I can think of no other subject more essential for spiritual and religious leaders today than what is written in this book. How grateful I would be if I had read this at the beginning of my ministry. If you are considering becoming a spiritual or religious leader or you already one, please: read this book. (Erin Gilmore, Rocky Mountain Conference United Church of Christ)
As a pastor and professional counselor, this book does an excellent job in describing emotional intelligence both theologically and psychologically. The authors have a great understanding of the proper balance of what God expects of leaders and the unrealistic expectations we can place on ourselves. Each chapter contains in-depth analysis and practical applications for all leaders. (Ken Pott, LPC, executive director, BridgePoint and Transition Counseling Centers)
As I finished reading Emotional Intelligence for Religious Leaders, my first thought was how valuable this would have been more than twenty years ago when I started ministry. I was equipped with Biblical knowledge, but I was clueless of the internal demands and stresses of ministry. My degrees were beneficial, but all three were sorely lacking in the area of emotional intelligence. (Barry Park, senior minister, University Christian Church)
For decades, we have mistakenly downplayed the importance of pastoral leadership. And yet, congregations succeed or fail in their mission, oftentimes, in direct relation to the effectiveness of their pastors. Emotional Intelligence for Religious Leaders recognizes not only the importance of pastoral leadership but emotionally intelligent and healthy pastoral leadership. It is a must-read for any pastor seeking to maximize her or his potential as a spiritual leader. (John Wimberly, congregational consultant)
C.S. Lewis said, in reference to his writings, ‘Until the theologians and the ordained clergy begin to communicate with ordinary people in the vernacular, in a way that they can understand, I’m going to have to do this sort of thing.’
Thanks to libraries, bookstores, and websites we have Lewis. Thanks to John West and his fellow writers, whom I strongly suspect already see through the wry scholar’s eyes, there is added hope for our generations of clergy and lay professionals. Emotional Intelligence for Religious Leaders offers no less than collaborative brilliance. It serves up fresh insight and access to tools already at work in the helping sciences.
Some in the clergy cringe at the mere mention of psychology. They shouldn’t. The word originates in the Greek, and ‘psych’ translates as ‘soul’ and suffix ‘logy” or ‘logos’ translates as premise, discourse, or opinion. ‘Discourse of the soul’ is shared territory for pastors and psychologists alike. It’s the same turf.
Clergy moves in these arenas just as ably the behavioralists. Perhaps even more so, for a fire burns in the souls of pastors and lay leaders alike, a fire unrestrained by limits of reason, hypothesis, or the scientific method.
Clergy should know that wisdoms lay on the other side, answers that address the ordinary, irksome issues that confront faith professionals almost daily. The writers share their own stories. They share how added skills in communication, sensitivity, and emotional intelligence worked for them; how they’ve shed administrative weights. They’ve separated the wheat from the chaff for us, and, in doing so, served the readers with a rich menu of ideas. They offer an approachable, understandable frame of reference that serves the cause of our faith without undermining any of the orthodoxy in its mission. Please, check it out. (Mark Sellers, founder, New Covenant Soul Care)
When I read the title of one chapter, ‘Religious Organizations are not Families’, I was instantly sold on this book. It is a much needed resource at a time when emotional intelligence is crucial to the success of any leader and any congregation. (Greg Rickel, Bishop of the diocese of Olympia)
‘If you will not take too much time, I will wait for you the rest of my life.’ Every year or so, something comes along that I feel I have been waiting for a long, long while. This describes perfectly the impact on me of Emotional Intelligence for Religious Leaders by John Lee West, Roy M. Oswald, and Nadyne Guzmán. These three authors, through their intellect, their honesty and openness about their own journeys and clarity of presentation have provided a personal ‘GPS’ for all who want to understand and move toward effective and human leadership within any and all religious systems.
By focusing on six basic traits within the EQ Model, they have created a road map to Emotional Intelligence that is both manageable and usable.
No longer can anyone say, ‘If only I had known about this earlier in my career.’ As the Chinese proverb says: ‘The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is NOW!’ (C. Waite Maclin, chair, The Center for Emotional Intelligence and Human Relations Training)
One only needs to read the highlights of the latest religious news to know the tremendous importance for just not religious leaders, but boards and leadership teams of religious groups, to understand, learn, and apply the information in this wonderful book on Emotional Intelligence (EQ). From the Catholic Church’s relatively recent focus on affective maturity in the formation of priests to the burn-out of Protestant megachurch leaders, the clear message is right dogma, proclamation skills, and business acumen are not enough. EQ is also required for not only effective but sustainable ministry. The book’s layout of progressive steps in developing EQ will be an excellent journey for those who have the courage to truly look behind the “false self” to develop their EQ for leadership, and as noted in chapter nine, to see how deeply these steps tie into one’s own spirituality. I heard the ring of truth throughout this book and realized part of this ringing is from knowing and working with one of the authors, Dr. John West. His life is one of authentic EQ in his life and work with others. (Harvey Payne, Divine Mercy University)
As a faith leader pastoring a congregation I cannot think of more important work than what is offered by West, Oswald, and Guzman. This books ability to articulate what Emotional intelligence is while also providing a framework for engaging and strengthening one’s own Emotional Intelligence (EQ) should be required reading for all religious leaders, lay, and clergy. (Corbin Tobey-Davis, Parkview Congregational Church UCC)