By author Tonya Blessing
I am currently reading the book Rare Leadership by Marcus Warner and Jim Wilder.
Because I am still praying and processing the information contained in Rare Leadership, I am hesitant to wholeheartedly recommend all the material. There is, however, a portion of the book that includes maturity assessments. I was reading one of the assessments and feeling proud that I had the items discussed in check. Then, I realized that the assessment was for child-level maturity.
The older I get, which also means the longer I am in ministry, I realize more and more that ministries are only as healthy as the people who lead them. It is a trickle-down effect. As a leader, if I am unhealthy emotionally, my teammates and those I lead and teach will be affected by my lack of emotional maturity.
Proverbs tells us that spiritual zealousness without maturity can be dangerous.
According to Warner and Wilder, there are four qualities of emotional maturity that can be used as a guide to assess our own maturity and also the maturity of others with whom we engage.
- Do you avoid conflict?
- Do you avoid people who upset you?
- Do you use negative emotions (shame, anger, fear, disgust) to control people and outcomes?
- When conflict arises do you make people choose sides or do you reach out to those who oppose you?
Acting Like Yourself
- Do people walk on eggshells around you?
- Do they feel safe disagreeing with you?
- Do people share honest opinions with you?
- Do people avoid bringing their problems to you?
- Can people expect a tender response to their weaknesses?
- Do you reveal your own weaknesses and ask for help?
- Do you fear people discovering what you are really thinking and feeling?
- Do you present yourself stronger than you really feel?
Returning to Joy
- Do you know how to quiet yourself when you’re upset?
- Do you isolate yourself during upsetting emotions?
- Do you reestablish connections quickly after upset emotions?
- Do you help others return to authentic relationships quickly from their unpleasant emotions?
- Do you see moments of upset as opportunities to strengthen relationships?
- Do you stay annoyed with people who trigger your emotions?
- Do you ignore people when their emotions are not in sync with yours?
- Do you help your group maintain an identity that is resilient in the face of difficulty?
Enduring Hardship Well
- How much stress does it take for you to avoid relationships?
- How much pressure can you handle before you snap and turn into a different person?
- How much can you handle before you disappear and turn to your cravings for comfort?
I know that I am sharing a great deal of information. Some of the questions included above could have pages of discussion written just about one item. My goal in sharing about emotional maturity is not to cover things completely but to build a platform for us to evaluate on a basic level, and then pray and discuss with others how we can grow emotionally.
Here’s to emotional health and well-being!
Tonya is the co-founder/director of Strong Cross Ministries (SCM). She and her husband currently reside in South Africa, where they assist local leaders in helping their communities. She is also an author of two novels and the co-author of a resource book for women in Christian leadership. Tonya is a national and international speaker. She is especially passionate about helping women grow in Christ.