the adventure I find myself in / das Abenteuer in dem ich mich finde

Emotionally Healthy Churches

031024654701_bo2204203200_pisitbdp500arrI just red a book called "The Emotionally Healthy Church" by Peter Scazzero. It is yet another book with solutions (six principles) to a healthy church written by a former (or still?) driven person, who has a "conversion" after his wife wanted to leave him. There is a lot of good stuff in the book. I personally don’t like the way it is written and how stories of church members and a lot about himself is used to make his points. It seems to me that he has still a load of programs the people are channeled through to make them healthy. I’m aware of the difficulty to judge the whole thing without knowing neither the people nor his church. The principles though are very convincing and are worth more consideration. It would be nice to see this in real-time somewhere, and of course be part of a healthy church.

Here are the six principles:

1. Look beneath the surface
    …the other 90 percent of the iceberg. Be honest with yourself. Don’t cover up the emotional shortcomings.
2. Break the power of the past
    …everybody is shaped and influenced by their families. Even though we are adopted in a new family we still have to deal with the baggage from our past.
3. Live in brokenness and vulnerability
    …in opposite to pride and defensiveness. We need God to empower us and work from a base of dependence
4. Receive the gifts of limits
    …see Jesus accepts God’s limits. It is not on us to do everything. learn to say no. No limits in church burns the leaders out. learn to set boundaries.
5. Embrace grieving and loss
    …most of our sinning comes from  the escape of the pain we feel. To quickly forgive or move on leaves the pain deeply hidden and not being grieved. There is a need to acknowledge that pain and the loss and work through them.
6. Make incarnation your model for loving well
    …do we really love and understand the people on our way. Are we wearing their moccasins. It is all about being a good listener.

Here is a quote from the book I really liked.

"His (Jesus) relationship with his father freed him from the pressures of those around him. He was not afraid to live out his own unique life and mission, regardless of other people’s agenda for his life."
("The Emotinally Healthy church"; Peter Scazzero; p.33  italics mine)


  1. mum

    That sounds good. Wouldn’t many churches be emotionally healthier if the pastors and leaders lived more godly lives?

  2. Mark

    interesting thoughts… thanks philipp!

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