Emotionally Healthy Church/Discipleship

“Emotional Health,” as Peter Scazzero calls it, is essential to the “authentic dance” I seek with God, with self, and with others.

Scazzero’s The Emotionally Healthy Church (and it’s companion, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality) are among the top ten “must reads” in my library.  In part, the attraction was (and is) highly personal.  When I first stumbled across it, I was, like Scazzero, weary of Christian immaturity — both in me and in the communities I’d known over time.  In part, the appeal of the book was to be found in the way that it brought together scattered streams from the behavioral sciences — and, along the way, bringing a certain readability and simplicity to the collection.  In part, my appreciation was (and is) grounded in Scazzero’s solidly connecting of emotional health with Christianity and discipleship.Scazzero calls it, is essential to the “authentic dance” I seek with God, with self, and with others.

This “Emotionally Healthy Church/Discipleship” Sermon Series was first preached in the Summer of 2005 at Pollard Memorial United Methodist Church in Tyler, Texas.  (Earlier that year [in April], I met Peter and was first introduced to his writings at a Conference in Nashville hosted by the Beeson Institute for Advanced Church Leadership.)  The series was rejuvenated/refreshed in the Spring of 2009 for use at Strawbridge United Methodist Church in Kingwood, Texas.  (Having moved to Strawbridge just 4 months earlier and viewing these messages as fundamental [to knowing who I was and to a church behaving maturely], I situated this series as the Lenten focus.  It culminated in a Holy Saturday (Easter Eve) Service in which congregants were invited to come forward and sign a covenant of conduct at the altar — signaling a formal agreement to live as emotionally healthy disciples in a community striving for emotional and spiritual maturity.

   Sermon Title/Text(s)      Reading “Assignment Audio Handout
“Do You Want to Get Well?”
(John 5:1-15)
Chapters 1,2,3,5
 mp3      pdf
“God Uses Cracked Pots: Addressing Our Brokenness & Grief”
(2 Cor. 12:8-10)
Chapters 7, 9
 mp3      pdf
“Breaking the Power of the Past”
(Genesis 45:1-8;
Mark 3:31-34)
Chapter 6
 mp3      pdf
“To Thine Own Self Be True: The Gift of Limits”
(Acts 3:1-10;
Luke 4:1-30)
Chapter 8
 mp3      pdf
“Resisting the Beast: Embracing the Sabbath”
(Revelation 5:6-14)
 mp3      pdf
“The Power of Forgiveness”
(James 5:14-16;
Matthew 6:9-15)
 mp3      pdf
“Jesus with Skin On: Incarnational Love”
(Ephesians 4:14-16)
Chapter 10
Holy Saturday Assembly
“From Fluttering Dove to Immovable Rock”
(John 1:35-42)
 mp3      pdf

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