Friday, January 31, 2014

Practical Intelligence (PIQ)

                                                                Can You Cook?

One of the folk songs we sang as kids was all about finding a woman with practical skills.
It went like this: 

Can she bake a cherry pie, Billy Boy, Billy Boy
Can she bake a cherry pie Charming Billy?

The response from Billy Boy was:

She can bake a cherry pie quick as a cat can blink his eye
She's a young thing and cannot leave her mother.

Is being practical important today? Do we teach kids to have a high PIQ?

A new type of test and scale has just hit the market. It is not an Intelligence Quotient test or an Emotional IQ checklist. All of us are familiar with those instruments. This tests something that is even more important. It is called, Practical IQ. We all know stories about Einstein or other geniuses that could supposedly score 200 on an I Q test but could not keep track of their change. Einstein was said to be so brilliant in IQ that he could not remember the names of his kids. We get the absent minded professor stereotype from this kind of person.

I had a friend who taught at a seminary. He had ADD and loved to schmoose with students and other faculty members. It was said that Richard would often start toward his classroom to teach and stop to chat with someone. Many times he would get so distracted that at the end of his conversation he could not remember if he was heading for class or away from class. He would ask the person, “By the way. Was I going into the building to teach or was I coming out after teaching?” He had a low PIQ.

A professor of psychology at Yale, Robert J. Sternberg developed an alternative approach to IQ for discerning Intelligence.   His work arises from the previous writing about Multiple Intelligences and broadens it considerably.  We are all aware that IQ is not necessarily correlated with good leaders, managers, sales persons and other influencers. The key to success for these persons seems to be three abilities or giftings. Analytical Intelligence is the ability to analyze and evaluate ideas, solve problems and make decisions. Creative Intelligence involves going beyond what is given to generate novel and interesting ideas. Practical Intelligence enables us to find the best fit between our environment and ourselves.

Leaders must have Practical IQ. Some people recommend that Believers read a chapter of Psalms and a chapter of Proverbs daily. Psalms will help us get a great spiritual lift while Proverbs will keep us focused on daily life. I wish every Christian would read and remember the instructions about the way to treat a scoffer found in Proverbs 9:7.

Christian leaders at every level need all kinds of Intelligence. The problem is, they are difficult to teach. They are procedural rather than factual. It is knowledge about how to do something rather than knowledge about something.  Also, it is usually learned without the help of teachers or explicit instruction.  And, it is knowledge about things that personally important to the learner.

Jesus was good at all kinds of Intelligence.  He was able to see through the dilemmas people threw at him and find a way out. When the local group of men brought an adulterous woman to him and tried to throw Him a curve ball by enlisting him in a fake trial, Jesus showed His ability to Analyze. Be Creative and Practical. He often taught his disciples how to deal with powerful opponents by ‘Turning the other cheek” and ‘Giving unto Caesar that which is his and to God that which is His.” Jesus had gumption, as my people would say.  But, he said that it was better if he went away. Why would it be better when the world lay in darkness, pain, sickness and brutality and He was a teacher, healer and savior who was also the light of the world? 

 Behind every successful vision is someone with a PIQ. Who is the Practical Genius behind Billy Graham? Behind Rick Warren and other famous leaders? Several of our books, videos and papers integrate Vision with Practical Service, otherwise the organization will be flat and dead. 


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Prayers for Russia

Russians need to hear the gospel. Pray that our friends will be able to minister.

It is cold and dangerous in Russia.

The Winter Olympics are almost ready and the radical terrorists are threatening to attack. They need our prayers.

Our friends in Russia who do ministry to the addicts, the orphans and the sick need prayers as well.

Some of our friends are ill and others are under spiritual attack. But, they refuse to give in or give up so pray that God will raise them up with His Power and love.

I just saw this great video. May it inspire you and our Russian friends.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Spiritual Intelligence (SIQ)

Jesus Spiritual Intelligence (SIQ) was extremely high. He heard the Father and stayed in constant communication with Him. He said “I have food that you are not aware of”. There have been a few times in my life when I was aware of God’s presence. However, my meager experience, as transforming as it has been, cannot compare with walking in a constant interaction with God. The Disciples walked and talked with Jesus daily but somehow they missed the fact that he was the Creator of the Universe.

He had marvelous insight, great discernment and read the hearts of others both far and near. His ability to heal broken hearts, broken bodies and broken spirits was unrivaled. He raised people from the dead and opened the eyes of the blind. His supernatural IQ (SIQ) was amazing.

Jesus did the hard stuff as well as the easy. Satan tempted Jesus three times with things that required a connection to the Father. His obedience to the Father indicated great motivation and ability to resist every temptation. Such righteousness requires a highly developed spiritual life from beginning to end. He needed no bracelet to remind him whom to trust or what to do. Jesus did nothing other than what the Father commanded. Even when the Father abandoned the Son to die, Jesus obeyed.  Such spiritual IQ was never before seen on the earth and was desperately needed by the millions who were cut off from the Father.

Spiritual IQ is called, Wisdom in the Bible and two books are dedicated to it and Practical IQ. Both Proverbs and Ecclesiastes focus on the accumulated wisdom of wise men and women that helped people make the practical decisions of life. 

Yet, it was better that he, the spiritual light of the world, should go away.

Jesus-Leader-Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

                                    (TOP) An evil Leader; Pol Pot who had no compassion

                                               (BOTTOM) A compassionate Father

We are slowly recognizing that that a high IQ is insufficient and even detrimental for good leaders. One's ability to lead, manage and influence the world is largely due to EIQ or an Emotional IQ, not simply raw intellect. There too, Jesus shined more brightly than any other. In fact, He is better known for EIQ than IQ. Jesus spoke about and lived in love, compassion, understanding and mercy. He touched the downtrodden, uplifted the poor, healed the sick, and liberated the captives. His revolutionary model and practice turned the world upside down in a short period of time.

Jesus knew when to confront and when to forgive and when to do both at once. He had enormous self-awareness and self-control.  He could face the Roman and Jewish Courts with calm assurance when they threatened to kill Him. Yet, He turned the other cheek when defensiveness was a great temptation. 

Jesus had unique abilities to cure problems that would be difficult even today with our advanced medical information and technology. Just think how many insurance agencies would be willing to pay Him millions to heal their clients?  Jesus also focused on care for people. Power to heal the physically ill plus love to heal the soul.

Both of these abilities brought thousands to seek His touch. He would dominate the Nobel peace Prize nominations each year if he were alive today. In fact, the primary reason the civilized world promotes peace and good will is due to the legacy of Jesus. Both Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. tried to implement His teachings.

At the time he lived, Jesus was an anomaly. Cruelty and a callous disregard for women, children and the weak was the order of the day.  In fact, Herod decided to kill all the young children around Judea just to get rid of the baby Jesus.  No wonder people flocked to Jesus for wisdom, insight, love and compassion.  No wonder women and children ran to him. 

He was the light in a great darkness.  Even the Prophets of Old Testament and John the Baptist were known for harsh attacks on sinners but Jesus changed the content as well as the tone of the prophetic conversation.  A man like Jesus had never been seen before and his tenderness and the message behind it were desperately needed.

Yet, it was better for him to go away.

Disciples make Disciples

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

If you love Me, keep My commandments.

And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever--the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him. (NKJ)

 Jesus was the most brilliant man who ever walked the earth. Although He never took an Intelligence Test there is no doubt that His ability to think clearly was exceptional. Yet he said it was better that He should go away. How can that be?

The bell shaped curve is designed to indicate the statistical point that 50% of all humans are above the center point or Mean and 50% are below it on many attributes. There is supposedly a balance of rich and poor, pretty and ugly, motivated and unmotivated and also when it comes to intelligence.  Look around and you will see that Garrison Keiler’s weekly comment about Lake Woebegone is incorrect.  It is statistically impossible that all the children are above average.  According to the bell shaped curve, exactly 50% are above average and 50% are below average. Only about 1% of all people are at the highest level of the IQ scale so the number of certified geniuses among us is quite small. 

Unfortunately, in America a high IQ means one thing: An ability to remember book knowledge or theoretical knowledge. In the church we sometimes say a person is so “Heavenly minded they are no earthly good”. I attended graduate school with several persons who were brilliant in the theories of counseling and working with people. However, many of them had little if any practical ability to work with people in need. Theory without experience will always remain in the realm of doubt. More on this later.

What about Jesus? Where would he have fit into the world of intellect and the ability to remember essential information? What would have been his IQ score? Jesus would have blown the top off of the test and the bell would need to be expanded to include his abilities, gifts and talents. 

People who lead the churches of Jesus Christ need an average IQ. They need to think clearly and handle a lot of information.  All pastoral candidates need to be above average in IQ. We must know something about scripture, church history, the names and history of the congregation and its people as well as numerous other facts.  Knowledge about delivering good talks is essential as is the ability to motivate individuals to grow and change.  Perhaps no career has a higher demand for leaders who know how to develop, motivate and shape groups. This makes a high IQ important. No professional position I have been in requires as much mental power as the professional ministry.

Jesus was the greatest teacher, leader, motivator, change agent, caregiver, healer, and friend. Yet, He said that it was better if He went away.  He also said that if we believe in Him we would do greater things than He.  How can that be?

What a strange approach to genius.  Most brilliant leaders seem irreplaceable, but not Jesus. Instead of causing others to become dependent he did everything he could to delegate information, power and ministry.  As the world’s greatest leader he did not develop dependent followers but other leaders. Just imagine; Leaders making leaders! What a novel idea. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Great Relationships in Groups 2.

Leading a small group well is like being  parent. They each need to
Know when to hold em
Know when to fold em
Know when to walk away
And know when to RUN!

I personally like a group that is fairly well structured so everyone know what to expect and how to interact so everyone is blessed. I have a free video of Charlie McMahan and me teaching about the topic of Building One Another Up.Click Vimeo after you get to the web or go directly to the Vimeo here.  It might be worth your while to watch it if you want to be a blessing to others.

Monday, January 27, 2014

How To Effectively Lead Small Groups 1.

My time with the great people at Cuyahoga Valley Church was encouraging. They are, I believe, on the right track to build their people up in small groups. Small groups in churches can be very positive places for the members. When I began to consult with the Cell Movement in Asia they had a slogan that went something like this:

Small Groups are Powerful

I agree wholeheartedly with that assumption and slogan. After meeting with the leaders and getting better acquainted with them I made a suggestion that they alter that slogan just a small bit to say:

Small Groups are Powerfully Good or Powerfully Bad! 

One of my majors in college was "Small Group Dynamics". I had many hours of both theory and practice. In both I discovered that group life is like family life in that both have a more powerful impact than one person. As scripture says, "Death or life are in the power of the tongue". Group dynamics expand and magnify the power of the tongue. So, group relationships are destructive when dysfunctional. This is why training in great relationships is essential.

If you have not been trained in the most basic Life Giving Skills,  get trained soon or you will do more harm than good. Making Disciples is more complicated than making Friends on Facebook!

You can start by getting a PDF of Hope and Change for Humpty Dumpty.