If you've listened to some of our podcasts, read our blogposts the last 5 years or been to a workshop recently, you've heard me talk about pursuing emotional health and its impact on my relationships with God and other people. What I didn't expect was how becoming more Emotionally Healthy would transform my activism. I realized I was BURNING out and driven less by a longing for justice and more by my need for validation and safety in a world that feels increasingly dangerous and hostile. God invited me to slow down and see Him and thus, I started inviting others to do the same. I am still struggling with being addicted to productivity, responding with love instead of fear and suspicion and remaining grounded in a world that feels increasingly unstable. But I think we have developed resources that take Pete & Geri Scazzero's Emotionally Healthy Discipleship out into the systems and structures of this broken world in a loving, just, sustainable way.
The course will start in March and run for 8-Weeks. It will be available to anyone subscribed at $10/month. If you are presently a patron and you increase, we will send you /someone you choose a signed copy of "12 Lies that Hold America Captive and the Truth that Sets Us Free".
Here are the 8 sessions:
During this session we will cover the 6 components of emotionally healthy activism that emerge out of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality as well as their emotionally unhealthy opposites. We will focus on pride, narcissism, and hurry as three key components that make our resistance toxic and unhelpful in our world today.
We don't know what we don't know and sometimes that can hurt people. Our ignorance and race, class, sexuality, politics, religion, faith and more can lead to unintentional hurt, emotional and physical distance and long lists of misunderstandings that we all are familiar with. So how do we cultivate a posture of curiosity and learning and combat our culture of judgment, condemnation, fear and prejudice? Let's work on it together!
At New Life Fellowship, they often say "Jesus is in your heart but Grandpa is in your bones" and I have found that to be profound and true. If you have ever been to therapy, you know that our parents have a lot to do with how we behave every day. Their presence or absence shapes us in ways that are conscious and often unconscious - especially when it comes to issues of love and justice. Ask yourself, "How did your family experience comfort? What did they say about those who were poor? LGBTQIA+? or "Black? How did your father talk about women or your mother talk about men?
Let's get real about the gifts and liabilities so that we might live out more fully the freedom God intends for all of us.
As aforementioned, in Emotionally Healthy Discipleship we often say "Jesus is in your heart but Grandpa is in your bones" and it's worth saying over and over again. After identifying what are the narratives in your family around comfort, conflict, class and politics - how then were you expected to respond? Let's talk open and honestly about who you were expected to marry, which colleges/universities you were to attend, and who you shouldn't spend too much time with? And consider what God has to say about those things as well.
"Black people never eat..." or "Women are always..." or "Leftists and Conservatives can't..."
It's not just the families that we were born into but the culture and context we grew up in that shapes and molds us into who we are as people. And fortunately or unfortunately, consciously or subconsciously, these forces often dictate how we respond when we are hurt, angry, uncomfortable and afraid or if we even acknowledge those feels at all. Let's talk about the assumptions that we have about ourselves and those that society has about us too; and of course, those that we have about others. We do this, not to shame some and uplift others, but to identify those things that keep us and others from loving well. We aim to be ministers of reconciliation and we cannot bring together what we will not admit is broken.
When it rains, materials are often washed off the surface of the ground and taken by the rushing water downhill and if it reaches water, downstream. Runoff can often be toxic and lead to pollution and unintended harm. All of us exist downstream of someone and something. Parents, mentors, and teachers along with something church, culture, school and organization modeled conflict resolution, comfort, goodness, love and justice. And fortunately or unfortunately, we become most like those we follow and exhibit the same patterns as those we spend the most time with. In light of our families, backgrounds and cultures what beautiful and broken things have seeped into the fabric of our lives?
After identifying obstacles to growing and learning along with ideas, narratives, experiences and people that may consciously or unconsciously driving our actions and especially our activism in the world, we need to ask two questions. First, what do I want? And second, "what does God want?"
These questions are important to answer because we can't ask God for what we desire if we don't know what those things are. And Jesus is not a puppet master or slave driver so our desires to matter to Him. Once we identify or have an inkling of what we truly desire, we can bring those things to God who loves us and say with open hands, "God, what do You want?" Thus, our activism flows out of a deep, abiding relationship with God and our success - especially in our resistance work - is bound up with obedience to Our Father.
Throughout the course we will be collecting feedback, questions, examples and testimonies. And during this last session in person and via our video recording we will address those questions, share stories and some final guiding principles from our 8 weeks together. You post your questions here throughout the 8-weeks or tweet @IVEDLife.
$10/month Patrons will have access to all materials, resources, videos, and content produced via this platform and the resources shared with you to use to develop Emotionally Healthy Activists and practice prayerful resistance.