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The Emotionally Healthy Church
by Peter Scazzero (Zondervan, 2003)

Geri Scazzero told her husband, the pastor, "I'm leaving the church." Pete and Geri were exhausted by the pace and performance expectations of pastoral life. So Geri quit.

When Marshall Shelley and I visited the Scazzeros seven years later, they were still leading New Life Fellowship in Queens, still as intense as other New Yorkers, but not stressed out. Passion had replaced their anxiety, peace had overcome the harried demands to keep up, and the Scazzeros had changed from being performance-driven to purposeful.

The journey that followed Pete and Geri's crisis moment revealed how churches can feed off a pastor's hidden hurts and hang-ups. Many of his church's leaders mirrored Pete's compulsive drivenness. "The root issues were inside me," writes Pete. "As go the leaders, so goes the church." Whether exhibiting busyness, defensiveness, pride, or control issues, emotionally immature leaders produce immature disciples.

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