The Emotional Intelligence of Jesus: Relational Smarts for Religious Leaders

by Roy M. Oswald, Arland Jacobson. Rowman & Littlefield, 2015.

Here church consultant Roy Oswald and retired professor Arland Jacobson offer clergy and congregations a relational leadership model based on Jesus’ emotional intelligence (EI). EI is “the ability to control one’s emotions-not to put a damper on them, but to be able to use them constructively to achieve desired goals and to form positive, strong relationships.” The authors name seven “capacities” of EI, such as self-awareness, stress resilience, and forgiveness. The gospels, brain science, psychology, and illustrative stories accompany the capacities. Pastors and congregations can find descriptions of what EI means specifically for them. Two of the six “marks” of an EI congregation are having processes for handling inappropriate behaviors and small-group ministries. The authors offer clergy strategies for becoming more EI and identify fifteen EI characteristics, such as humility, openness, and loyalty. Christians-clergy and laity-will be most comfortable with this accessible and helpful resource.