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Posts Tagged ‘emotionally healthy church’

The Emotionally Healthy Church: Principal 2

Posted on Saturday, January 31st, 2015 by Sanctuary staff

The Emotionally Healthy Church

PRINCIPLE 2: Break the Power of the Past

In his book Emotionally Healthy Church, Peter Scazzero suggests seven principles that will create a culture of real discipleship in our churches. Today we’ll explore his second principle: “Unless we grasp the power of the past on who we are in the present, we will inevitably replicate those patterns in relationships inside and outside the church” (p. 96).

Scazzero explores the families of Abraham and King David to invite us to a deeper look at the blessings and challenges we’ve inherited from our own families. Our great hope in looking at these issues is the reality that Christ wants to enter and transform every aspect of our lives, especially of the lives of Christian leaders.

Scazerro offers six steps for this principle, Break the Power of the Past:

1. Identify how your family shaped you – drawing a genogram that shows family members and relationships is a great tool for this honest inventory.

2. Discern the major influences in your life – what makes you tick?

3. Become reparented through the church – “Following Jesus is a process that takes time” (p. 103).

4. Lead a church family like my own family – Scazzero humbly shares how he learned about his family’s influence on his pastoring, for better or worse.

5. Remember how many people are at the table – as we relate to one another at church, we are wise to remember that every person brings their own family legacy to their church participation. “It can be overwhelming to think of the church as a place where all these individuals are bringing their entire family histories with them. This is, however, a fairly accurate picture. It also helps us understand the enormous complexity of leading a church” (p. 110).

6. We never finish going back – In my opinion, this is the most important point of this chapter. Because character growth is humbling and often painful, we are tempted to view it as a one-time process and something we’re glad to put behind us. The truth is that the wisest saints are those who continue to welcome God into new places in their stories and souls. This entire life is meant to be a journey of becoming more whole in Christ.

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The Emotionally Healthy Church: Principal 1

Posted on Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 by Sanctuary staff

The Emotionally Healthy Church

PRINCIPLE 1: Look Beneath the Surface

In his book Emotionally Healthy Church, Peter Scazzero suggests seven principles that will create a culture of real discipleship in our churches. Today I’ll summarize the first principle, which is that becoming truly Christ-like requires coming to know ourselves in truth. Experiences of failure or disappointment sometimes provide the prompt to look deeper within and trust God more fully to make us whole. Scazzero gives us four ways we can look deeper to become emotionally healthy Christ-followers who can help form an emotionally healthy church body:

1. Awareness of what I am feeling and doing.

“Most Christians, I’m afraid, are self-conscious but not self-aware” (p. 79). Maturity comes when we shift our energy from trying to look right to ourselves and others, and honestly look at ourselves in the light of God’s mercy.

2. Asking “Why?” “What’s going on?”

God made us intricate and complex, and maturity comes when we wonder about the meaning of our own feelings, reactions, and wishes. I’ve seen huge growth unleashed in the lives of those who take a break from defensiveness or self-criticsim and take a look with genuine curiosity.

3. Linking the gospel and emotional health

I can’t overstate the difference it makes to see ourselves with Christ. Apart from His mercy we’re prone to hide and dread an honest peek at ourselves. But when we receive the gift of His righteousness and let His mercy into our eyes, we can bear to see ourselves as loved people who have more growing to do.

4. Getting rid of the ‘Glittering Image’

Learning to look within ourselves as those accepted in Christ delivers us from the need to win everyone’s liking and approval. This yields a huge return of energy and effort that can now be spent on loving God, receiving from Him, and loving others as ourselves.

Click here to read more about how we can see ourselves with more honesty and compassion.

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