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By May 16, 2024May 22nd, 2024No Comments

As a youngster, we often went out at night as a family to Dairy Queen to get soft ice cream. In the 60s and 70s the only place I knew of that served up soft ice cream was Dairy Queen. It was my dad’s favorite place, so it became our favorite. As I recall, if you said, “DQ” everyone assumed you meant Dairy Queen.

But I’m using DQ in a different way. As Liz and I were on a walk this week, I came up with this new identifier. So, if you don’t like it, blame me.

We have IQ (Intelligence Quotient), and EQ (Emotional Quotient), but I bet you haven’t heard of DQ. As I’m coining the term today, I’m abbreviating “Discipline Quotient” to DQ. I like it.

IQ vs. DQ

I believe DQ is more important than IQ. It’s my experience if you show me a person with a high IQ and a low DQ, and I will show you a man or woman who is going nowhere with their life. But if you show me an individual with a low IQ but a high DQ, and I’ll show you someone who is probably gainfully employed and, odds are, is headed in the right direction.

From Believer to Disciple

So, it should come as no surprise that Jesus told us to “go and make disciples” (high DQ) (Matthew 28:19-20), rather than “go and make smart converts” (high IQ). Jesus wasn’t looking for people who believed in Him (which is smart) as much as people who wanted to follow Him in a disciplined manner.

Jesus sure picked the right men for the job. Eleven of the twelve original disciples became so effective at reproducing His life and power to the world, that Asia Minor was “turned upside down” (Acts 17:6), within just a few years after Jesus ascended to heaven.

America doesn’t need more conversions as much as we need more disciplined men and women who can impact the world with God’s power and love. If we were to add up all the conversions that American Evangelists count for their crusades through the years, America has been converted about ten times over. But how many true disciples do we have in America? Not many.

The question becomes how do we develop a higher DQ as a Jesus follower? As a pastor, entrepreneur, former collegiate athlete, and coach, permit to put on my Coach Steve hat and give you five ways to grow your DQ.

How Do you Grow your DQ?

Growth Step 1: Discipline flows out of a Vision or Mission. If you’re content just being a believer in Jesus but not really a disciple of Jesus, then fine, there’s probably no need to grow your DQ. Read no more of this blog. But if you want to be set apart for God’s glory, if you want to truly make a positive spiritual impact in this world, then get a vision or mission for your life. The best vision or mission for your life is found in the best book ever written, the Bible. Find it there.

Growth Step 2: Discipline is Believing you can Change. Stand up. Yes, wherever you are reading this blog, stand up and look down. Draw an imaginary circle around yourself. That’s all you can change. You can’t change your wife, your girlfriend, or your kids. You can only change you! So, start today to change yourself—your thought life, your physical life, your relationships, and your spiritual life. If you’re not reading your Bible, then start reading your Bible. If you’re not working out, start working out. You can only change you. Stop trying to change everyone else and just change yourself.

Growth Step 3: Discipline is about Overcoming Resistance. The first resistance of your day is waking up. The absolute first thing that can change your life is that you get up early. The snooze button is your main dream killer. Get up early and start your day with a good habit. For me it’s working out. I get up between 5 and 6 am and work out.  After that I pray with Liz, read my Bible, and pray. That means I’ve already set the pace for the rest of my day by 7 am! If you can overcome resistance in one area, it will flow into other areas.

Growth Step 4: Discipline is Doing the Difficult. You have to develop confidence—God-confidence and self-confidence, by trying to do hard things and not quitting. Discipline is about discomfort and doing the uncomfortable things. This builds confidence. We don’t want to sweat and feel pain, but studies show that facing the difficult grows your brain and your mindset changes as a result.

Growth Step 5: Discipline brings Momentum. Keep doing it and you will get some momentum and it pumps you up. But it’s also true that being lazy, avoiding hard stuff can also gain momentum. I would venture to say, that today either you have healthy momentum or unhealthy momentum. Being a couch potato and being tired has momentum as much as being fired up for Jesus. Choose the momentum you want.

Final word, build your DQ. Start today. It’s up to you. You can’t blame anyone else. It’s up to you. Become a disciple of Jesus through building a high DQ. It could change your life.


Pastor Steve