Developing Emotionally Mature Leaders – Aubrey Malphurs

leadAubrey Malphurs, Developing Emotionally Mature Leaders Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2018 239 pp. $16.99

Developing Emotionally Mature Leaders by Aubrey Malphurs is designed with a specific purpose in mind – “to come up with a process or pathway that challenges Christian leaders to become more aware of, understand, and manage their emotions and those of others so that they can be emotionally mature leaders who relate well with and truly inspire.”

The book is arranged in three parts. Part One sets the stage by introducing readers to the concept of emotional intelligence (EI). Six assumptions about emotional intelligence undergird this section:

  1. Emotionally mature Christians are spiritually mature believers.
  2. The Godhead is characterized by emotions.
  3. The hope of the world is an emotionally mature church.
  4. Emotional intelligence is critically important to God-honoring leadership.
  5. Scripture undergirds the importance of emotional maturity.
  6. Emotions are central to what it means to be human and live life.

The author stresses the importance of emotions. “Great leaders,” writes Malphurs, “lead through the emotions. They move us. They ignite our passion and inspire the best in us.”

Part Two demonstrates the importance of emotional intelligence, which is defined as “an awareness of our emotions and the emotions of others around us so that we can handle well our emotions and theirs, with the result that we relate in a Christlike manner with those within or outside the body of faith.”

A biblical theology of emotions is presented and also includes a chapter that helps assess emotional maturity.

Part Three helps readers move forward in order to become emotionally mature. Several models are set forth here. Readers are encouraged to pick and choose the models that fit their unique situation.

Finally, this work includes an extensive set of appendices. A series of diagnostic tools are offered, which enable readers to honestly assess where they stand on the emotional intelligence continuum.


Developing Emotionally Mature Leaders effectively argues the necessity of managing one’s emotions and moving forward in a way that glorifies and pleases God. The theme of sanctifying grace runs through these pages and urges readers to pursue a life of holiness.

One disappointing development is the absence of any insight by Jonathan Edwards. I cannot think of anyone in church history who more adequately addressed the matter of the affections. Jettisoning the fine work of Edwards is a critical oversight.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.

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