Some pastors feel more comfortable working with pastors of their own tradition/denomination. There is nothing wrong with this as these relationships are very important. I’m thankful for my colleagues within my denomination.
At the same time, some of my most rewarding experiences have been collaborations with pastors of other denominations. It is not that I pretend that there are no differences. I disagree with my Pentecostal friends about the role of speaking in tongues and my Presbyterian friends about infant baptism. But we agree on what matters.
I have found that our common faith in Jesus, his death and resurrection, is enough for us to work together in meaningful ways. I also find that being around others with different interpretations helps me to grow spiritually.
Beyond that, working with people of other denominations is a powerful witness. I have heard many skeptics point out that the existence of the denominations as evidence that Christianity is not true. I disagree with that critique. There is room for different interpretations just as there is room for different interpretations within science. What matters is that we love and respect one another. When the world sees Christians working together, it is a demonstration that there is a real Jesus who is worth following.
I understand that there are some traditions that put limitations on what can be done with other denominations. But as far as is possible, I encourage pastors to work with other pastors of different denominations.
I am a firm believer in discipleship and I see it as being one of the most important parts of my ministry. But I must confess that my natural tendency is to focus on the intellectual side. I feel that if I can just pass on the right information, things will be okay. However, much more is required.
One of the recent trends us been an emphasis on emotional intelligence. It is one thing for a person to have the knowledge, it is another thing for them to be emotionally mature enough to use that knowledge appropriately. That is where Developing Emotionally Mature Leaders comes in.
This book by Aubrey Malphurs should be required reading for church leaders. Pastors are aware of the importance of developing leaders but emotional intelligence is an area that has been too long neglected.
There is so much that I enjoyed about this book. I had been somewhat aware of emotional intelligence, but Malphurs provides a nice introduction to the development of this area, including the major thinkers. Much of the work in emotional intelligence has been in the secular business world but Malphurs rounds it out by providing a biblical theology of emotions. This provides the needed step for pastors to use emotional intelligence in the church context.
One of the most useful parts of the book is the lengthy appendices. There is everything a leader needs to put into practice the principles developed in he body of the book. I highly recommend Developing Emotionally Mature Leaders.