Read an Excerpt
Emotionally Healthy Church Workbook
8 Studies for Groups or Individuals
By Peter L. Scazzero
ZONDERVANCopyright © 2010 Peter L. Scazzero
All rights reserved.
Study 1: Discipleship's Missing Link
Reading: Introduction and Chapter 1
* Growing Connected
Taking an "Emotional Snapshot"
1. Divide an 8 ½? x 11? piece of paper into four boxes, and write the following words at the top of each box.
In each box, draw a picture or write down in words the thing(s) you are Glad, Mad, Sad, or Anxious/Afraid about in your life right now. Give yourself five minutes.
2. In groups of four or as a whole group, have people share their pictures and/or words with each other. (Have each person pick one category to share if time is limited.)
The summary of The Emotionally Healthy Church is this:
Emotional health and spiritual maturity are inseparable. It is not possible to be spiritually mature while remaining emotionally immature.
3. How does being aware of your "Emotional Snapshot" relate to your discipleship in Christ?
* Bible Study
4. Read Psalm 69:1–12, 19–21, and 29–31. Seek to step into David's shoes. What emotions was he feeling as he wrote this psalm? Circle any that you find in the list below, or add your own beneath the box.
5. If David visited your church or small group and presented Psalm 69 as his testimony, would you take it as a sign of spiritual weakness or spiritual strength, immaturity or maturity? Explain.
6. How would you react if David opened up in this way in your small group? How would you feel if David were your pastor, sharing this with your congregation at a Sunday worship ser vice?
7. What about your life experiences, family history, or bad religious teachings may have caused you to deny or repress your feelings rather than bring them to God as David did?
The diagram below illustrates the different aspects of what it means to be made in God's image. Conformity to Christ includes all these areas.
8. What would your life be like if a slice of the pie on the previous page were missing? How would it prevent you from living a truly Christlike life?
9. In your daily spiritual life, do you treat your emotions as a gift from God and as a discipleship issue? Or do you tend to see them as "dead weight," a distraction, maybe even a curse? Explain.
10. Complete the following sentence stem: I am beginning to realize ...
We saw how people in the Bible, such as David and even Jesus himself, enjoyed full and vibrant emotional lives. Out of their security in God's love and grace, they were able to freely express their feelings to themselves, to others, and to their heavenly Father.
Embracing our emotions can be a difficult and confusing thing to do. Short-term spiritual "victories" seem to come easier, cleaner, and prettier when we bury and stuff our feelings. Learning how to hear what God is doing and saying to us through our emotions can appear to be a waste of time.
Join the apostle Paul in praying that Christ be formed in every part of you—including your emotional life (Gal. 4:19)—so that you can fully reflect the image of God.
* Going Deeper
* Complete the "Inventory of Emotional/Spiritual Maturity" in the appendix at the end of this workbook (p.75). Remember, it's completely normal and expected to score higher in certain principles than others. God often grows us in seasons, dealing with one issue at a time in our lives. The better response to these "gaps" is acknowledging that they exist and exploring what we can do to grow through them.
* This week, go back to the list of emotions that Jesus experienced and focus on a few that don't fit so well with your ideas of what Jesus is like. Consider how you handle those emotions when they come up in your life. Allow God to let the reality of Jesus' vibrant emotional life sink in. Ask God to grant you the grace to embrace the fullness of your humanity and to share in the freedom of Jesus to experience your emotions and feelings.
For Next Time
* Read chapter 5.
* Do the "Inventory of Emotional/Spiritual Maturity."
Excerpted from Emotionally Healthy Church Workbook by Peter L. Scazzero. Copyright © 2010 Peter L. Scazzero. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN.
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