IQ and CQ

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

An interesting phenomena is occurring in the United States. We are getting smarter, but at the same time we are declining in creative thinking.

IQ (intelligence quotient) test scores in the U.S. have increased by an average of three points per decade during the 20th century current generation should have IQ’s of more than 20 points above those of their grandparents.  This rise in IQ is also seen in Canada, Japan, China, Australia, and New Zealand.

U.S. Researchers at Duke University examined IQ tests of more than 1.7 million American 5th, 6th, and 7th graders between 1981 and 2010. The results showed a similar increase in IQ scores.

At the same time that IQ scores are on the rise, CQ (my symbol for creativity quotient) is going the other direction. The Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking indicate that creative abilities of American children have been trending downward for almost 20 years. This testing is based on young children’s ability to both come up with original ideas and put them into practice.

This downturn in CQ is affecting the American workplace. 85 percent of employers say they cannot find the right applicants for jobs that require creative thinking.

CQ is critical to make the gospel relevant in today’s culture. The message is always the same, but the methodologies of communicating the message must be more creative. I am all for us getting smarter, but it might be more critical for us to become more creative!

Read Luke 5:15-26. Some intelligent guys saw a man who needed to meet Jesus. They were smart enough to figure out a way to carry him to a public meeting place. When they discovered that the crowds were so big that they couldn’t get near Jesus, they didn’t just put him down and say that they had done the best they could. They stared thinking creatively!

They went up and dug a hole through the roof. They lowered the man to Jesus and the man was healed.

Many of us quit when we face an obstacle. They began to think creatively and figured out a way to get the job done.

People today need to come to Jesus. We need to quit complaining about the obstacles and start doing better creative thinking. I believe that the higher our IQ, the more our creative thinking can be utilized!

I have been in a lot of churches this past year where people are doing creative ministries. They are reaching people that most folks said couldn’t be reached. They are developing creative ministries that are getting people to Jesus. And when people get to Jesus, they are healed and made whole!

While working with many churches, I have learned that people who just want to do things they way they have always done them spend a lot of time talking and discussing about how tough things are. I have met other people who acknowledge the challenge, but then begin asking God to lead them to a creative way to overcome the obstacle.

It’s not IQ vs. CQ, but rather using our increased intelligence to be more creative.

Are you ready to put some holes in the roof?


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