CNLP 152: Eugene Peterson on Why He Wrote the Message, The Rhythms of a Reflective Life + Mark Batterson and Adam Weber on Peterson’s Legacy

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Eugene Peterson is a living legend. Carey talks to Eugene about the origin of the Message and the life rhythms he and his wife Jan adopted that helped produce the legacy millions have appreciated.

Plus, Carey follows his conversation with Eugene with a round table discussion with  best selling authors Mark Batterson and Adam Weber to discuss Eugene’s impact on their life and leadership.

Welcome to Episode 152 of the podcast.

Eugene’s website

Eugene’s book When King Fishers Catch Fire

Eugene’s book The Pastor: A Memoir

Mark’s website

Mark’s new book Whisper

Mark on Twitter

Mark on Instagram

Mark on Facebook 

Adam’s website

Adam’s book Talking with God

Adam on Twitter

Adam on Instagram

Adam on Facebook

CNLP Episode126 with Mark Batterson

CNLP Episode 135 with Adam Weber

3 Insights from This Episode

1. Develop a lifetime of Perspective by finding your Rhythms

If you want an example of what living a disciplined life looks like, look no further than Eugene Peterson.


-Weekly sabbaths with his wife

-Dwelling in silence

-Dedication to living out the Word

These rhythms became the habits of his life and produced a long standing ministry that has impacted millions.

2. Jesus made time to Retreat and we should, too

Every pastor needs a place to disconnect from routine and reconnect with the Holy Spirit.  For me, it’s my backyard.  For you, it may be a lakeside cabin or a walking trail.  Whether it’s a few steps from your front door or miles away, I encourage you to find this place if you don’t have one.

And when you’re there – the challenge is not to use this place only for sermon prep, but to find rest and growth.  A place where you can reignite your purpose and be reminded that our God is so much greater than we are.

3. Pastor in the Present with the End Goal in mind

What do you want your legacy to be?  As leaders we all have those mentors, like Eugene Peterson, who’ve poured into us, whether they know it or not.  They’ve influenced the way we speak, write and live out our calling.  When you’re nearing the end of your ministry how will younger pastors observe the love of Jesus in you?  Start grooming yourself now with the end goal in mind.

One more thought – If we don’t honor the generation that came before us, we’re not giving them the opportunity to affirm the next generation.  Take time to acknowledge your mentors.  Share with others how they’ve impacted you so their legacy can continue to do great things for the Kingdom.

Quotes from This Episode

During the race riots in Baltimore, people were worried about what was happening in the city. I was worried about what was happening in people. - Eugene Peterson Click To Tweet Finally, the riots in Baltimore stopped, but I didn't stop. - Eugene Peterson on translating the bible into the vernacular, which was the origin of the Message. Click To Tweet I never read the newspaper. The newspaper wasn't a big help in understand God or Jesus. So I schooled myself in understanding the great pastors and leaders of the past. - Eugene Peterson Click To Tweet You don't push the gospel down anybody's throat.  You act it out. - Eugene Peterson Click To Tweet It's hard to be famous in your home if you're not home.  @markbatterson Click To Tweet There's something about mountains or water that's just good for the soul. - @adamweber Click To Tweet

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Next Episode: Clay Scroggins

One of the greatest myths of leadership is that you have to be in charge in order to lead. Clay Scroggins talks about how to cultivate influence and gain authority when you’re not the senior leader. It’s possible, even when you’re young. Ask Clay, he’s doing it under Andy Stanley.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 153.

Lead With Confidence and Clarity. Grow Your Church.

As leaders, we tend to see the challenges and roadblocks before other people do.

We've all been there before...

  • You need to refresh your vision for the future but know that change will be an issue for that person.
  • You're overstaffed (or missing a key role) and can't find the right person to fill the role.
  • You aren't reaching enough new people even though you've tried everything that's working for other churches.
  • You can see the issue but aren't confident in what to do about it.

And with another Sunday morning coming up, it'll just have to wait until next week when you have a few minutes to figure it out.

Now ask yourself this:

What would it feel like to have those answers at your fingertips 24/7?

Whether it's reaching new people, improving your preaching, increasing volunteers, refreshing your vision, engaging your staff, or any of the countless challenges we face as church leaders, The Art of Leadership Academy will equip you to lead your church with confidence and clarity.

Between comprehensive church leadership courses, live coaching calls, staff and volunteer training resources, and direct access to an online community of senior-level church leaders, you'll get the exact insights and answers that fuel your church for growth.

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Carey Nieuwhof
Carey Nieuwhof

Carey Nieuwhof is a best-selling leadership author, speaker, podcaster, former attorney, and church planter. He hosts one of today’s most influential leadership podcasts, and his online content is accessed by leaders over 1.5 million times a month. He speaks to leaders around the world about leadership, change, and personal growth.