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The Emotionally Healthy Leader Podcast

Many pastors and church leaders today feel overwhelmed, exhausted, and frustrated that their churches don’t seem to be making mature disciples. The Emotionally Healthy Leader Podcast explores the paradigms and practices leaders need to transform their church culture and multiply deeply changed disciples.
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The Emotionally Healthy Leader Podcast
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Now displaying: Page 2
May 30, 2023

Years ago, we were doing some strategic planning at the church I had founded in Queens, NY. We were reflecting on what contributed to our growth over a 26 year period.

A single word kept reappearing on the whiteboard - "BASEMENT"

How did we disciple so many quality leaders, many of whom are still leading today?

Hint: it wasn't what happened on the stage. It was what happened in the basement.

Matthew 28 tells us to "make disciples of all nations". But many leaders today feel a pressure to make their discipleship strategies big and public rather than small and hidden.

Jesus modeled a different way of making disciples. In fact, he flipped the entire thing upside down. In today's podcast, I share with you why real discipleship starts in the basement.

May 16, 2023
Eight years after planting New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, I was exhausted.

The pressure of preaching and teaching weekly messages, along with the rest of my
leadership responsibilities, left me depleted. Although our ministry was growing, I
often felt like I was gaining the world but losing my own soul.
 
What I lacked, and what so many of us still lack today, is a way to teach and preach for Jesus that properly flows out of a deep inner life with him.

What I discovered is that there is a way to engage in this weighty work of speaking for Jesus that is light and easy rather than heavy and hard, that strengthens rather than diminishes our relationship with him, and that is marked by joy and spaciousness rather than anxiety and pressure.

May 2, 2023

Affliction. It's a topic that nobody wants to talk about (including me).

But as it relates to TRUE LEADERSHIP, it is a costly mistake to avoid our afflictions. Why? Because this is how God matures us into spiritual mothers and fathers of the faith.

By "affliction," I'm referring to any kind of hurt, loss, betrayal, broken relationship, abandonment, or disorienting circumstance. While these are obviously things we don't want, they are also unavoidable.

Many of us run from our afflictions, seeing them as obstacles to our life and leadership. We distract, jump over, sidestep, and ignore. But Jesus called us to take up our cross and follow him. And when you're on the cross, you can't just jump off!

The good news is that God doesn't abandon us in our hardships. In fact – if we're willing to PAY ATTENTION, God uses our afflictions to develop us into the type of leaders worth following.

Take a listen to today's podcast episode.

Apr 18, 2023

One of the greatest threats to leading with joy is giving into the temptation of overcommitment.

When our lives are crowded, cluttered, and cramped, it is difficult to hear God and live in loving union with Him. The irony is, we can "fit in" regular practices of Sabbath and silence while still being driven by an overscheduled life.

But how do we resist this temptation?

Silence, solitude, and sabbath must become our practices.
AND spaciousness must become our mindset.

In order to live spacious lives, we must avoid the critical traps that keep us settling for an overcommitted life.

  • What would it feel like to live with breathing room?
  • How would it feel to limit your "Yes" and claim more margin in your schedule?
  • What if you could build in time for extended thinking, praying, and being?


On today's podcast, I identify several traps that keep you from the gift of spaciousness and offer wisdom that will help you live with a renewed sense of joy.

Apr 4, 2023

Many leaders today "know" the importance of a slowed-down spirituality.

So why do so many continue to feel overloaded and over scheduled, often working 3 jobs, taking on new side hustles, and remain driven by the fear of missing out? Why can't we stop overcommitting?

Listen, I know this struggle firsthand. And I've found that it goes deeper than knowing intellectually and theologically the right thing to do.

On today's podcast, I tackle this question head-on in two parts:
  1. How do you break free from the roots of overcommitment inside yourself?
  2. How do you help others break free from overcommitment as you lead them?
This is an important one. I pray that as you listen, you begin to experience a newfound freedom in Christ.
Mar 21, 2023

Recently we crossed an unbelievable threshold with the Emotionally Healthy Leader Podcast with over 10 million lifetime podcast downloads. I couldn't be more surprised, humbled, and thankful for this milestone moment. 

I say "surprised" because back in 1996, when we first started, the term "emotional health" was considered heretical in much of the church!

Now 25 years later, we can see that the cultural landscape has changed dramatically. Not only is emotional health received, but in many ways, it is now considered a promotional buzzword.

In today's podcast, I share my observations of what I consider 3 counterfeit versions of emotional health that we settle for, but then cast a vision for an authentic life with God.

Mar 7, 2023

I was recently asked by someone...

"Pete, if you could go back and give yourself advice in the different seasons of life and ministry, what would you say?"

The truth is – every decade has its own unique invitations. As I reflected, I realized that I would say something slightly different to myself at 25, 35, 45, and even 55.

Today on the podcast, I share with you some fresh insights as I look back on my own journey and development. While my journey is different than yours, I'm hoping you'll be able to learn from my lessons - both the good and the bad!

Feb 21, 2023
Many of us have come to believe that the Christian life is synonymous with constant happiness. We think we're on the right track if the trajectory of our lives is "up and to the right" - always improving, always leveling up.

But this way of thinking leaves little room for grief and sadness. When we experience real loss, we see it as an abnormal alien invasion, not as a divine invitation.

And yet, Jesus shows us that to welcome and hold sorrow before God is central to our leadership and discipleship.

In today's podcast episode, I share the importance of finding the treasure buried in grief and loss, and how we can train other leaders to do the same.

I encourage you to watch our full training video online in our Leader's Training Vault. It's completely free and only takes one minute to register.

For now, you can listen to today's episode here...
Feb 7, 2023

I was 19 when I came to Christ and started my training as a Christian leader.

As a young leader, I was taught many valuable things. But nobody told me about the most powerful gift leaders can bring to those they lead.

But I've learned (through my own failures) that the greatest gift leaders can actually give is becoming an "incarnational presence" – being DEEPLY PRESENT with people like Jesus.

In today's podcast episode, we look at the norm for most churches and leaders, but then we'll explore the beauty of what can happen in our church cultures when we learn to lead in this way.

I encourage you to watch our full training video online in our Leader's Training Vault. It's completely free and only takes one minute to register.

For now, you can listen to today's episode here...

Jan 24, 2023

As a pastor or leader, your primary role is to develop and disciple others.

More than simply "getting things done", we are called to prioritize the growth and maturity of the people and leaders around us. We do this by learning particular skills and tools with which we can coach our leaders, our team, and those in our ministry. 
 
One game-changing tool that I use to coach others is called the “Genogram”.

The genogram is a powerful visual map to document the history and dynamics of our family relationships and their impact on us, over three to four generations.
 
In today's episode, I share the 6 stages I use to coach other leaders through the Genogram so that you can do the same.
Jan 10, 2023

Not long ago I was spending time with some young pastors, hoping to learn how leaders today define ministry success. The word "influence" seemed to be a common theme.

Many leaders obsess over growing their followers, gaining digital credibility, and creating captivating sound bites for social media. While there is nothing wrong with having a following, there exists a pressure and allure to making that the primary scorecard for ministry impact. This way of thinking only leads to destruction.

In many ways, this is nothing new. The 3 deadly temptations that Jesus faced in the desert, are the exact temptations we face as leaders, no matter what generation you are from.

Dec 22, 2022
Does the end of the year feel like a complete whirlwind?

For most pastors and leaders Christmas activities dominate the month of December and then we only get a week's break before launching into a new year!

In January, pastors face the difficult task of vision-casting, goal-setting, and steering the direction of the church for the next 12 months.

Too often, our planning is driven by:
  • Expectations from others (i.e. board, supervisors, people we serve)
  • Internal pressure to be a great leader or to create momentum.
  • The “shoulds" of everything that feels important. (i.e. “We should be doing more of this...")
All of these things can feel like a tremendous weight, under which many pastors buckle over time.

But planning doesn't have to feel this way.

In today's episode, I want to show you a radical new approach to planning. I'll show you how I plan for the season ahead in a way that produces joy, not anxiety.
Dec 12, 2022
Great leadership is about knowing who you are and who you are not.
In part one of this podcast series, I shared the first 5 marks of a highly-differentiated leader.
On today's podcast, I continue by sharing 5 more attributes that deserve careful consideration.

Why? Because the cost of lowly-differentiated leadership is enormous:
  • We diminish the long-term impact of our ministries.
  • We allow the wrong people exercise power and leadership. 
  • We perpetuate immaturity. 
  • We grow resentful and live in dis-ease. 
  • We waste the time, energy, and money of God’s people.
  • We increase anxiety in everyone around us.
  • We, and our community, become less playful (and more “intense/heavy.”)
The good news is that godly, highly-differentiated leadership is the pathway to freedom, a lighter yoke, less worry, better relationships, clearer goals, and more joy!
Nov 29, 2022
Everything rises and falls on the character and inner life of the leader.

The apostle Paul seemed to believe so as well. He writes to his spiritual son Timothy that whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task.” (1 Tim. 3:1)
 
I believe the great need of our day is for us to become godly, highly-differentiated leaders while developing other leaders in the same way.

In today's episode, I share five marks of a highly-differentiated leader and how to start becoming one today. Truth be told - it's hard work. But MUCH harder should you avoid the work.

Highly-differentiated leadership is the pathway to freedom, a lighter yoke, less worry, better relationships, clearer goals, and more joy!
Nov 15, 2022

Every day, people all around us live in a chronic state of dread, anxious about what tomorrow will bring.

Nations and economies are crumbling. News media agitates our deepest fears. It often feels like the ground is shaking beneath our feet.

In a time like this, it is critical that we continue to LIVE and LEAD out of deep rest in Christ.

But how do we break free from the gravitational pull of bad news and despair?

I believe we must recalibrate a biblical vision of HOPE. (Hint: it's more than optimism)
 

Let's be clear – this doesn't happen easily. We must contend for God's vision of reality and vigilantly pursue deep rest in Christ.

In today's podcast episode, I share keys to cultivating hope and deep rest.

Nov 1, 2022

Hiring new staff (paid or volunteer) is one of the most difficult responsibilities of church leadership.  The difference between the right hire and the wrong hire will have long-term consequences in your church.

Two weeks ago on the podcast, I brought the first part of "Emotionally Healthy Hiring (Paid or Volunteer)", in which we covered the first 7 principles that leaders must consider before making a hire.

Today, I bring the second part, offering the next 6 out of 13 principles for emotionally healthy hiring. (It's shocking to hear how often principle #11 is overlooked when hiring staff!)

Oct 18, 2022

Churches around the world are rebuilding in a post-pandemic world. Leaders are assembling new teams and desperately trying to fill vacant positions.

The temptation to cut corners in your hiring process (paid or volunteer) is ENORMOUS. When you feel the pressure to onboard a new worship leader or children's pastor in order to keep "the wheels on the bus", it's easy to make poor hiring decisions.

In today's podcast, I share 7 out of 13 principles that MUST be considered before your next hire. On the following podcast, I'll release part two of this series with the remaining principles. 

Oct 4, 2022

Today, very few church leaders feel like they are winning.

We look at our churches compared to what they used to be or what we'd like them to be, and it's hard to feel like we're making a real difference.

So we're faced with a difficult temptation...

Do we use our best energy to chase the perception of momentum? Or do we pursue heaven's perspective and seek to live with integrity from the inside out?

In today's podcast, I want to encourage you as a pastor or church leader. Jesus is King and He is ruling over the whole world – including your church!

Sep 20, 2022

Great news! I'm officially back from my summer sabbatical and I'm excited to share with you insights from my time away. 

In the 3rd - 5th centuries, early Christian men and women fled to the desert to escape the moral compromise in the church and the idols of the world. They did this, not out of self-righteousness, but in order to send a life raft to the church and be a gift to the world. 

The truth is – we must find a new way to live as desert fathers and mothers if we are going to live with deep peace and a powerful witness.

In today's podcast, I share 8 ways you can create for yourself a desert from which you can better love God and love others.

 

Sep 6, 2022

One of the most destructive temptations leaders face is living and leading from the veneer of a "false self". In other words, we project an image of how we'd like to be perceived, rather than living from truth.   

In today's podcast, I share a sermon from Colossians 3 that explores how we can overcome our false self and live out of our true self in Christ.

Aug 23, 2022

Many leaders today believe that if we're going to get things done and be successful, we must "take the bull by the horns". We are told that strength and power win in the economy of leadership.

So when Jesus boldly announces "Blessed are the Meek", it's no wonder that many of us shrug our shoulders and keep plowing ahead.

In today's podcast, I share a sermon that explores the depth underneath Jesus' words as he invited us into a life marked by meekness.

Aug 9, 2022

Today on the podcast, I share a part of an interview I did earlier this year with the Canadian Church Leaders Network.

I expanded upon what I see as one of God’s purposes for pouring out His Spirit - giving us the power to die.

Jul 26, 2022

For too many years, I thought being a peacemaker was simply being a nice person.

Because of this illusion, I spiritualized my conflict avoidance and created a culture in my church where everyone pretended things were ok. This is the definition of false peace.

In the second part of this series, we explore how Jesus disrupted false peace by cleansing the temple. If you're a people-pleaser, this is a critical message for our day!

Jul 12, 2022

I spent my early years avoiding conflict. True peacemaking, when understood correctly, actually comes through disrupting false peace.

In today's podcast, I share a sermon that goes deeper into this new understanding. I assure you...it changes everything.

Jun 28, 2022

Many pastors have been professionally educated and extensively trained.

The problem is – we are facing a massive discipleship crisis. I've found that much of our training doesn't help get at the root of this problem.

Deep change requires a new kind of training.

In today's episode, I cast a biblical vision for why training is not a "once and done" experience but a lifestyle we are called to.

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