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The Emotionally Healthy Church: Principal 2

Posted on 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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