Philippines – Aug 2012
Rev. Roel Tabasa of Cebu City Alliance Church – (the largest Alliance Church in the region – they have around 1000 attendees on a Sunday and a Compassion Project that serves more than 500 children. In addition they have a number of church plants around the metro area of Cebu) wrote this about the Emotionally Healthy Church Seminar we did with his staff in 2008:
Several years ago, all the staff of my church went through the Emotionally Healthy Church Seminar with Rick and Jiji Harner. It was a struggle at first to open up to each other and be vulnerable. But as the months passed, I could sense that our staff was more open with emotions and able to discuss difficult issues with tactfulness and sensitivity. I can also see that we have become more effective in our ministries as we have begun to understand and process our past and our experiences.
The Board of Elders underwent the same seminar with me. It was not easy at first, but as we worked through the material, we began to be more comfortable and closer to each other. We also began to look at our schedules and become more focused and intentional in our commitments. We embraced the gift of limits.
Later the young Professionals of the church underwent the seminar. There was a lot of crying and emotions being displayed. Many mourned for their lost childhood and decided to change some of the things that they had unintentionally learned from their families growing up. They decided to make changes in their family culture to be more like the family culture of Jesus.
But I guess I am the one who benefitted most from the material. Like Peter Scazzero, I was heading for a major burnout. I was doing a lot of things and in the eyes of the people I was very successful. But inside I was dying and becoming tired and bitter. The Lord visited me through this material and put me in the right perspective. I have done a lot of mourning. I have become more understanding and vulnerable to others. Most of all, I can now say NO to a lot of good things because I now know my limits. My relationships with my wife and my children have improved a lot.
I highly recommend the material to the churches here in the Philippines. Many of our churches are not emotionally healthy because the church leaders are not emotionally healthy. This makes the discipleship of our churches so one-sided and utterly incomplete. We have a lot of church people who know a lot of theology and Bible, but yet when they are faced with a stressful relationships and difficult problems they behave as emotional infants. It’s about time we go deeper in our discipleship.