Emotionally Healthy Spirituality - A Review


Emotionally Healthy Spirituality:  Unleash A Revolution In Your Life in Christ by Peter Scazzero, Thomas Nelson 2006

A couple of years ago, I read Peter Scazzero's book, "The Emotionally Healthy Church" right before I became the pastor of the church I currently serve.  It was a timely read, to be sure.  Scazzero is the pastor of New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, NY.  New Life is a large multiracial, international, evangelical congregation.  In "Emotionally Healthy Church," Scazzero relates how both he and his church began exhibiting signs of poor emotional health.  He had become a workaholic, busy doing the things of God and not paying enough attention to simply being with God.  His church in turn had become a dysfunctional family of faith, focused on the wrong things and struggling to be the church together. 

In "Emotionally Healthy Spirituality," Scazzero relates his own personal journey toward spiritual health as the hard lessons he learned as a pastor of an emotionally unhealthy church landed upon him and his family.  Scazzero relates how his life was out of balance, and his busy-ness for God had replaced a real relationship.  While he was living and breathing the work of the church, he was neglecting his own soul and the health of his relationships.  He speaks of a turning point where his wife Geri actually "quit" the church where he was pastoring.  She essentially told him that she no longer wanted to attend a church where he was the pastor, and wouldn't do so until something changed. 

In "Emotionally Healthy Spirituality" Scazzero offers a variety of "diagnostic" tools that he and his family used as they journeyed together toward spiritual health.  The tools are a healthy mix of Biblical principles and family systems theory psychology.  This part of the book is extraordinarily helpful and intuitive (at least for Christians who affirm the Bible as authoritative)  But perhaps the most important part of Scazzero's journey had to do with ancient spiritual practices that he and his wife began practicing both intentionally and habitually:  Daily Prayer, Sabbath, sabbaticals, study, rest, etc. 

"Emotionally Healthy Spirituality" is a great read, and one that I intend on returning to more than once.  I highly recommend this for anyone who is struggling to find clarity and balance in their spiritual life.  I especially recommend it to pastors and church leaders.  Interestingly enough, I heard about this book while attending the Drive Conference at Northpoint Church.  The staff member at Northpoint that is basically in charge of "human resources" and staff development recommended it.  I'm glad she did.  I needed to read this. 

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