Pastor, I Wrote a Book for You
My new book, The Emotionally Intelligent Pastor: A Guidebook for Clergy and Other Christian Leaders comes out this October. The Education and Clergy Development division of the Wesleyan Church in tandem with the Wesleyan Publishing House selected it for use with their pastors.
God really opened this door and had His hand on the book all along in various amazing ways.
I wrote this book because I wanted to make a difference in the work of God’s Kingdom. Here’s why I think the topic of emotional intelligence (EI) is important for pastors and others in Christian leadership.
1. EI Development Benefits Christian Leaders
My PhD research found its way into publication with a typically boring academic title: “Examining the Relationships between Emotional Intelligence, Performance-Based Self-Esteem and Burnout Among Pastors.” Here’s the non-academic summary of one of my findings: emotional intelligence helps pastors avoid burnout. Further, it does so by reducing the stresses of leading people.
I simply became convinced of the usefulness of emotional intelligence development to help you as a pastor grow your own emotional health and to become a better relational leader in the church.
2. EI is Needed Now More than Ever
It’s becoming harder to lead people, not easier. The social and cultural landscape changes faster than we can keep up with it. Leading people successfully hinges on influence rather than authority more than ever. Your clergy predecessors obtained a certain degree of influence simply by donning their clerical collars. Not so much today.
Influence through relationship building wins the day now and that requires emotional intelligence.
3. EI Concepts Need to be Applied to the Unique Context of Clergy Leadership
While lots of books and training material apply emotional intelligence to business leaders and organizations in general, I did not find one that fully applied these principals to church leadership. (There are several good books about EI and clergy but none really speak fully to the “how to” of developing these emotional skills.)
So I decided to change that.
Emotional intelligence development provides a necessary foundation supporting your ability to grow influence. It equips you with the relational wisdom and emotional skills to engage, inspire and transform others and the congregations you lead.
Finally, I know that some will question whether a psychological concept can contribute anything of value to the work of clergy. However, I believe the book of Proverbs exhorts us to obtain all the wisdom we can, including emotional and relational wisdom. That’s why you should develop your own EI. It will make you a better pastor and leader.
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