Finally had a chance to finish previewing a new church-wide initiative from Peter Scazzero and Zondervan. Emotionally Healthy Spirituality is an 8 session campaign based on Scazzero’s best-seller by the same title. You probably remember Scazzero’s previous book, The Emotionally Healthy Church, a groundbreaking best-seller that was awarded a Gold Medallion by the ECPA.
The Main Idea
“The main idea is that emotional health (defined as our ability to be self-aware and love well) and contemplative spirituality (that is slowing down to cultivate our relationship with Jesus), offer nothing short of a spiritual revolution in our lives.”
The Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (EHS) Church-Wide Initiative has a number of elements:
- EHS Church-Wide Initiative Resource DVD: This includes the preaching series and promotional pieces as well as a How to Run the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Church-Wide Initiative.
- EHS book (the workbook guides participants to read the chapters that correspond to the upcoming session)
- EHS Day by Day book (includes devotional reading to be completed in the week following the session).
- EHS Course DVD includes a short DVD segment to be watched by the group as the study session begins.
- EHS Course Workbook will guide the group through their session together.
Small groups participate using The Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Course, an 8 session DVD-driven small group study. The video segments are short (11 to 15 minutes) and feature Pete Scazzero. Scazzero’s content provides a good setup for the session and is delivered in a straightforward and easy-to-follow manner.
The EHS Course workbook is well designed and easy to use. It includes an icebreaker question and a thought-provoking set of discussion questions. Each session also includes a Bible study that will help the group make the connection between scripture and emotionally healthy spirituality. The workbook also includes material for between sessions personal study (enhanced by readings in the EHS Day to Day book) and a simple leader’s guide.
The EHS Day to Day book is a kind of daily devotional with a very basic premise: “We need to intentionally stop to be with God more than once a day so that practicing the presence of God becomes real in our lives.” As such, it includes a morning segment and a midday/evening segment.
The EHS book is not an especially difficult read, but it will be challenging from the standpoint of time commitment for the average group member. The combination of readings from the Day to Day book and readings from the book itself will force many to choose between the two. Although the group member experience will be enhanced by the reading, members can easily grasp the concepts without the book.
Emotionally healthy spirituality is not a topic that will easily capture the imagination or peak the interest of every member. Pastors and group leaders will need to encourage members to wade into these waters. At the same time, The Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Course will provide a powerful life-changing experience for groups and group members that roll up their sleeves and do the work.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.