I recall how Peter Scazzero’s book the Emotionally Healthy Church really gave me a lot of help at a crucial time in my growth as a Christian and a pastor. I’m grateful that I don’t have to be totally “burnt out” or facing some major ministry “disaster” before I could become aware of the message Pete was trying to communicate in the book.
After being in ministry for 7 years full-time, there’s bits and pieces or a taste (bad taste?) of all sorts of conflicts and pains often attributed reasons other than the issue of emotional maturity. Of course, I believe that life is much more complex and shouldn’t just focus on one or two aspects. But, “Emotional health” definately has been a neglected subject in discipleship and leadership. And just to tie this in to the “Emerging church” discussion There’s a lot of talk about new paradigms, and getting back to more theological reflection, and then creative experimentation but I sincerely believe that this “emotional maturity” must not be left behind.
“The church is to be known, above all else, as a community that radically and powerfully loves others. Sadly, this is not generally our reputation. Despite all the emphasis today on spiritual formation, church leaders rarely address what spiritual maturity looks like as it relates to emotional health, especially as it relates to how we love other people. The link between emotional and spiritual maturity is a large, unexplored area of discipleship. We desperately need, I believe, to reexamine the whole of Scripture—and the life of Christ in particular—in order to grasp the dynamics of this link.” ~ Peter Scazzero
Here’s three streaming audio links that allows us to listen from both husband and wife – Pete and Geri sharing honestly from their lives. Check it out …