Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Emotionally Healthy Church by Scazzero (Top 20)

My brother, Curtis Zackery, recommended this book to me and even bought me a copy. I was sold after the first chapter. I believe this is an important read for anyone serving on staff at a ministry (church or parachurch). This book caused healthy personal reflection for me, and is helping me dig deeper into how people who I serve in ministry truly grow in Christ. You can get a copy of the book here. Here are my top 20 quotes...

“The overall health of any church or ministry depends primarily on the emotional and spiritual health of its leadership. In fact, the key to successful spiritual leadership has much more to do with the leader’s internal life than with the leader’s expertise, gifts, or experience.” (pg. 20)

“(When resolving conflicts in community in a healthy way) This includes an awareness of how one’s family historically resolved conflict; one’s dominant conflict style – for example: avoidance, attacking, distraction, shutting down – a healthy awareness of one’s brokenness; and the ability to enter into other people’s perspective in a Christlike way.” (pg. 47)

“It is not possible for a Christian to be spiritually mature while remaining emotionally immature.” (pg. 52)

7 Principles of An Emotionally Healthy Church
1) Look Beneath The Service (chapter 5)
2) Break the Power of the Past (chapter 6)
3) Live in Brokenness and Vulnerability (chapter 7)
4) Receive the Gift of Limits (chapter 8)
5) Embrace Grieving and Loss (chapter 9)
6) Make Incarnational Your Model For Loving Well (chapter 10)
7) Slow Down To Lead With Integrity (chapter 11)

“In emotionally healthy churches, people take a deep, hard look inside their hearts asking, ‘What is going on that Jesus Christ is trying to change?’” (pg. 71)

“The gospel says you are more sinful and flawed than you ever dared believe, yet you are more accepted and loved than you ever dared hope because Jesus lived and died in your place.” (pg. 83)

“(Because of the gospel) I don’t have to prove myself to anyone – which is how I was unconsciously living my life. I am perfectly loved and accepted by God because of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection for me.” (pg. 84)

“The knowledge that I stand before God as His beloved, because of Christ, has freed me to explore some of the disturbing and dark aspects of who I am.” (pg. 85)

“It is impossible to help people break free from their past apart from understanding the families in which they grew up. 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.” (pg. 96)

“We call come into the family of Jesus with broken bones, wounds, and legs shot up in the war of life. God’s intention is to heal our brokenness and patch up our wounds. He allows the scars and weaknesses to remain. We are then to go out and heal others as wounded healers. Discipleship then must include honest reflection on the positive and negative impact of our family of origin as well as other major influences in our lives. - …God’s invitation is to welcome Him into those areas so we might break free to live life as joyfully and freely as he intends.” (pg. 103)

“In emotionally healthy churches, people live and lead out of brokenness and vulnerability.” (pg. 114)

“Finally, two years before his death and perhaps after walking with Christ for thirty years, he is able to see clearly, ‘I am the worst (of all sinners) 1 Timothy 1:15.’ What happened? Paul had grown in his understanding of the love of God in the gospel.” (pg. 122)

“I learned that leadership is not always being the strong one; instead, it is being the weak one who is made strong by God alone.” (pg. 127)

“Emotionally healthy people understand the limits God has given them. They joyfully receive the one, two, seven, or ten talents God has so graciously distributed. As a result, they are not frenzied and covetous, trying to live a life God never intended. They are marked by contentment and joy (in Him).” (pg. 137)

“Understanding and respecting our boundaries and limits in one of the most important character qualities and skills leaders need in order to be long-term lovers of God and others.” (pg. 141)

“The process of forgiveness always involves grieving before letting go – whether you are the person giving forgiveness or asking for it. - …I understand now why people in grief commit reckless sins. They don’t know what else they can do to escape the pain of their present situation. They haven’t learned to grieve.” (pg. 165)

“To reject God’s seasons for grief and sadness as they come to us is to live only half of our lives. What makes this particularly tragic is that Jesus Christ came to set us free to engage life fully, not escape from its reality.” (pg. 169)

“The model and teaching (in Scripture) is for us to deal honestly and prayerfully with our losses and disappointments (big and small) and all their accompanying confusing emotions.” (pg. 170)

“In emotionally healthy churches, people intentionally follow the model of Jesus. They focus on loving well, recognizing that the indispensable mark of spiritual maturity is not about recognition, numbers, spiritual gifts, or biblical knowledge. The essence of a genuine spiritual life is to love – God, ourselves, and other people.” (pg. 180)

“It (incarnational presence) costs time, energy, and almost always, a disruption to our risk-free world.” (pg. 196)

“Cultivating an intentional life with our Lord Jesus requires intentionally focused time – for silence, prayer, meditation on Scripture, and reading. - …But work for God that is not nourished by a deep interior life with God will eventually be contaminated.” (pg. 206) - …”From this place of rest, our work is to flow.” (pg. 209)

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