Fellowship’s painful but liberating journey, Scazzero reveals exactly how the truth can and does make you free―not just superficially, but deep down. This expanded edition of The Emotionally Healthy Church not only takes the original six principles further and deeper, but also adds a seventh crucial principle. You’ll acquire knowledge and tools that can help you and others: · look beneath the surface of problems · break the power of past wounds, failures, sins, and circumstances · live a life of brokenness and vulnerability · recognize and honor personal limitations and boundaries · embrace grief and loss · make incarnation your model to love others · slow down to lead with integrity This new edition shares powerful insights on how contemplative spirituality can help you and your church slow down―an integral key to spiritual and emotional health. The Emotionally Healthy Church, Updated and Expanded Edition includes story after story of people at New Life whose lives have been changed by the concepts in this book. Open these pages and find out how your church can turn a new corner on the road to spiritual maturity.

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From the Publisher:

New Foreword from the author

After several years of living out the principles of The Emotionally Healthy Church within the local church I pastor, I wrote them in the first edition of this book. My intention was to speak particularly to pastors, elders, deacons, and ministry and small group leaders. Little did I know that the book's message would spread beyond church leaders to countless others struggling with the integration of emotional health and biblical spirituality. Even more of a surprise was the centrality of this issue not only for the church in North America, but around the world.

During the seven years since the first edition, my understanding of the six principles that make up emotionally healthy churches has grown deeper, sharper, and broader. I have grown theologically as I have encountered new personal and leadership applications of the material. As a result, each chapter has been edited, expanded, and updated.

Moreover, this journey has led me to add a seventh, indispensable principle: lead with integrity. The pace of my life slowed down considerably when I began integrating emotional health with my discipleship. It takes time -- lots of it -- to feel, to grieve, to listen, to reflect, to be mindful of what is going on around and in us. This radically shifted my priorities at home and in my work. Emotional health also created a hunger within Geri and me for a deeper communion with God. This in turn led to an exploration of contemplative spiritual practices, culminating in a four-month sabbatical in 2003 - 2004. Our aim was to study the riches of the contemplative tradition and its applications for a missional church like ours. This immersion into such spiritual disciplines as silence and solitude transformed us, and eventually, our church. Insights from these experiences are sprinkled throughout the book.

While the contemplative tradition helped me considerably in my efforts to lead with integrity, I had yet to apply emotional health to my leadership. That turned out to be a challenging, complex task. I describe this unfolding in the new chapter 11, "Slow Down to Lead with Integrity."

One final note: Resist the temptation to breeze through these pages. This is not a book meant to be read quickly in one or two sittings. This is not simply the latest fascinating idea to incorporate in your God-talk with colleagues or parishioners. I invite you to wrestle deeply with these truths as you consider how they apply to both your inner life and leadership. You could spend a lifetime plumbing the depths of each -- from limits, to brokenness, to grieving, to learning to love well. Please read slowly, prayerfully, and thoughtfully. As you do, ask the question, "How is God coming to me through this?" Consider making personal applications in a journal or in the back of the book, noting the page number for future reference.

Be sure to grasp the central thesis: Emotional health and spiritual maturity are inseparable. It is not possible to be spiritually mature while remaining emotionally immature. When you understand this, you will walk through a door in your spiritual journey. Few ever return to a tip-of-the-iceberg discipleship that overemphasizes activity but does not deeply transform from the inside out. By God's grace, you will never be the same. And you will embark on an exciting journey toward a beautiful life that will touch everyone around you -- in your family, church, workplace, and neighborhood.

About the Author:

Peter Scazzero is the founder of New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, New York City, a large, multiracial church with more than seventy-three countries represented. After serving as senior pastor for twenty-six years, Pete now serves as a teaching pastor/pastor at large. He is the author of two best-selling books―The Emotionally Healthy Church and Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. He is also the author of The EHS Course and Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Day by Day. Pete and his wife, Geri, are the founders of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, a groundbreaking ministry that equips churches in a deep, beneath-the-surface spiritual formation paradigm that integrates emotional health and contemplative spirituality. They have four lovely daughters. For more information, visit emotionallyhealthy.org, or connect with Pete on Twitter @petescazzero.

 

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Scazzero, Peter
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