Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Learning Journal 3 - Personality Type

All ordinands get the opportunity to assess themselves according to the Myers-Briggs personality type indicator. This is a tool which is offered in order to help us with self-understanding and with how we relate to others. My results show that I am an INFP (Introverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, Perceiving). There are no great shocks here, although I was slightly surprised to see how high I was on the introvert scale. This does not mean that I am not a people person, but it does mean that I tend to get my energy, or recharge my batteries, by spending time away from the crowds. If I am not careful, people may burn me out.

There are two possible approaches to this personality-type result. One is to accept that this is how God has made me, to recognise what is true of me in this personality type and to take this into account in the way I work with people. The other is to recognise that personality type is not set in stone, that it is not a straightjacket or an excuse. People change over time, and we have to allow for the grace of God to develop our personalities in ways which may surprise us.

At college, my introversion seems to have been highlighted by the fact that most ordinands tend to be more on the extrovert side. It is a temptation for me to look around and compare myself to others and feel that I am too quiet or not dynamic enough to be a leader in the church. I need to remind myself that if God has called me to this ministry he can work with my personality type and equip me for what he has called me to do. Having said that, this will have obvious implications for my future ministry. I will need to build time into my schedule, not only for spending time with my family, but for retreat and reflection.

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