24
Jun

Slow Reader Friday: SoulTypes

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You’d think that a Christian, who also holds a bachelor’s and master’s in psychology would have thought of this: apply Myers-Briggs typology to church ministry. But nope, I’m not that bright!

For those unfamiliar with the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI), it is widely-used to place people into one of 16 different personality types based on four different aspects of behavior. As with most such tests, each personality type has a particular set of likes and dislikes.

Hirsh and Kise (the authors of SoulTypes) take it a step further and list how each personality type would prefer to deepen their faith. For some it’s doing outreach or mission work. For others it’s practicing religious rituals from the Christian faith tradition. For still others it could be innovative ways of learning about God.

If you’ve ever wondered why the things that “trip your trigger” religiously don’t seem to interest your fellow parishioners and church members, here’s the answer: They don’t have the same personality type as you! I think this answers the question as to why some of us are Methodists; some are Catholics and some are Assembly of God. We all find meaning in certain traditions, innovations and service characteristic of these denominations.

However, we should remember that not everyone in our churches neatly fits into the denomination’s normal practices and we should try to have a wide variety of opportunities for people to find that meaning for themselves. While this is a huge programming challenge, particularly for small churches, it would probably attract more people into our sanctuaries who have traditionally been irritated by some of our insistence on doing things a certain way.

I felt that Hirsh and Kise made this book more complicated than it had to be and that much of it was very formulaic and repetitive writing (probably because my personality type likes innovation!), but the information is valuable in thinking through how one can effectively minister to a wide variety of personality types.

This entry was posted on Friday, June 24th, 2016 at 2:04 pm and is filed under Slow Reader Friday. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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