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Leier Newsletter: March 2017 Part 1

Emotional intelligence ... again

According to the World Economic Forum's Future of Jobs Report, emotional intelligence (EI) will be the most important workplace skill by 2020. 75% of managers said they would rather promote someone with high EI than someone with a high IQ. Why do organisations put so much emphasis on EI? Here are a few of the most important reasons:

1. They can handle pressure correctly

In order to handle pressure in the workplace and to thrive under these conditions, we need to be able to manage our emotions. People with high EI are more aware of their internal thermometers, and it helps them to get a good grip on their stress levels. They usually also have healthy support systems that function well under difficult circumstances. The increasing rate at which the world is changing will inevitably increase stress. The value of those who can handle stress, will also increase.

2. They understand and cooperate with others

People with high EI are less defensive and more open to feedback. As teamwork becomes more important in the workplace, it is important to understand and cooperate with others. People with high EI are able to build meaningful relationships with different groups of people.

3. They are great listeners

Everyone wants to be heard and understood. The ability to listen well and to understand others, is essential for good relationships. People with high EI can push aside their own emotions and desires to focus on others' emotions and desires.

4. They are comfortable with feedback

Open, timely feedback is vital in order to function well. People with high EI are less defensive. They accept feedback, especially when it is aimed at areas they that can improve.

5. They have compassion

People with high EI easily shift their emotions and desires to the background to give attention to others. Cooperation requires that we react to our teammates' emotions. People with high EI are sensitive towards others and use this to build trust. Teams can focus on the task and don't get caught in infighting.

6. They set an example that others can follow

People with high EI aren't easily derailed when things don't work as planned. When others see this, they want to follow. EI is therefore the key to influencing others. The ability to rise above everyday frustrations earns respect from others.

7. They are better at making well-informed decisions

Because they are able to view issues from others' viewpoints, people with high EI can make better decisions. They understand the impact of their decisions on other people. It also leads to better damage control if decisions happen to have negative consequences.

A level 5 congregation

A 'level 5 congregation' are dedicated to multiplying on every level. The heart of such a congregation consists of disciples that make other disciples. This congregation lives to produce Christians, who then produce other Christians to be part of the local congregation. Bill Easum says the image of a level 5 congregation becomes clearer. The people in these congregations:

  • Understand that Jesus is the only authority in everything in their daily lives. This is the starting point in the creation of disciples. It eliminates the 'consumer mentality' that worries so many congregations.

  • See that God's kingdom is more important than the congregation. They see their congregation through the lens of God's kingdom. It eliminates petty fights in the congregation. They see all congregations as expressions of the Church.

  • Are active in their community, because they realise that their primary purpose – making disciples – requires closeness to their neighbours.

  • Share their faith with all their networks and lead people to Christ. They have progressed from spiritual formation to spiritual reproduction; from Bible study to Bible application; from teaching to following Jesus.

  • Live to plant new churches who will one day plant other churches. For these disciples, church is not merely a pleasant pastime; they don't worship out of duty or habit.

  • Change their communities both socially and spiritually. They are the congregation in the community.

According to Easum, we're seeing signs of these people in more and more congregations. He asks a number of questions:

  • Does your congregation mobilise people to fulfil their calling in the community and world rather than to fill vacancies in the church? Does the leader see him-/herself as the leader of the entire community or just of the local church?

  • Do leaders see the harvest and are they willing to release people, or are they only trying to gather more people?

Are there systems in place to support the huge task of Matthew 28?

  • Do you think and talk about the Church, or just about our congregation?

  • Do you expect everyone to be missionaries, or do you keep them captive behind the walls of the church?

  • Is there balance between life in the congregation and life as a missionary outside?

  • Is your focus on adding more people, or creating disciples who will in turn create other disciples?

  • Do you measure new converts and the number of people sent out into the world, or do you measure money and attendance?

  • Have you eliminated the leader/member gap, or do you expect the leader to look after all the members?

Assisted suicide

Lifeway Research recently asked the following question: 'If a person stands before a painful, terminal illness, is it acceptable to ask a doctor to help end his/her life?' 67% of Americans answered 'yes'. The same question was asked to Christians – 59% said 'yes'. According to traditional Christian principles, God alone holds the key to life and death.

Many believers in the USA feel it is okay for people to take their own lives if they wish. If they are faced with a slow, painful death, American Christians want options. One is to ask for help to die.

No-one wants to suffer. The whole creation, the entire human race, stumbles under the weight of sin and death (Romans 8). Of course we shouldn't seek out pain and suffering, but we should also not flee from it as if it has no point or purpose. In the Bible there are many references to the fruits of suffering.

  • And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. (1 Peter 5:10; NIV).

  • Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3 – 5; NIV).

  • I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18; NIV).

We usually look at the life of Job as an example of perseverance in the face of suffering. When his own wife told him: 'Curse God and die!', he answered: 'Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?' (2:10; NIV). This is not what we find in the church today. We are continually adjusting our views: we give the impression that we trust God and do his will, but we are less eager to follow Him into difficult situations.

'When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.' (Isiah 43:2 – 3).

Elizabeth Kübler-Ross

Dr. Kübler-Ross was a Swiss psychiatrist who started her career as an intern in a large hospital in the 1950s. As other doctors, she was appalled by the way staff handled terminally ill patients during long, tiring ward visits. They were often left to die alone. She started to simply sit by these patients' bedsides. She listened to their stories. She noted that they often felt peaceful after these visits. With time she learned how to handle the souls of these patients whose physical problems could no longer be solved. Other doctors referred their patients to her. In 1969 she published her work in the famous book On Death and Dying. This book changed the way the medical profession handles terminally ill patients.

Working in a small sphere of influence – an unknown, unimportant intern without any authority wouldn't let anything stop her. She reached the whole world, despite having only a few resources – her basic medical training, her talents, her passion, and her conscience. She sensed a great need. She used her meagre resources to satisfy this need.

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