Thursday, January 8, 2015

Emotional health and theological health are inseparable

Let me be honest. Due to certain prejudices I am reluctant to recommend books written by pastors of large American churches. Nevertheless, I did recommend Radical by David Platt.  

Recently I read The Emotionally Healthy Church: A Strategy for Discipleship that actually changes lives  by Peter Scazzero and Warren Bird. In a small group I also worked through some of the material.

I think the book raises important issues that are often overlooked, neglected, or even opposed in some church, ministry, and mission contexts. Humble, gentle servant leadership versus "sanctified" ambition [male testosterone]. Organisations and programs before people. Mental health. Sabbath rest. The profound effect [good and bad] of family backgrounds. Grief over past losses and trauma. Focus on numbers. Work-church-family balance. Unresolved conflict. Parochialism. Diversities of personalities. Embracing failure and weakness. Modelling....

The personal honesty and transparency of Scazzero make the book easy to read and there are some helpful practical quizzes and suggestions. You will probably find stuff to disagree with and may cringe at some of the American cultural baggage. But I don't think that should stop Christians seriously taking to heart and acting on the issues the book raises.

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