10 Reasons Emotions Matter to Leaders

What do Mozart’s music, Rembrandt’s paintings, Martin Luther King’s speeches, and Jesus’ miracles all have in common? They moved people emotionally; even to action!

Great leaders and creators of our time impact people emotionally as well as spiritually.  In order to minister to people, we too must understand their motivations, moods, and pain. Jesus came to heal the broken-hearted; that’s ministry in the arena of emotions.

The rise of rationalism in western civilization fostered a view that rationality must avoid the “contamination” of emotion.  Perhaps it has led us to think that emotions are unimportant; that a strictly rational approach to even spiritual concerns serves us best.

That simply is not true.

It is impractical if not impossible to separate emotion from our reasoning.

God created us as emotional, spiritual, physical, rational and relational beings. God reveals Himself in Scripture as an emotional being! We are created in His image.

Jesus ministered to people according to their spiritual need but also according to their emotional pain: “He has sent me to heal the broken hearted.”

So, here are 10 simple reasons that understanding and mastering emotions matter in your ministry:

  1. God created us as emotional beings; emotions reflect His image.

  2. God reaches out to people and ministers to them at the level of their emotions.

  3. The development of the fruit of the Spirit requires emotional healing and growth.

  4. Emotions move and motivate people.

  5. People do not make decisions on logic alone.

  6. Understanding emotions helps you read and lead people.

  7. Emotional intensity often drives the direction of conflicts which occur so often in parish settings.

  8. Understanding our own emotions helps us avoid being triggered and to remain in the rational state that we so value.

  9. Managing emotions matters when leading change because change often prompts fear.

  10. Fostering positive emotions helps organizations maintain motivation, morale and momentum.

Sharpen your edge as a people-savvy leader this week by observing, contemplating, journaling or praying about the emotions that underlie your own actions and those of your parishioners. How can you help bind up the broken hearted? Or what would excite people and move them to action?


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Dr. JeannieComment