Emotional intelligence points others to Christ

By Mark Hallock

At the heart of emotional intelligence are lifelong skills that allow a replanting pastor to be more empathetic and have greater interpersonal relationships. Personal growth in EQ helps us as leaders to not hold grudges, be forgiving, as well as become more patient and caring with those in our life and ministry who are difficult to love and lead.

Jesus told his disciplines in John 13:34-35, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

The first thing we see here is that Jesus has raised the bar as to how we are to treat our brothers and sister in Christ. We are commanded to love each other as Christ has demonstrated love to us. This is a sacrificial, costly love that can only be accomplished through the power of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. Yet, we simply do not become more loving in this way by “hoping” it will happen. It is a cooperative effort by both the Spirit of God and the intention of the believer. We have a responsibility to grow in our ability to love. If this were not the case then the Lord would not have had to issue this “New Commandment”. So the question is, how do we as Christians in general, and replanters in particular, become more loving, learning to live lives that honor these instructions from our Lord?

Growing in EQ helps us as leaders and pastors to become more aware of our strengths and weaknesses, along with our propensities for anger and strife. Moreover, it shows us ways we can be more aware of others, better understanding how those we interact with lead are hard wired by God Himself. Many of the strategies found in developing greater EQ deal with relationship management and how to deal with others in difficult situations. As we humbly seek to grow in our EQ, and seek to become more loving, fulfill this new commandment of Jesus by the Spirit’s power, it will have a great impact on our lives, ministries, and various personal relationships.

Second, the Lord issued this command because he wanted us to understand that as believers, the way we treat one another is the very basis in which the outside world will make its determination about Christ. If we stop and realize our neighbors, friends and co-workers are watching us, a greater weight is added to how we as replanters relate to those both inside and outside our churches. The opinion and verdict about Christ may in fact be shaped by what “outsiders” observe in our interactions with one-another within the Body of Christ. Developing strong interpersonal skills through relationship management must be a priority in the life of every believer, as well as, every church replanter, for the sake of the lost and the glory of our great God!

Time to reflect:

#1 Be an outside observer of your conversations about others.Unfortunately for most of us, our human nature is to see the flaws and shortcomings in others far too easily and quickly. We may in fact let the negative characteristics we see in others overshadow their gifts, talents and potential.   Do you tend to highlight and dwell on where others fall short in your eyes? Are the bulk of your words critical in nature? Not only is this a sinful practice of gossip, it is also an indication of our inability to lead with high levels of social-awareness and relationship-management.

#2 See the whole picture. Social-awareness requires the skill of empathy which is to see not only what’s easily gathered on the surface, but also the ability to see what is happening beneath the surface; seeing the whole picture, and not just a small part before we come to any conclusions, is a great leadership skill that must be developed in leaders, pastors, and replanters.

#3 Ask, “Am I building bridges or tearing them down”? Relationship-management is really the art of building and deepening relationships. If we as leaders are critical in nature this simply won’t happen, and in fact, the opposite will prove to be the case. Leaders that are critical in spirit will quickly see their relationship begin to erode. We must as leaders, pastors and replanters be encouragers at all times!

Published December 15, 2015

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Mark Hallock

Mark Hallock serves as the lead pastor of Calvary Church in Englewood, Colorado. He also serves as president of the Calvary Family of Churches, a group committed to planting and replanting churches for the glory of God (thecalvary.org). His great desire is to see the gospel transform lives and neighborhoods through the planting of new congregations, along with the revitalization of declining congregations, throughout the city of Denver and beyond. Mark’s favorite hobby is hanging out with his wife, Jenna, and their two kids, Zoe and Eli.