Developing Emotionally Mature Leaders

How Emotional Intelligence Can Help Transform Your Ministry

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More effective leadership comes from more emotionally mature leaders

There are many things that make up a great leader. The ability to motivate, to see the big picture, to delegate. But perhaps just as important, if not more so, is the leader's emotional intelligence (EI). How we feel impacts how we lead, and how those we lead feel about themselves when they're around us affects how well they follow our leadership. In this practical book, church leadership expert Aubrey Malphurs shows church and ministry leaders how to assess, understand, and improve both their own EI and that of their followers, so that they can inspire the very best in their churches and organizations.

"Having led large organizations now for thirty years, this is the guide I wish I had had at the very beginning. I am super excited about this book getting into the hands of younger leaders just starting off on their journey to change the world. Not only will the organizations they lead go further, but everyone will be healthier at the end--and this is a very good thing."--Randy Frazee, pastor; author, The Heart of the Story and The Connecting Church 2.0

"Raising effective leaders is one of our most crucial tasks as pastors--and nurturing emotional intelligence is an often overlooked, yet essential, part of that job. Read this book first for your own growth, and then read it again with your key leaders. It will raise the leadership quotient of your church exponentially."--Nelson Searcy, founder and lead pastor, The Journey Church; founder, Church Leader Insights

Aubrey Malphurs (PhD, Dallas Theological Seminary) is the senior professor of leadership and pastoral ministry at Dallas Theological Seminary and founder of the Malphurs Group. He engages in church consulting and training and is the author of more than twenty ministry books, including Look Before You Lead and Re:Vision.


"Emotional intelligence is a popular leadership topic, but no one has explored it from a biblical worldview with as much depth as Aubrey Malphurs. In Developing Emotionally Mature Leaders, Malphurs examines the relationship between emotions and maturity and why both are significant to effective leadership. For anyone called to influence the thinking, behavior, and development of others, this will cement your understanding, help you understand where you are, and give you what you need to develop into an emotionally mature leader."

Tami Heim, president and CEO, Christian Leadership Alliance

"Emotions are a powerful force that are often overlooked until it is too late. Finally, here is a biblical and practical approach to understanding emotional intelligence and maturity for greater leadership effectiveness. Read this book to take your personal and team ministry to the next level."

D. Scott Barfoot, ThM, PhD, director of the Doctor of Ministry Program, Dallas Theological Seminary

"Aubrey Malphurs has masterfully explained emotional intelligence in a manner that is grounded in Scripture and applied to Christian leaders. I have taught emotional intelligence to students, managers, and employees in multiple settings, and I wished I'd had this book for my Christian seminar attendees. Developing our awareness and application skills can help us be more effective leaders and followers, which will lead to improved organizational performance. This book is a must read for all Christian leaders, managers, and employees."

Bruce E. Winston, PhD, professor of business and leadership, Regent University

"In this book, Aubrey Malphurs has addressed an overreaction to emotionalism that has gripped many Christians and churches in our day. While the reader may not accept every point made, they will not be able to escape Malphurs's reasonable attempt to outline a biblical theology of emotions from which to frame a discussion of the role that emotions play in the life of the leader. Emotional intelligence, or emotional quotient, matters in the attempt to become a mature, self-aware believer. A thoughtful review of Malphurs's book will help the reader come to a balanced understanding of the significance of the emotional side of the genuine biblical leader."

Mike Stallard, director of International Ministry, Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry

"Aubrey Malphurs has written another very practical and insightful book to help churches and pastors become more effective in their ministry. You can find other books on emotional intelligence, but Malphurs includes scriptural insights and develops a theology of biblical emotions. This sets his book apart from the others. Any pastor will find that this book will help them be more effective in leading their congregation."

Bob H. Dean, executive director of Dallas Baptist Association

"As we talk about raising up leaders in our churches, it's easy to overlook developing emotional maturity as a part of the formation process. When it comes to emotions, we often err toward either stoicism or over-reliance, resulting in an unhealthy view. Christian maturity must involve emotional maturity, and Dr. Malphurs's book is helpful in exploring a true biblical perspective on emotion."

Kevin Peck, DMin, lead pastor of The Austin Stone Community Church and coauthor of Designed to Lead

"I've known for a long time that struggling church leaders often manifest emotional intelligence deficiencies. Dr. Malphurs's new book Developing Emotionally Mature Leaders bridges the resource gap for those who want to improve their EI for the cause of Christ and God's glory. The fourteen skill-building exercises offered in the appendix are a virtual development laboratory in emotional intelligence, and there is nothing like this book in print today. This will be my go-to resource from here on out for helping leaders grow in their emotional intelligence."

Dr. Charles Revis, executive minister, Mission Northwest

"Developing Emotionally Mature Leaders is a masterpiece. The emerging field of knowledge called emotional intelligence, or EI, holds significant insights for ministry. Dr. Malphurs is a faithful guide. He instructs, illustrates, and applies significant truths simply and straightforwardly. His insights will empower leaders to improve their leadership and relationship skills exponentially. This is a wonderful gift to seminarians, pastors, and other ministry leaders, as well as key lay leaders. You will return to this volume again and again."

David Bowman, DMin, PCC, executive director of Tarrant Baptist Association

"Dr. Aubrey Malphurs has delivered a masterpiece on the subject of emotional intelligence. Dr. Malphurs summarizes the thoughts of leading figures so that the reader gets a feel for the landscape of this subject. He also relates information on tools and assessments for ministry practitioners, helping them self-assess and be able to assess others. It would be difficult to overstate the value of Dr. Malphurs's fine work."

Lin McLaughlin, PhD, professor of educational ministries and leadership

"All you have to do is read today's headlines to see the importance of emotional intelligence in leadership. Becoming an emotionally mature leader who understands one's own emotional responses and can also respond appropriately to the emotional responses of others is a key to true servant leadership. While there are plenty of books on the topic of emotional intelligence, there are very few books that look at this topic from a biblical, Christ-centered lens. Aubrey Malphurs has made a major contribution to the field of emotional intelligence with this book."

George M. Hillman Jr., PhD, vice president of student life and dean of students, Dallas Theological Seminary

"Emotional health and maturity is one of the most important qualities of a leader. Aubrey Malphurs has written a fantastic book with helpful advice and practical suggestions for identifying your level of emotional health and working to improve it--for the sake of the leader and the team. I would highly recommend this book to any church or ministry leader."

Robert Jeffress, DMin, senior pastor of First Baptist Church Dallas and author of Not All Roads Lead to Heaven

The Author

  1. Aubrey Malphurs

    Aubrey Malphurs

    Aubrey Malphurs (1944-2022) was senior professor of leadership and pastoral ministry at Dallas Theological Seminary for many years, as well as founder of the Malphurs Group. He was the author of more than twenty books on leadership development, strategic...

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