The Pastor’s Prayer [Awakening Faith]
God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you. I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong. (Romans 1:9 – 11)
Now you have called me, Lord, by the hand of your bishop to minister to your people. I do not know why you have done so, for you alone know that. Lord, lighten the heavy burden of the sins through which I have seriously transgressed. Purify my mind and heart. Like a shining lamp, lead me along the straight path. When I open my mouth, tell me what I…
Do You Have the Only Quality that Matters for Healthy Leadership?
In recent months evangelicalism has witnessed a surprising number of resignations by “successful” pastors who appeared to be spiritual He-Men, yet experienced moral and ministry collapse from affairs and toxic leadership.
While we can’t discern why these collapses happened, Peter Scazzero reminds us of the danger of leading in a way that can lead to such failures. As he argues in his new book The Emotionally Healthy Leader, “it has become part of our default thinking that external markers of success are an indication that all must certainly be well at the leadership level.” (116) He explains what we know to be true, but often forget: We can rely on our talents and experience,…
Remember Your Dignity [Awakening Faith]
If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. (1 John 1:6)
Dearly beloved, today our Savior is born; let us rejoice. Sadness should have no place on the birthday of life. The fear of death has been swallowed up; life brings us joy with the promise of eternal happiness.
No one is shut out from this joy; all share the same reason for rejoicing. Our Lord, victor over sin and death, finding no person free from sin, came to free us all. Let the saints rejoice as they see the palm of victory. Let the sinners be glad as they receive the offer of forgiveness. Let the pagans take courage as they are summoned to life. In the fullness of time, chosen in the unfathomable…
Do You Reflect These 4 Characteristics of an Emotionally Unhealthy Leader?
When you think of an unhealthy leader, who do you picture? What kinds of adjectives would you use to describe them?
Angry, controlling, aggressive?
Avoidant, inauthentic, passive?
Unaware, self-absorbed, over-worked?
Here’s how Peter Scazzero describes such a leader in his new guide on the matter, The Emotionally Healthy Leader:
The emotionally unhealthy leader is someone who operates in a continuous state of emotional and spiritual deficit, lacking emotional maturity and a “being with God” sufficient to sustain their “doing for God.” (25)
Leaders who ignore their own emotional and spiritual health will suffer and will hurt others around them. As Scazzero explains, “The deficits of emotionally unhealthy leaders impact virtually every area of their lives and leadership.” (25) Which is why it’s crucial for ministry leaders to honestly self-evaluate their leadership.
Unshaken Courage [Awakening Faith]
Therefore, “they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. ‘Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them,’ nor any scorching heat.” (Revelation 7:15 – 16)
“The sufferings of this present time are not to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:18). Who would not wholeheartedly strive after such glory, to become a friend of God and immediately rejoice with Christ, to receive heavenly rewards after earth’s torment and suffering? Soldiers of this world take pride in triumphantly returning to their home country after they have defeated the enemy. How much greater is the glory in returning triumphantly to heaven after conquering the…
Professors, Reimagine the Pastorate; Pastors, Don’t Bury Your Gift — An Excerpt from “The Pastor Theologian”
That’s the premise of a new book I wish I had when I was still in pastoral ministry.
The book is The Pastor Theologian, written by pastor theologians Gerald Hiestand and Todd Wilson.
In championing this oft neglected pastoral role, the two have specific words for two constituencies in the excerpt below: professors and pastors.
For professors: “as an academic theologian, you play a vital role in reimagining the pastoral vocation…Because of this, the cues you send to the next generation carry tremendous weight.” (124)
Leader, Face Your Shadow for the Sake of Your Ministry — An Excerpt from “The Emotionally Healthy Leader”
While leaders read countless books and attend conferences on improving their external leadership and management styles, executive skills, and productivity, few seem interested in confronting the “inner labyrinth” of who they are.
Pastor Peter Scazzero, author of the new book The Emotionally Healthy Leader calls this our shadow:
Your shadow is the accumulation of untamed emotions, less-than pure motives and thoughts that, while largely unconscious, strongly influence and shape your behaviors. It is the damaged but mostly hidden version of who you are.
In the excerpt below, Scazzero explores this often unaddressed aspect of…
Peter Scazzero’s Journey Toward Emotionally Healthy Leadership
Peter Scazzero’s got a story church leaders need to hear, because he describes the leadership journey that seems to mark many people in ministry.
In his new book The Emotionally Healthy Leader, Scazzero opens his personal storybook to share his twenty-plus year journey through emotionally unhealthy leadership to help ministry leaders become healthy.
In the introduction to this crucial guide, Scazzero describes the four stages of a personal journey that often marks others too:
Agnosticism to Zealous Christian Leader Emotional Blindness to Emotional Health Busy Activity to Slowed-Down Spirituality Skimming to Integrity in Leadership
Scazzero believes “if we hope to transform the world with the good news of Jesus, we must begin by embarking on a personal journey, one that will lead us through a deep, beneath-the-surface transformation in our own lives.” (23)
How did Scazzero become an emotionally healthy…
Gaining the Riches of Divinity [Awakening Faith]
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
The very Son of God, older than the ages, the invisible, the incomprehensible, the incorporeal, the beginning of beginning, the light of light, the fountain of life and immortality, the image of the archetype, the immovable seal, the perfect likeness, the definition and Word of the Father: he is the one who comes to us, his own image, and takes our nature for the good of our nature and unites himself to an intelligent soul for the good of his soul, to purify man by manhood. He takes to himself all that is human, except for sin. He was conceived by the Virgin Mary, whose…
The Almost Extinct and Very Rare Pastoral Role: Pastor Theologian — An Excerpt from “The Pastor Theologian”
I wrestled with this question almost daily when I was in vocational pastoral ministry, probably because I wore so many hats: visionary, leader, planner; counselor and crisis manager; teacher, preacher, motivator.
But there’s another aspect that’s often neglected in pastoral ministry, even sidelined as inconsequential:
Todd Wilson and Gerald Hiestand aim to change this with their new book The Pastor Theologian by recovering and retrieving the ancient theological vision for ministry and role of the “pastor theologian.”
Pastor theologians aren’t extinct, but sightings are rare…We expect our pastors to be able to preach; we expect them to know how to lead; we expect them to…
What Does It Mean to Be a Pastor-Theologian?
(Can’t see the video? Watch it here)
There probably isn’t a vocation in the world that suffers from as great a crisis of calling than the pastor. Gerald Hiestand and Todd Wilson want to change this by raising up an ancient vision of the pastor in their new book The Pastor Theologian.
What does it mean to be a pastor-theologian?
It is someone who finds their vocational identity in the Church. That’s there primary place of calling, not the academy. Yet at the same time it’s a person who feels a deep, profound responsibility to not be merely a purveyor of theology, but a contributor to theology.
Through specific examples of pastor-theologians, an expansive definition of the calling,…
The Legacy for Our Age: Rulers, Informers, & Caregivers Have Failed Us
I wasn’t born yet when a certain president addressed the nation to resign in disgrace and scandal over a break-in at Watergate. I was around, however, and remember when another president shook his finger at the camera and swore he didn’t have “relations” with “that women.” I was also around and at the State of the Union address when another president argued for a preemptive war against Iraq based on faulty intelligence.
I imagine there will be more presidents and leaders to disappoint. As Mark Meynell argues in his new book A Wilderness of Mirrors, we live with the constant “expectation of betrayal,” (17) because we’ve been betrayed:
The West in the early years of the twenty-first century seems afflicted by a deeper, more corrosive cultural mood than previously…We no longer seem willing to trust those in…