Ministers today need to develop emotional intelligence like never before. If there’s one thing that ministers of the Gospel should show towards each other, it is emotional intelligence.
Lack of emotional intelligence in ministry will cost you precious ministerial relationships.
Lack of emotional intelligence will also affect the image of your ministry within your circles of influence and also within the firmament of the Body of Christ.
In ministry, it is one thing to be a great preacher or teacher but a different ball game to have the requisite spiritual maturity to conduct ministry affairs in terms of dealing with other ministers.
Being sensitive to other ministers and the work that they do and responding accordingly in line with Biblical ethics is the true test of your ministerial maturity.
As one grows more and more in the call, one realizes that there are certain things that we say or do at times that are unnecessary.
Those things are not necessarily wrong or unscriptural; they are not just perfect for the occasion because the timing is wrong, and they also have negative effect on other ministers at that particular time.
It therefore takes spiritual discipline and self control to know when to toe the line of caution.
No matter how great your prospects and potentials are in ministry, if you don’t know how to relate properly with fellow ministers, you still have a long way to go.
That is why the issue of emotional intelligence does not only apply to the corporate and secular world but also to ministers of the Gospel as well.
To start with, let’s establish two definitions of Emotional Intelligence.
(1) Emotional Intelligence is the capacity to be aware of one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically – Oxford.
(2) Emotional Intelligence refers to the ability to identify and manage one’s emotions, as well as the emotions of others – Psychology Today.
The nexus between these two definitions is that you must master how to deal with your emotions in relating with other people, and that calls for a high level of sensitivity.
That means in communicating your thoughts to others, you take into consideration the psychological effect of such verbal interface on those that you’re dealing with.
We don’t have to take things for granted in ministry. Emotional Intelligence cuts across every sphere of life.
It is one thing to know WHAT TO SAY, it is another ball game to know HOW TO SAY it, and the Bible lends credence to that – Isa. 50:4.
In ministry, you can be right in INTENT but wrong in STRATEGY. You may actually mean well but the way and manner you communicate your thoughts can affect others adversely.
And a minister who rightly discerns the Lord’s Body will put this balance into consideration.
Ministers are to encourage and motivate each other, not knock and criticize each other over petty issues that have nothing to do with our eternal salvation.
That is why the practice of ALL-INCLUSIVENESS matters in ministry. You should be able to recognize peculiarities and differences in ministry and connect with others accordingly.
And you don’t have to read meanings to what people say or do, especially when such does not conflict with the principles of God’s Word.
Reading meanings to everything that people do in ministry today is a major cause of rifts and fragmentations within our camp.
Dad Hagin once said, “The greatest need in the Church today is the renewing of our minds” and I believe that 100%!!!
I believe that we need to renew our minds also in terms of emotional intelligence and be sensitive more to other ministers without compromising the integrity of God’s Word.
Let me give some practical examples here. If as a minister, you just heard somebody teach the Word with great depth, and you come up to say, “It’s not about depths; it’s about the flows of the Spirit”, you lack emotional intelligence and that statement is unnecessary at that time.
If someone manifests the flows of the Spirit and people are tumbling upon each other, getting imparted by the anointing and you come up to say, “Let’s stop all these gymnastics; digging into the Word is more important”, you lack emotional intelligence and the timing is wrong.
If you’re invited to minister in a church and you see crowd everywhere and you collect the microphone to say something like, “It’s not about gathering crowds. How many people will make Heaven here?”, you lack emotional intelligence, especially when you’re making such statement because of your personal bias against crowd.
If you see a post on Facebook (which is clearly Scriptural) but because you have personal prejudices, you quickly run to your wall to write a “counter post”, you lack emotional intelligence.
Now people do all sorts of things online. It’s a product of the unrenewed mind. I don’t read any meaning to “Scriptural teachings”; I pack my personal prejudice aside and follow the Word.
If I go minister in a church and the minister in charge goes by the title, “Bishop” or “Reverend” or “Apostle” or “Prophet”, I flow with that.
That’s none of my business; I don’t have to read meaning to anything; there are weighter matters to talk about.
And if it is “Brother”, I flow with that as well. If the post of the minister is “Servant Leader”, I flow with it, and if it is “Lead Pastor”, “Presiding Bishop”, “General Overseer” or “General Superintendent”, etc., I just key into the “flow”.
I don’t have to bring my own personal biases and principles in; THE BODY OF CHRIST IS BIGGER THAN MY PREJUDICES!
If a congregation call their Pastor “Daddy” or “Papa”, they like it like that. So be it.
These are synonyms of “Father” and “Father” is in the Bible.
I have no business with that. I don’t have to come up and tell them to change it to “Bro”; my jurisdiction does not reach there.
I will not read any meaning to anything. We just get into the Word and minister to the people.
And if another congregation call their Pastor “Bro”, then so be it. It’s not my business to change that as well. That’s their structure but they cannot impose that on everyone.
Afterall the Bible does not say, “He gave some Brothers”. No, it says “He gave some Apostles, and some Prophets, and some Evangelists, and some Pastors and Teachers…” – Eph.4:11, yet the same Bible tells us that Apostle Peter once addressed Paul as “Bro” – 2 Pet.3:15.
So, the Bible is there for all of us!!! Tackling one another or taking one another to the cleaners over all of these and other related matters is a lack of emotional intelligence.
If a young minister has a word from the Lord to bless us and he writes to those of us who are young ministers by saying, “Dear Young Minister…”, honestly I will not read any meaning to that.
I won’t conclude in my mind that he’s placing himself above all of us young ministers. Truth is that he may even capture himself because that is the sincerity of his intention and expression.
If he has an ulterior motive, then it’s between him and the Lord. But I won’t discourage or bully anyone in ministry. Young ministers need encouragement and also guidance when necessary.
I can’t preemt people. Only God knows the intents of people’s hearts unless He reveals them by the Spirit.
I will rather open my heart to receive because God can use anyone to bless me, including a day-old believer.
It’s a difficult thing to judge the motives of people. I can’t see them. Only God sees the hearts of all men.
The minister should therefore deal with “CONSCIENSE MATTERS” in ministry.
If you’re not comfortable with certain patterns (which are not unscriptural), it doesn’t mean that other people should also not be comfortable with them and that doesn’t also mean that those other ministers are deviant.
A minister should learn to draw the line between PERSONAL THINGS, CULTURAL THINGS and SCRIPTURAL THINGS in ministry.
Truth is that the humblest sets of ministers I have seen are ministers who are perceived by others as proud based on certain patterns around their ministries (which are not UNSCRIPTURAL anyway) but the “perceivers” don’t like to take a second look.
With the exception of UNSCRIPTURAL PRACTICES, I see no reason why ministers have to pick holes in what people say or do which is peculiar to them and their ministries and which also does not compromise Christian testimony.
Honestly speaking, I’m thoroughly convinced and persuaded that the time for ministers to master EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE is now!
What unites us is far BIGGER, HIGHER and GREATER than what divides us!!
May the Lord help us all!!!
Source: Bimbo Animashaun Teaching Ministries |Published with permission.