Relationally intelligent. That's the new way of being smart, according to one Los Angeles pastor.
In a nutshell, relational intelligence is valuing people in a smart way, says Steven Saccone, who serves as a catalyst at Mosaic church. And the purpose of it is "to enhance the quality of our relationships and expand our influence."
Saccone recently led a teaching series based off his new book, Relational Intelligence, at the Los Angeles church.
He told the Mosaic congregation, "We all have this innate desire to impact other people, to make a positive influence on the world. We need to be reminded that this doesn't happen in a vacuum. It happens through relationships with people."
Saccone, who is Mosaic's Pasadena campus pastor, wrote the book when he began noticing a polarization among people. In one camp, people value others well. They're compassionate, listen well and love well. But they're not very effective in influencing others. Those in the second camp are really smart, strategic and catalytic yet they tend to devalue people, the author noted.
Relational Intelligence helps people to merge the two together.
"The more relationally intelligent we become, the more we will demonstrate increased love, respect, and trust in every relationship in our lives, which will inevitably elevate our influence," he writes.
Jesus, Saccone preached to Mosaic members, is the full embodiment of relational intelligence.
He was brilliant in the way he brought his full self to every person in his life and at the same time brought missional focus, Saccone emphasized.
In one moment, Jesus accepted people where they were, and in another he challenged people to grow and change, the Mosaic leader outlined. At times Jesus brought peace and at other times he evoked conflict. In certain moments, he served and in other moments, he led.
"Jesus knew how to engage people in a deeply caring as well as smart, intelligent, and intentional way," Saccone said.
"[Jesus] declared that the most important value in life revolves around how well we as human beings relate to one another in love. He knew that love is what ultimately transforms people, communities, and the world as we know it," he writes.
Through his book, the campus pastor wants church leaders and Christ followers to recalibrate their game plans when it comes to carrying out the mission of God.
He challenges Christians to be more strategic in where and how they spend their relational energy. Just as Jesus invested relationally in a few good men – 12 disciples – Saccone encourages Christians to invest in those who will invest in others.
Preaching the last part of the six-week "Relational Intelligence" teaching series this past Sunday, Mosaic's lead pastor, Erwin McManus, reminded attendees what church on Sunday is all about.
"Anything you receive here on Sunday is only a gift to you to be entrusted to you so you can pour it into the life of someone else," McManus said, lamenting that there is a subconscious sense that the church is a place where you're just a spectator. "If anything that happens here stops here, then it has no value for the world."
The lead pastor challenged them to become someone worth investing in and to also invest in the right persons.
"You need to give more to those who give up more," McManus underscored as he cited Saccone's book.
Relational Intelligence was released in September. It strives to guide leaders in reprioritizing their emphasis on the quality in their relationships and consequently expand their ability to influence others more effectively.
As Saccone sums up in his book, "Relational geniuses know how to engage with others through intelligence, intentionality, and authentic love that strives to serve others more than self. It's better to invest in a few who will reinvest in others, than to invest in many who may never reinvest in anyone.
"Then people around you will do the same as they emulate your leadership example. This is the way of a relational genius and a new way of being smart."