The Emotional Intelligence of Jesus

The Emotional Intelligence of Jesus: Relational Smarts for Religious Leaders, by Roy M. Oswald & Arland Jacobson, Rowman & Littlefield, 2015, reviewed by .

The book attempted to take the teachings and examples of Jesus and apply them to pastors and local congregations.

However, the title did not match the content of the book. The content seemed to focus on a key thesis question. What does it mean to be in a religious leadership position? The authors then sub-divided the main question into two other questions: What is an emotionally intelligent pastor or church member? What is an emotionally intelligent congregation?

The general outline of the book is as follows:

It's all about relationships between the pastor and congregation and among congregational members. In both of these relationships the ability to enhance religious relationship skills is key. One must be able to monitor:

  1. One's own and other's emotions,
  2. Discriminate among your emotions, and
  3. Use this emotional information to guide one's thinking and actions.

For both the pastor and congregational members the emotional competencies were as follows:

  1. Emotionally self aware:
    1. able to self express through assertiveness & independence,
    2. able to think & act in a socially responsible manner,
    3. able to make decisions, and
    4. able to manage stress with flexibility and optimism.
  2. Self manage adaptability
  3. Ability to be socially empathic
  4. Relationship management:
    1. conflict management
    2. inspirational leadership
    3. team work

While there did seem to be overlap in the above categories and emphasis on the emotional intelligence traits/skills of Jesus seemed to be artificially superimposed on the content of the general category of emotional intelligence by the authors; the result was a minor flaw in the structure/content of the book.

The strength of the book rested in its ability to lay out the different types of emotional intelligence existing in the general population and within the church as a religious organization. Specifically, one must consider the emotional issues of individuals and congregations so both the pastor and congregation mature spiritually.

I would recommend this book.