The Emotionally Healthy Leader

Last fall, I reluctantly agreed to take a class called Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. It was being offered by a couple in our congregation. As I read the first chapter, in preparation for the first class, I became deeply convicted about cracks in my spiritual life. God began reveling underdeveloped areas in my spiritual formation and maturity as a 40-year old Christian. It was like someone stirring up muddy waters that had long settled – the mud was still there but had settled into unseen crevices.  Each week of this eight-week class was equally transformational – I cannot say enough about the value of this material for spiritual formation and emotional maturity.

Three weeks ago, we started Emotionally Healthy Relationships – the second half of the course material. And, I am equally impressed with the quality. Unity in our marriages, family life, workplace, and even our congregations does not happen naturally. In fact, the opposite is true – we are more likely to experience rifts and division if we are not intentional. I am convinced the vast majority of us long for unity, but often we have not intentionally identified or dealt with the life traps which threaten success in this area.

Peter Scazzero affirms that “Emotional health and spiritual maturity are inseparable: It is not possible to be spiritually mature while remaining emotionally immature.” And, he states, “Emotional health and contemplative spirituality offer nothing short of a spiritual revolution in our lives.” Moreover, he teaches the importance of realizing that we are “Human beings, not human doings.” In his book, The Emotionally Healthy Leader, Scazzero shares about his own journey - that he was doing “more activity for God than” his “being with God could sustain.” Scazzero says “what you do matters, but who you are matters even more.” In this book, he shares the importance of leading out of our own brokenness, a deep and abiding contemplative relationship with God, and emotionally healthy relationships. Surely, we can agree that the transformational power of Jesus is not likely found in programs, structure, doctrinal purity/perfection, or methodology. And yet, it surely can be found when we devote ourselves to a contemplative relationship with God and emotionally healthy relationships with one another (Matt 22:37-40).

Book Recommendation: The Emotionally Healthy Leader: How Transforming Your Inner Life Will Deeply Transform Your Church, Team, and the World, by Peter Scazzero.