No matter what field you’re in, understanding your Myers-Briggs type is helpful. But for people in ministry – a vocation that’s both social and task-oriented, regular and changing week to week – knowledge of personality type can make crucial differences in how we thrive among the various tasks we face.
Understanding your Myers-Briggs type can help in:
Learning how you’re wired to be energized.
A minister has both time alone and time with others; but some of us find energy in the solitary work – studying, prayer – while others find it in the counseling or Sunday morning greeting. An introvert facing a weekend conference will probably want to schedule some downtime in the following week; an extrovert may need to break up his study day with a lunch appointment to finish the afternoon strong. Knowing what energizes you helps prevent burnout and allows you to give of yourself as faithfully as each week requires.
Communication and decision-making among a ministry team.
The MBTI explains not only how people are energized but also how they deal with new ideas and new problems. That team member who shoots down all your big ideas with, “But how are we going to do that?” may not be a naysayer; she may just be a Senser. The staff person who comes across as tactless may or may not need some extra grace in his life; he may just be a Thinker instead of a Feeler. The Myers-Briggs can give insight into team dynamics that help us appreciate our differences and work together more effectively.
Making the most of the church body you serve.
As different parts of one body, each person brings different gifts and strengths to the table. Some people are wired to be up front as teachers, generals, or motivators; others serve quietly and faithfully behind the scenes for decades. You know that you don’t need a church of people exactly like you – you need people who are different, first to demonstrate the unity of diverse parts in Christ and second to actually accomplish the full scope of ministry. Look for people who aren’t like you, or maybe even aren’t like anyone in your ministry team. Tools like the MBTI can help you understand what they can do well and what makes them feel appreciated. This lens of seeing people can help you prepare your congregation to serve and employ them well so that they get even more joy out of their role in building up God’s church.
-- If you're interested in going through the MBTI assessment with your team, contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will get you in touch with our MBTI consultant, Allison Rhea!