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The Emotionally Healthy Church: A Strategy for Discipleship That Actually Changes Lives

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  1,374 ratings  ·  123 reviews
Discipleship that really transforms a church must integrate emotional health with spiritual maturity. The Emotionally Healthy Church offers a strategy for discipleship that accomplishes healthy living and actually changes lives.
Hardcover, 223 pages
Published February 13th 2003 by Zondervan
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Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: faith, discipleship, 2017
I read a lot about myself in this book. I have seen in my own life the kinds of benefits that come from learning how to process my emotions. Too many in the Church are stuffing, ignoring, or anesthetizing their emotions, all of which is detrimental to our personal growth in the Lord and our ministries. This book is a good start for developing an awareness of our emotions and learning how to process them. If we are brave enough to try...

This book is written for church leaders and posits that a c
Shaun Lee
Aug 07, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I first attempted to read this book in 2015 and now (in 2016) I read it again for the purposes of a school assignment.

While the content is not overly complex, I am quite puzzled as to where Scazzero plants the foundation of his thesis from. My polytechnic diploma in psychology better prepared me to read the book critically and yet I came away quite disappointed. I do understand where he is coming from, basically to embrace the brokenness in you (and your family) and not to work yourself until yo
J. Alfred
Jun 15, 2011 rated it it was ok
This is mainly for church leaders, and advocates, as it says a number of times, a "Copernican revolution" in the way church leadership is handled (this is evidence of the shaky use of terminology throughout- really, a "Copernican revolution"?). The whole theoretical beginning of the book is suspect for me: it all hinges on the idea that "one cannot be spiritually mature without being emotionally mature." (The converse is clearly untrue, yes? Also, there is a good deal of discussion about the spi ...more
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have a hard time with books that are part of a publishing bonanza, with dvd sets, conferences, workbooks, etc. becoming essentially a racket. That being said, enough pain will humble me enough to read anything that looks helpful. This was quite helpful. I think it’s genius was that the author wrote largely from his own experience of failure. Reading about the pastor of a large growing church candidly confessing his own immaturity and bewildering inability to lead with integrity was refreshing ...more
Justine Bowtell-Harris
Though this is a good book, and one worth reading, I think it lacks the depth that is truly needed for effective change. Peters Emotionally Healthy Leader book I feel covers everything that is in this book but at a much deeper, most intimate and more meddling level - at a level that will produce more change. If you could only read one of his books I would recommend the Emotionally Healthy Leader over this. As he says in this book, things in the church aren’t going to change unless we are the cha ...more
Carrie Kann
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
Pete Scazzero’s “Emotionally Healthy” resources have been literally life changing for me. I was first introduced to these ideas almost a decade ago, and every time I work through the material again, I learn something new.

“You cannot be spiritually mature without being emotionally mature.”

This book walks you through areas of your life in which you can take a hard look under the surface and start moving towards a more emotionally healthy, full integrated life. I recommend these books ALL the time
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a really good read as it focused on how we as individuals have a very important part to play in helping our church to be a healthy environment. It provides numerous practical tools and gives lots of reflections on the importance of developing healthy spiritual and emotional as individuals and how when we don't have things in their proper place can adversely affect corporately our roles within our churches and the parts we try to play.
Anna Chviedaruk
Apr 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Though the start of the book is like in any American book - long, watery, tooooo long; i liked it.
This is definitely the book to work through and to reread. Each chapter should be read slowly, the material helps one to dig deeper into her past, character and habits to become a truly healthier person. God is doing a restoration work in the ones who became His children. The question is whether the children are aware of this and are open to go through some hard stuff to be changed. Emotional healt
Albert Hong
May 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pastoral-arts
This is a solid read with good insight for church leaders as to how to develop a lifestyle that is conducive to a sustained, life-giving, non-burning out ministry.

I resonate a lot with the path that Scazzero takes. From burnout to monastery to trying to live out ministry integrating contemplative practices with active mission.

We're going to use this within our church and it has been a helpful guide for working through a difficult season.
Brandon Bellinghausen
I remember reading this and thinking, "meh..."
Rob Markley
Feb 28, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
I am honesty ambivalent on this book, which is lauded so highly. There are some really deep spiritual principles encapsulated in the teaching - things that are not well enough understood and should be taught more. In saying this I am a little wary that so much of the illustration comes from secular (even other religions) movies, stories, novels; and often in a critical stance against people of faith. The biblical and Christian material is often less weighty. We don't want simply a pseudo-Christi ...more
Bonnie Krueger
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was probably more applicable to people serving in ministry as a full or part time position although there were a lot of good takeaways for people attending church. I have been a Christian 27 years and I have been a member of 4 churches. I left the first one after noticing he was preaching the identical message, just changing the title and a few things here and there. I was destined to stagnate in my walk. The second church was too small once I married a man with kids and our situation was u ...more
Brian Taylor
Jul 25, 2017 rated it liked it
What I love about the Emotionally Healthy Church is that this book gives you great insights into disciple making. How can you properly disciple others? What are the best strategies? What makes for good discipleship practices? Peter Scazzero walks the reader through some clearly defined strategies and best principles for developing a healthy church. It's not about having the largest church, it about the health of the body of believers as there is interaction with one another in the context of liv ...more
David McConnell-Booher
A good read. It suffers from the same formula many modern Christian leadership books fall into: a young, ambitious and charismatic church leader had an explosive first decade in ministry and is now learning from the mistakes and pitfalls that came from doing too much too fast and not tending to emotional needs and the simplicity of a church model that doesn't pursue whatever is trending in popular Christian culture. The majority of Pastors and other church leaders do not share this experience - ...more
Sep 27, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The author of this book focuses on his own history of becoming more self aware and emotionally intelligent. As a result his marriage improves and he is a better manager of his church staff and lay leadership. I was looking for a book to lead a possible small group for church leaders. Subsequent books from this author are designed for that. There is no one psychological theme throughout the book. The principles in this text are ones taught to me in seminary and during the ordination process for m ...more
Ryan Residence
Apr 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
There are some helpful thoughts in this book, but the author takes too much time to get them out. It’s evident he is used to communicating through story, which is often a great teaching tool; however, it’s my opinion that he relies too heavily on anecdotes. He takes the reader deep into his own experiences and thought patterns (including unhealthy ones, which he struggled and learned through), but somewhere along the way it seems he forgot to help the reader learn the lessons at hand. But like I ...more
Christopher Cole
The inter-relation of Emotional and Spiritual health

I've been a pastor that, rightly or wrongly, has not taken the time to evaluate how my emotional and spiritual health have gone hand in hand. Peter is very vulnerable and honest in this book about how he had ignored, like I did, my emotional health, and after reading this book I can see clearly where it negatively impacted my spiritual life, and the way I lead the church I pastor. Don't read this if you're not willing to take a hard look at you
May 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sadly, this book seems like it would only mean something to the reader if the reader was in a crisis point in their marriage or their church. Much like changing a tire, no one cares until they are in a hurry and realize their tires are flat. Many of his concepts fly in the face of current leadership trends (like his belief you should practice at your weaknesses instead of strengthening your strengths). It is a good read when you are in trouble, but few will take the time to do all he suggests un ...more
Gregory P.
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! A challenge to church leadership as I've known it

I didn't have high expectations as I began reading this book but found myself sharing from each chapter with my wife and close friends. I highly recommend it to senior pastors, and others in church leadership.

I imagine the struggle for many reading this book is the clear fact that radical changes in church culture can only begin at the top; and most senior pastors I know are too busy and insecure to take the challenge Pete lays out in this
Ryne Isaac
Jan 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoy the work of Pete Scazzaro and enjoyed this book. I think it’s a great picture of what we should strive for in our churches. Like anything, becoming emotionally healthy is a lot of work.

Pete gives some basic examples of what this looks like in their church context, but for a ministry book it felt a little abstract to me. I would have loved some intentional next steps for churches (beyond just the provided discussion questions).

Though this is a ministry book, it also speaks to the
Milly Jones
May 11, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a good book with some good principles in it. If you are not a church leader, then read Emotionally Healthy Spirituality instead.
It sometimes does have a frustrating writing style - either stating a problem without then giving the answer, or at times over stylising an answer with his soundbites when it is much simpler than that. But overall, if you can loom past these, it's a helpful book.
Sep 16, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't love this one for a lot of reasons.

My bigger problem is that I don't believe the sinner's prayer will save your soul, which is mentioned early on in this book.

There are many directives and examples on how one is saved. Reading the book of Acts is a great place to start. Acts 2:37-42, Acts 16:30-34

The plan of salvation includes hearing the word of God, believing the Word, repenting, confessing, being baptized (immersion) (Mark 16:16, Romans 6:3-11) and remaining faithful.
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a great read...Scazzero writes clearly and gives interesting, readable examples to all of the principles. He puts emotional health in the proper place in the church....vital to our growth as individuals and as leaders, but not as important as the gospel because Jesus is the star.

Would definitely recommend to any and all church leaders/attenders.
Feb 06, 2018 rated it liked it
I probably would have liked this better if I hadn't read Anatomy of the Soul first. I feel like that book goes into the same themes, but much deeper and with more practical advice (and goes into neuroscience!)
Abby Burg
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-books-read
Helpful accompaniment to “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality.” I think he’s dead on when it comes to this need in our discipleship. I’d love to see the church where he serves and how this is put into practice.
Joyce Oh
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Awesome book, it is a true must-read for leaders in the Church and for anyone who wants to take new steps in their faith walk. Scazzero’s words resounded with me and I found his thoughts very insightful.
Wendi Klaiber
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was quite helpful to me in realizing my lack of setting limits and of allowing myself to rest so that I can be whole to take care of others. I think that is is a very good read for anyone in church leadership.
Christian Neufeld
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It gave a lot of really practical applications about change in life which is not only for church but has a TON of personal applications. I learned a lot about why many church bodies are stagnant and how first the leaders but also the people can grow past present circumstances.
May 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I had to read this for my Intro to Christian Counseling class at Gateway Seminary. It really made me re-evaluate my perspective of emotional health in the church, as a Christian, and as a human being.
Loved it!
Vicki Johnson
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My Sunday School Class has been reading/studying this book. It was a good book for discussion. I particularly liked the insight on grief and grieving.
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