Send Me Your Stories: Christianity and MBTI Types

I have a blog post (or more likely series) that I’d really like to write and I need your help.

When I started this blog, I worried it would seem like an awkwardly smooshed together amalgam of INFJ blog and Christian blog. You’re supposed to find a niche or theme of some kind and focus your blogging there. Not start two blogs on the same site and post one on Mondays and one on Saturdays. But I felt this what what I should do and so I did. And it’s been wonderful.

I’ve heard from so many INFJs who find my blog through the Myers-Briggs posts and then comment because they discovered I’m Christian. I’ve also heard from other types. Most surprisingly, quite a large number of NTs want to talk about their faith. It’s been fascinating to hear from the types stereotyped as the least religious. Many talk about the challenges they face, especially in connecting with other Christians or in feeling like their faith walk doesn’t follow the “normal” pattern.Send Me Your Stories: Christianity and MBTI Types | marissabaker.wordpress.com

That has me wondering: if Christianity is a faith meant for all people then why aren’t we doing a better job of connecting with all personality types? It’s a very broad generalization, but most Christians in the United States seem to be Sensing types and/or Feeling types. And that’s who many churches cater toward. They’re focusing on the sort of traditions that make SJ types comfortable, or trying to engage SP types in sensory worship experiences, or appealing to the spiritual interests of a few NF types.

I firmly believe God created personality variations for a reason and that He longs for a relationship with all people. There are already Christians of every personality type who have strong walks with God. But they’re not all equally valued and understood in the churches. And I’d very much like to start changing that.

My Questions For You

Here’s where you guys come in. I want to hear from Christians of as many different personality types as possible. If you want to contribute and don’t know your personality type yet, please check out my post Finding Your Real Myers-Briggs Type (if you can’t narrow it down to a single type or just want to take one online test instead of researching typeology in-depth, that’s okay. I’d still love to hear from you).

I’m asking you to please share your personality type and answer some (or all, if you like) of these questions:

  • Which Bible characters and/or stories do you most identify with?
  • Do you have gifts or talents that you feel are not appreciated or that you don’t have an opportunity to use in the church?
  • Do you have gifts or talents that are particularly encouraged and supported in the church?
  • Are there expectations from other Christians that you have a hard time meeting because of how your mind naturally works?
  • Which teaching/preaching styles connect with you best? How do you like to hear and learn about God and His word?
  • In what ways could the church better connect with someone like you when preaching the gospel?
  • What’s one of the biggest challenges you face as a Christian?
  • Why are you a Christian? In other words, what makes you believe this faith is the right one?

You can either leave a comment here or send me a private message through my Contact Me form. Unless you tell me otherwise, I’ll assume that by getting in touch you agree I can quote you directly and credit you by first name (or screen name) and Myers-Briggs type.

Please spread this around! The more people sending in their ideas and perspectives the better. Hopefully we’ll get enough feedback for several posts. Maybe it will even grow into an ebook. I can’t wait to read what you all have to say!

Updates — I’ll post links to the posts here as I finish them:

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51 thoughts on “Send Me Your Stories: Christianity and MBTI Types

  1. To begin, I am an INFJ and someone who is Highly Sensitive (also a Canadian from the west coast), the answers to these questions will be coming from that standpoint.

    1) Which Bible characters and/or stories do you most identify with?
    I would say I identify with David the most. His emotion portrayed through the Psalms and some OT stories resonate in my heart, especially that of love for God, the Scriptures, and pains of stress under sin and oppression. The way in which he responds to certain situations are very similar to how I’ve responded to mine relate as well. His desire to maintain loyalty with people who hurt (to the extent of killing) him, and the way he repents to God for his horrendous sins.

    2) Do you have gifts or talents that you feel are not appreciated or that you don’t have an opportunity to use in the church?
    No. If anything it is that I am afraid of what some people my think in what gifts and talents I do possess and unsure with how to correctly use them depending on what I am involved with ministry wise. For example: I am capable of perceiving the emotions of others, and sometimes to the extent that I can feel them as if they were my own. In the cases of ministry, if I am doing Youth/Teen ministry in the church and I get emotional and express it through crying, I fear people will think I am incapable to lead or teach because of my expressed emotions or they will less them in saying, “Oh she’s a girl, of course she’s going to cry.” Has anyone actually done or said these things? No. Yet, it is a fear I possess.

    3) Do you have gifts or talents that are particularly encouraged and supported in the church?
    Singing has been a gift that has been utilized at the church I currently attend (Fellowship Baptist). People have told me that they are “happy” or “delighted” to see me singing with the worship team, I think due to the fact they’ve seen me grow up in that particular church and enjoy seeing me get involved.

    4) Are there expectations from other Christians that you have a hard time meeting because of how your mind naturally works?
    Not from specific people, but there is a general tension with the mentality that ministry is an extraverted endeavour. Over the time spent at a Briercrest (a Bible College in Canada), I found out how introverted I was, being an INFJ, and discovered that once a week I require a “no people day.” This was hard to come to terms with because I love youth ministry, working with and helping people, encouraging those who are downhearted, and discovering that to be my best functioning person requires me to withdraw deeply upset me. Sometimes explaining to people that I need to leave because “I’m done peopling,” can be a funny and cut the conversation short defence that saves explaining further my need to recharge… but I do fear in saying even that much because ministry involves being involved with people… how can I do that if I need to take almost more than 24 hours to recharge and recover if I’m drawn to ministry? I’ve come to terms with it more but it still can be a struggle.

    5) Which teaching/preaching styles connect with you best? How do you like to hear and learn about God and His word?
    The best example I can think of is how John Piper does some of his sermons online. He explains the Bible passage, has the camera show the various highlighting of words, phrases, sentences, and how they connect – so visual aspect Is how I connect. Also his passion expressed in talking about Scripture, God, an various topics in his sermons has always been a draw for me.
    I love when preachers, not just John Piper, are able to exegete a passage of Scripture well, reveal the character of God through it, and FIND APPLICATION for our daily lives.

    6) In what ways could the church better connect with someone like you when preaching the gospel?
    Always, ALWAYS, talk about the mercy and grace of God. There are two types of people in the world that my Hebrew Professor at Briercrest mentioned, people who need to know the wrath of God, and people who need to know the grace of God. I am the type that needs to know of God’s grace every single day.

    7) What’s one of the biggest challenges you face as a Christian?
    Evangelism. I struggle with this time and time again. I often look back on conversations (sometimes that just happened moments ago) and kick myself for saying one thing and not saying something else.
    In a ministry setting, my mind works fast, and able to think of the right thing to say, or how to conduct myself depending on the situation. Outside the church I am like a fish out of water, and unsure how to be fully honest about my beliefs while at the same time aware of where the other person is coming from.

    8) Why are you a Christian? In other words, what makes you believe this faith is the right one?
    I tend to take a Calvinistic approach to this and say I am a christian because God chose me and I responded to his promptings.
    There is no other god that I am aware of that has the willingness to be patient in this process of sanctification, is willing to be inmate in this relationship, and was willing to be the one to initiate the relationship through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus.
    Scripture, the Bible, which is used to reveal the character of God to us, is true that it is “alive and active” (Hebrews 4:12). I will reread various books in it and find things that I did not see before or becomes affirmed by again, which often draws me to repentance or praise… because God, by His Holy Spirit, has revealed those things to me.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I am a Christian INFJ

    Q: Which Bible characters and/or stories do you most identify with?
    A: The Older Brother in the story of the Prodigal Son. I want things to be as I perceive as fair–to a fault. I also identify somewhat with the Israelites in the wilderness who were critical and ungrateful, continually forgetting God’s blessings. However, Joseph (Jacob’s son) and King David inspire me most.

    Q: Do you have gifts or talents that you feel are not appreciated or that you don’t have an opportunity to use in the church?
    A: I’m not sure if this answers this question in the way you intended, but I would say that my calling as a mother who homeschools seems to be undervalued. It appears that the ministries that take place within the church walls or even in the community (volunteer work at a pregnancy center, for example) are seen as more important than ministry that takes place within the home. Pressure is sometimes put on stay-at-home mothers to do more “church” work even when it could interfere with their work at home.

    Q: Do you have gifts or talents that are particularly encouraged and supported in the church?
    A: I play piano, and sometimes fill in for the primary pianist. At this time in my church if there is no pianist, the congregation would have to sing a cappella; so this skill is encouraged to prevent a cappella singing.

    Q: Are there expectations from other Christians that you have a hard time meeting because of how your mind naturally works?
    A: The expectation to be extroverted is present, and I am fairly introverted. Also, I like to discuss in-depth, sometimes controversial topics and have been met with opposition because people often assume talking about anything “controversial” is akin to fighting or criticizing; or they aren’t interested in seeing things from a different perspective and don’t want to challenge themselves intellectually. Really, I just want to refine my ideas and understand the other side of things in a friendly manner.

    Q: Which teaching/preaching styles connect with you best? How do you like to hear and learn about God and His word?
    A: I love anything that gets to the heart of the issue. I don’t tend to enjoy emotional or charismatic styles of preaching. I do appreciate metaphors and other illustrations.

    Q: In what ways could the church better connect with someone like you when preaching the gospel?
    A: By focusing on the heart of issues–getting beneath the surface of sins to expose their motives really engages my mind and motivates me to grow.

    Q: What’s one of the biggest challenges you face as a Christian?
    A: Getting out of my comfort zone by intentionally engaging others during a worship service. Something about a room full of people makes me shut down a little. In addition, Evangelicalism has, I think, falsely claimed that everyone ought to be out in the world vocally evangelizing even though evangelism is a *gift* and most people are not gifted with it! Doing what I am called to do (mothering) instead of evangelizing sometimes brings criticism upon myself from other evangelicals.

    Q: Why are you a Christian? In other words, what makes you believe this faith is the right one?
    A: I grew up attending an evangelical church, but by middle school rejected what I was taught. My journey to belief was somewhat like the humbling of Nebuchadnezzar’s. Everything I valued most–my talents and relationships with friends and family–was taken away from me over the course of 3 years until I was in deep depression waiting to die. Then, one afternoon while I was sitting on my bed God quickened me. I can’t explain it, but immediately I loved God and knew He loved me and my desires started to be conformed to His. It really was the Holy Spirit, of course. As another commenter mentioned, I don’t believe I chose Christianity–in fact I nearly hated it and despised the external shows put on by many I saw in the Church. Having been dead, and then made alive–blind, but now seeing, I cannot help but believe Christianity is the true faith, and because of the way in which God drew me to Himself–where it was 100% His doing–I cannot doubt His Word which says that Jesus is the only way to the Father, meaning all other faiths must be false.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi JayLee 🙂 Thanks for commenting!
      I’ve struggled with what you mentioned about conversations, too. Sometimes I just want to talk about why we do/believe something in one way and not another, and people assume I’m attacking them. I really just wanted to understand more deeply, honest!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, JayLee. I like more intellectual teaching, too, but metaphors really cement the teaching. For example, Frank Peretti’s “Chair Sermon”–you’d probably get a lot out that one.

      You are much better at directly expressing very difficult concepts. “Quickening.” I love that. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Infj here. I think I identify the most with the book of ecclesiasties. Because it deals so realistically with meaning and the search for fulfillment and purpose in life by the wisest man, Solomon. And of course because it concludes so straightforwardly what it means to be human, fear God and keep his commandments. In true infj fashion I am a bit different. Not growing up in any particular church I was taught the word of God at home, and I feel that I have been able to explore my spirituality freely. Intuition and God being my guide. I began receiving the good news magazine from the united church of God as a new mother and have found myself in the last ten years or so on a journey to the Jewish roots of Christianity. As an infj I am indeed a very private person and maybe even have a few personal obstacles that keep me from attending any organized religion. Though I struggle without the benefits of a like minded community. For me authenticity is I believe the most important thing especially in regards to all things spiritual. And so a return to the original idea, original practice and thought means everything to me. Any preaching or communication of Gods truth and gospel must be relaxed and natural and verifiable biblically and secularly and by faith. I’d say apart from fellowship, a big challenge for me as a Christian is identifying as one. Since it tends to be such an umbrella term and I find myself identifying more with the beliefs of the messianic community. Still it has indeed become a real central part of me to follow Jesus the messiah, because he is my hope for a better world where the truth of God covers the world like water! Thank you for allowing me to share 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story, Sarah! I really sympathize with what you said about identifying at Christian. I’m never sure what to tell people when they ask. I definitely consider myself a Christian, but always feel the need to explain what kind. Lately I’ve been telling people I’m Messianic and then going into more detail if they seem interested.

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  4. I came out as Memory/Effectiveness:
    Strengths:
    Endlessly responsible
    Maintain systems and keep things going
    Levelheaded

    Weaknesses:
    Suspicious of new concepts and solutions
    Can be prideful and unbending
    May get stuck in a rut

    I’m not sure what INFJ or NT stand for so I’ll not say which I am. I was in a church that kept the Sabbath and Holy Days and have stayed with that belief system even tho that church organization no longer exists.

    Which Bible characters and/or stories do you most identify with? Esther.

    Do you have gifts or talents that you feel are not appreciated or that you don’t have an opportunity to use in the church? Even tho I’m quite intelligent and would love the opportunity to discuss rather deep biblical things, many church groups that I’ve met with still tend to think that women should keep their mouths shut.

    Do you have gifts or talents that are particularly encouraged and supported in the church? My musical abilities.

    Are there expectations from other Christians that you have a hard time meeting because of how your mind naturally works? I have a difficult time expressing myself without being forceful so I tend to avoid expressing myself. Which means I don’t say much when I probably should say something.

    Which teaching/preaching styles connect with you best? How do you like to hear and learn about God and His word? I enjoy someone who is prepared but can break the mold and interact with how the audience is reacting to what he/she is saying.

    In what ways could the church better connect with someone like you when preaching the gospel? Not be so rigid in how it presents things.

    What’s one of the biggest challenges you face as a Christian? Displaying my faith. I don’t shy away from saying I’m a Christian but I don’t proclaim it out loud from the rooftops either. I try to live as a Christian and make sure that my actions reflect my faith — I “let my light shine”.

    Why are you a Christian? In other words, what makes you believe this faith is the right one? I was born into a Christian family, did my best to prove it when I got older and believe that the Bible is the Word of God.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for commenting Yvonne 🙂 Memory/Effectiveness corresponds to ISTJ type (if you’re wondering)
      Ah, yes. The “women should keep their mouths shut” argument. So frustrating. That’s one reason I started blogging.There are plenty of women in the Bible who were praised for not staying silent, like Ester and the prophetesses. Why don’t people think we can (even should) be like those women?

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  5. My name is Patricia, and I am an INFP female, Asian-American Christian. Thanks so much for your interesting and helpful blog posts!!

    ———————————————————————————————————————–
    1. Which Bible characters and/or stories do you most identify with?

    I identify most with Jesus’ disciples Paul and John in the New Testament because they show both the values-driven determination and authenticity of my INFP personality respectively.

    Paul was passionate and courageous in the way he communicated in his letters, venturing out of his country in order to build up the foundations of the early Christian Church. John, on the other hand, comes across as naturally intuitive in the way he portrayed Christ in the Gospel of John and in Revelation (my guess is that Mark was more of a sensor in the way he focused on Christ’s miracles in his letter), and I think that this may be one of the reasons why he was described as the “disciple who Christ loved” (not because he was better than the other disciples, but because his introverted intuition allowed him to understand and respond to God’s Word with unique emotional depth).

    2. Do you have gifts or talents that you feel are not appreciated or that you don’t have an opportunity to use in the church?

    I used to love teaching Sunday School to elementary school children when I was a teenager, but now as a young adult I am reluctant to get involved in the planning or carrying out of church activities because of past negative experiences with church politics.

    3. Do you have gifts or talents that are particularly encouraged and supported in the church?

    I felt most at home during prayer times at church. I like the silence, and the quiet communion I feel simply being around other people who are also praying. I know that prayer is powerful – not because someone is “good at praying aloud” – but because it reminds us to be responsive and dependent on the all-powerful, loving God who created us.

    I also think that introverted intuition helps with evangelism. I feel like I can predict how a non-believer would respond to God, and how God would move in his or her life if given the chance.

    4. Are there expectations from other Christians that you have a hard time meeting because of how your mind naturally works?

    Even when I know how important it is to get to know other Christians well by spending time with them, it can be very draining for me (I get social hangovers).

    5. Which teaching/preaching styles connect with you best? How do you like to hear and learn about God and His word?

    I learn about God’s Word best on my own, and then when I listen to lecture-like sermons or attend small-group seminars/discussions at church, taking in that information then simply reinforces, challenges and refines what I learned on my own (I am also in a better position to contribute to small-group discussion having studied on my own – especially when communicating with thinkers, who like to debate).

    When I first became a Christian in my pre-teens, I devoured lots of biblical material in my own time, which provided a foundation from which I now as a young adult spend moments reflecting on biblical concepts in response to what happens in my life.

    6. In what ways could the church better connect with someone like you when preaching the gospel?

    I don’t think that the church needs to make an effort to connect with me, but that is my personal responsibility as a Christian to make an effort to connect with the church, imperfect and diverse as it is.

    As for the church connecting with non-believers of different personalities, I think that this is the strength of having diverse church members who can, in their own way, share God’s love with others.

    7. What’s one of the biggest challenges you face as a Christian?

    When I go through bouts of depression in response to stress in my life, I lose sight of who God is (God’s continual provision for me, and the hope that He gives me simply from being present). I do not become angry at Him, or unaware of His presence, but I become distracted and confused in my own negative feelings.

    8. Why are you a Christian? In other words, what makes you believe this faith is the right one?

    I think that there are many factors affecting my growth as a Christian (supportive parents, Christian friends, living in a country with freedom of religious expression), but as for why I am one in the first place – it is hard for me to say. I can relive the events almost a decade ago that lead to me praying for God to be a part of my life, and the resolve I felt afterwards to commit myself to him, but that circumstance then was not the reason why I am a Christian today (in a similar way in which simply being born into a culturally Christian family does not make an individual child a Christian).

    A Christian is someone who has the Holy Spirit living inside of them and working in their lives. I know that I am one (perhaps intuitively), and maybe a sensor or thinker could point how it plays out in my life tangibly, but I don’t pay attention to that. I just trust in God’s sovereignty, and carry on with my life, with hope that He knows best for me, and thankfulness that He is a part of my life.

    ———————————————————————————————————————-

    Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Patricia 🙂 Thank you so much for commenting and sharing your story!
      John’s probably the Bible person I most identify with, too. He seems like a strong intuitive to me and I really connect with his writings.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Patricia. If I may, I would like to encourage you not to allow church politics to drive you away from what you enjoy doing. It’s tough to trust people, so trust God to put you where He wants you. He is faithful beyond your imaginings.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I nearly wept when I found your blog. You are an answer to prayer. I’m happy to (at least try) to help. So, here goes…

    I am an INFJ Christian law student from a small rural town in Washington State. I’m a wife, a mother and grandmother, and have six cats.

    • Which Bible characters and/or stories do you most identify with?

    I identify most with Rahab because she was an idolater who was saved when she trusted God. Not only that, but because of that decision, she was given a place in the line of Christ. I, too, was an idolater, but when I trusted Christ, God adopted me into His household. Now I’m a princess in the royal house of God.

    • Do you have gifts or talents that you feel are not appreciated or that you don’t have an opportunity to use in the church?

    I am a watch(man) on the wall, and people don’t listen because I cannot explain my process. God rescued me from witchcraft, so my church is afraid of my testimony.

    • Do you have gifts or talents that are particularly encouraged and supported in the church?

    I am an aspiring prayer warrior, which is to say I know the power of prayer. I just don’t pray as much as I should. I am also a consummate student of the Word. I love scripture! Because I love it, when I discover something new, I can’t help but…well…gush. Finally, and most blessedly, I have been given the spiritual gift of faith. I hold on because I trust God to be God. I’ve found out that others are inspired by my stand.

    • Are there expectations from other Christians that you have a hard time meeting because of how your mind naturally works?

    This is an interesting question because I am not really in tune with the expectations of others. However, I would say if anything causes issues, it’s got to be my slow processing and lack of skill in extemporaneous speech. I think sometimes people think I’m not too bright. It makes them wonder whether they can depend on me.

    • Which teaching/preaching styles connect with you best? How do you like to hear and learn about God and His word?

    The more scripture, the better. I like exegesis, especially when the sermon ends with the Gospel. I get a lot out of Beth Moore studies with a small group of ladies. Right now, I am hand-copying the scriptures. I pray that God will write the words into my brain and knit them into my soul and spirit as I write them.

    • In what ways could the church better connect with someone like you when preaching the gospel?

    The church should take into account that the congregation is made up of introverts, too. Personally, I like something to chew on. Too many churches now are enamored of programs. It’s frustrating to me because God’s word is sufficient for all.

    • What’s one of the biggest challenges you face as a Christian?

    I cannot be silent when it comes to what I care about (and I care about a lot). Facebook is a trap for me. I am uncompromising in my beliefs where I have investigated the scriptures regarding a matter, and I will not say what is wrong is right. That’s less and less popular, even in the church. I may be seen as arrogant because of that. I feel deep compassion, but have difficulty conveying it, so my compassion is often seen as judgment. How dare I believe someone’s actions are going to hurt him or her?

    • Why are you a Christian? In other words, what makes you believe this faith is the right one?

    I’m a Christian because Jesus rescued me and gave me a new heart. I see the evidence everywhere of God—untamable; inestimable; holy, holy, holy (holiest of holy holies). How could I do anything but worship Him? I know Christianity is the right faith because I have seen the wrong religions and felt their emptiness and frustration. Christianity is the only faith that does not rely upon finite man, who clearly cannot get the job done.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am Brian. INFP male. 24.

    1. Which Bible characters and or stories do you most identify with?
    My all time favorite books for sure are Proverbs and Revelations. Definitely the wisdom books and the books of prophecy. But those two are my favorite. Proverbs cause I can just find so much to apply to my life to grow inside as a person, mentally, spiritually, intellectually. I just feel like its a fountain of knowledge. The whole bible is but this ones my favorite. Revelations for its lively metaphorical (or real) descriptions of whats to come, celestial, and spiritual beings. It paints such wonderful pictures for me that really differ from reality (our reality) and it fascinates me. My friends are personally scared of this book in particular and I can see why but its such a mysterious frightning window that I love to peak through.
    Characters are a hard one. I love Enoch and Elijah because I am always baffled by the fact that they were taken up and allowing them to avoid death. I always ask myself. What did they do that God just wanted them. I know we an read more on Elijah than Enoch but these two are very interesting to me. I can’t say I really have a favorite. I find interest in a few that aren’t really talked about. Lazarus being one of them. How deep was his relationship with Jesus. Jeremiah. How did he endure all those years telling Israel to turn from their ways.
    I think though. From very little. The prophets have grabbed my attention the most.

    2. Do you have gifts or talents that you feel are not appreciated or that you don’t have an opportunity to use in the church?
    Physical talents? I feel like the arts and creativity isn’t very, not accepted but looked at as an essential gift in my church. I love doing dramas and doing skits but they usually want these things to be done within a short amount of time. Im an artist myself ( pen, pencil, paint) and I would love to use my gift for skits, dramas, theater but art isn’t something you can really just snap your fingers to and it’ll happen. People think (at least in my church) that any form of art, whether performing, Visual, or Musical can just happen and it doesn’t. it requires a lot of thought, set up, and practice.

    Spiritual Gift is also there. I tend not to speak too much of these for different denominations think differently of these. But likewise in this area, I feel like people are afraid of the spiritual gifts the holy spirit has to offer in my own church.

    3. Do you have gifts or talents that are particularly encouraged and supported in the church?
    My artistic abilities get used once in a while on some events. My skills are more supported. I like taking pictures, and so I am encouraged to do so, so people can see and be given mementos of when I take them and stuff like that. I am computer savvy and I am used in the sound room for anything computer related so I feel useful there. Its a constant ministry so It does make me feel useful and like I am giving in a way.

    4. Which teaching/preaching styles connect with you best? How do you like to hear and learn about God and His word?
    I love to read myself. Read, read, read. I love a preacher that isn’t screaming the word into my ears. I love people who connect and speak directly into my life. I feel like, whether they be feeling types or not, if they can get in touch with the holy spirit they will preach a message that is beneficial to any receiving person. Also, Teacher Preachers. I love Preachers that are able to give different perspectives into a verse or story that I had never been able to look at that way before.

    5. In what ways could the church better connect with someone like you when preaching the gospel? I think as long as the preacher is anointed by the spirit, the spirit will call my spirit. the church coooould maybe set more strict rules on the respect the house of the Lord needs. No phones, and no talking. My personal pet peeve (no talking to me while im praying unless one absolutely needs me. If it can wait, It can wait. But again. Personal.)

    6. What’s one of the biggest challenges you face as a Christian?

    I think being able to just out of the blue talk to someone about the gospel. I would love to tell everyone but don’t want to seem like Im forcing anything down. I respect people and their current beliefs, but I feel like the times we are in today don’t allow for much “growing” in “what” is correct. It’s more of a “live, and let live” sort of moto for the world now and no one really wants to be told they’re wrong.
    The same way if someone bashes my belief its hard for me to say something. Although I’m getting better at it as I grow and time goes by, Would love to be confident in my person to defend my belief. “I just don’t want trouble” is mostly what runs through my head.

    On a personal level. I battle with evil on a daily basis. What the world sees as okay today if I were to do and I do sometimes, kills me, and I beat myself up so much for it. Lately I have been very good about applying the knowledge that Jesus has my sins covered and I should not worry but theres always that regret.

    I think this scriptures explains my internal battle to a t.

    Romans 7:15-20

    15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

    And theres always a fear that I might cross the line one day. Not that God will not forgive me, because I know he will, but that I won’t forgive myself.

    7. Why are you a Christian? In other words, what makes you believe this faith is the right one?

    I was just listening to a teaching on this today actually. I agreed with all of it. I cannot NOT believe after what I have been taught and read myself. After questioning and doubting God and God revealing himself to me in many ways. I love him because he first chose me, and if he first chose me then what “choice” do I have against that.
    Simply, I believe, because he has called me to believe.

    I sorta felt like I came off as ranting, but I do love my church, I just wish some of the elders would be more “artsy” i guess so they would understand where Im coming from. I know with help form God he will lead me and them alike. I hope this helped.
    Also, Please forgive any misspelling, grammar or just bad writing. First off, I’m not very good at grammar, and My baby brother kept on talking to me while I was doing this so my mind was trying its hardest to focus. haha.

    God Bless you friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Brian 🙂 I love Romans 7. It’s so encouraging to know even the apostle Paul went through struggles like that with his faith and battling sin in his life. Always nice to know it’s not just us, right?

      Me too about preachers screaming. They could be sharing the most edifying, inspired message ever but raised voices make it impossible for me to relax and concentrate.

      I wish we did talk about spiritual gifts more. The churches I’ve been in generally believe most of them still exist (except speaking in tongues; that one freaks some people out). But we don’t often talk about how to discover and use them.

      Thank you so much for commenting! And don’t worry about the grammar (I thought your comment was well written, actually). I know how distracting little siblings can be 🙂

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  8. I’m asking you to please share your personality type and answer some (or all, if you like) of these questions:
    INFP

    Which Bible characters and/or stories do you most identify with? As weird as it sounds, the character I totally relate to the most is Gomer in the book of Hosea. She never realized what she had, messed it up multiple times, and still received unconditional love.
    Do you have gifts or talents that you feel are not appreciated or that you don’t have an opportunity to use in the church? Not that I know of. Sometimes, due to my age (I’m 24) I feel like people don’t really listen to what I have to say, but I think that comes with the territory
    Do you have gifts or talents that are particularly encouraged and supported in the church? I sing, and I’m asked to perform special songs
    Are there expectations from other Christians that you have a hard time meeting because of how your mind naturally works? Not that I know of
    Which teaching/preaching styles connect with you best? How do you like to hear and learn about God and His word? The method in which I learn best is actually through music. Hearing just the right hymn or worship song can completely shift my mood
    In what ways could the church better connect with someone like you when preaching the gospel?
    What’s one of the biggest challenges you face as a Christian? Socializing with people in my age group. Most of my friends are at least ten years older than me
    Why are you a Christian? In other words, what makes you believe this faith is the right one? Science. Everything points to creation, despite what the world says. Furthermore, I’ve met God, and he’s met me in my darkest moments.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for commenting, Dara! Gomer’s not the first character I would have thought of people picking for that question, but it doesn’t really sound weird to me. I love the book of Hosea and God’s message of unfailing love for His people.

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    • Dara, have you read “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers? It’s a retelling of Gomer and Hosea’s story set during the California gold rush. I just finished it and thought about your comment. I very much enjoyed the book — it’s well-written, faithful, and encouraging with a gripping story.

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  9. INFJ, I’m from Prague, Czech Republic (central Europe). I’m used to say I’m a Christian but I haven’t been baptized yet (I will be in June) – all my relatives (same as 80% of people in my country) are atheists

    Which Bible characters and/or stories do you most identify with?
    Mary of Magdala. Women healed from her misery not because of acting well but through the mercy of Jesus. She was given much greater love and grace than she deserved. And Paul of Tarsus. Christ revealed to him in spite of his hating and anti-christian fanaticism. Then he felt strong need to spread his message.

    Do you have gifts or talents that you feel are not appreciated or that you don’t have an opportunity to use in the church?
    I probably have some “talents” I’m not very happy about because I think I can’t use them for God but it is probably not what this question is about.

    Do you have gifts or talents that are particularly encouraged and supported in the church?
    I love work with the Scripture as looking for new encouragement and arguments for my faith. I also feel more sure when I remember specifically where is something written. I also an debating type of Christian, I feel some “need” to ask all people for their life opinion and reasons for it and defending the Truth of Christianity. I’m always looking for more and more arguments and sources of faith.

    Which teaching/preaching styles connect with you best? How do you like to hear and learn about God and His word?
    I like debating about something in a group of Christian after everyone studies something about it for a while.

    What’s one of the biggest challenges you face as a Christian?
    When I become a Christian, it was difficult to tell people around me about it. The fist person who asked me was a Christian (INTJ) classmate, I had been a Christian for nearly a year this time. Half a year after that I told my parents and another year later a started going to the church. They had (and still have) a problem with it.

    Why are you a Christian? In other words, what makes you believe this faith is the right one?
    I was raised in very anti-christian and anti-religious context but since my childhood I have been mad into history. The sureness of Christians ready even to die for their faith is everywhere in history. I was both scared and fascinated. So I studied a lot about Christianity and red the Gospel. I found so many proves (mainly historical) that this faith is right. And I also felt that the teaching of Jesus is exactly what I was looking for. But today the historical and other proves are not my main assurance. Today I simply believe in Christ because I know him.

    I sorry for so many mistakes I must have done, my English is horrible

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oooo, Prague! I’m always happy when I hear from readers outside the U.S. (not that other comments aren’t exciting, but it’s cool to know my blog is being read worldwide). No need to apologize for your English – it’s good 🙂

      I loved reading your story. I often marvel at the different tools God uses to call us into relationship with Him. History offers such a powerful testimony of God’s presence, as do the Christians who’ve died (and are dying today) for their faith.

      Thanks so much for your comment!

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  10. Hello Marissa! interesting subjects, thanks for giving us the opportunity to share. I am INFJ, I’ve known for 7yrs and went beyond the letters to really see how the functions work in my life, and I’m pretty convinced at this point.

    1. Which Bible characters and/or stories do you most identify with?

    Luke, Daniel, Paul, Judah, Joshua, Nehemiah, Elizabeth (Mary’s cousin), Nebuchadnezzar. I love everything that involves Jesus. It’s hard to choose what stories! In recent times I’ve studied Daniel, Nehemiah, Jonah, Joseph and I like them all!

    2. Do you have gifts or talents that you feel are not appreciated or that you don’t have an opportunity to use in the church?
    At church, I get the opportunity to serve teas and coffee, also to lead a study or cook dinner in small group. I don’t think my talents are not appreciated, it depends on what I’m willing to give at the time and whatever a person gives, it is appreciated.
    I would like to do more bible studies and discipleship. The main thoughts in my head now is hosting small studies at my home.

    3. Do you have gifts or talents that are particularly encouraged and supported in the church?
    Whatever a person does is appreciated

    4. Are there expectations from other Christians that you have a hard time meeting because of how your mind naturally works?
    Not really, when it comes to doctrine, I try to not be very NT about it. I could come across sometimes as overly intellectual, argumentative and hard for people, I just want people to understand.

    5. Which teaching/preaching styles connect with you best? How do you like to hear and learn about God and His word?
    I like studies on a particular area but like to see how it connects logically across the bible.

    6. In what ways could the church better connect with someone like you when preaching the gospel?
    At the moment, I’m totally fine with how my church preaches the gospel, though I’d like if they had informal sessions after the service to talk about what was just preached.

    7. What’s one of the biggest challenges you face as a Christian?
    Not enough people to discuss and do bible studies with

    8. Why are you a Christian? In other words, what makes you believe this faith is the right one?

    Music! lol. Ok, I believe God has drawn me over the years to Godself. Grew up in a mixed religion home, then went anglican, then pentecostal, but I only learned about God’s grace 7yrs ago (I am 30+), I learned about it, but since then I’ve come to understand it more and more. The Holy Spirit has turned my stony heart into a loving one and keeps giving me the strength to live out everyday. Also, I look into the world, and I can’t find a better story than God’s story, what more is there to live for than to Trust God and Love others. Every other story falls short of Christ laying down his life for us. Then there’s music! lol, being able to sing praises is one of the most beautiful gifts we’ve been given on this earth.

    Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Tonianni! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and share your story.

      I love music too 🙂 sometimes the right song on a Sabbath morning speaks to my heart at least as much as the rest of the service.

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  11. 1 Which Bible characters and/or stories do you most identify with?
    – David, Balaam’s Donkey :p

    2 Do you have gifts or talents that you feel are not appreciated or that you don’t have an opportunity to use in the church?
    – Worship music. Saying what needs to be said. Feather ruffling. Outreach. Reconciliation.

    3 Do you have gifts or talents that are particularly encouraged and supported in the church?
    – Music. Speaking. Leading. Organizing. App development.

    4 Are there expectations from other Christians that you have a hard time meeting because of how your mind naturally works?
    – I am told I feel to much / am too led by emotions. When I am feeling discouraged, I am told to “just pray more” and everything should be fine, vs feeling and expressing the highs and lows in a raw and real way. (Like David)

    5 Which teaching/preaching styles connect with you best? How do you like to hear and learn about God and His word?
    – personal/relatable/conversational! I get way more out of a small group conversation than a sermon. But sermons that tell stories and make it personal captivate me.

    6 In what ways could the church better connect with someone like you when preaching the gospel?
    – more outreach opportunities. Less condolences on being single. Less rigidly holding to church traditions (not commandments, just church culture) as though they were doctrine. An environment that allows for expression and being real vs pretending to be perfect happy plastic people.

    7 What’s one of the biggest challenges you face as a Christian?
    -hope/encouragment.

    8 Why are you a Christian? In other words, what makes you believe this faith is the right one?
    – Though I don’t always “feel” God, I know there is no other explanation for life and the universe, and no other system that can work well and offer an abundant life like the laws of God.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Marissa, I am Dorien, originally from Holland, but live now 5 years in Cape Town/South Africa, and work as a missionary under the poor and broken. I am ENFP (and HSS-HSP, so being all over and on the same time sjoe… want to sit inside to process deep). The whole combination slowly finds its balance.

    Q Which Bible characters and/or stories do you most identify with?
    A With a lot of them, I cannot choose!… So many characters I can link with, i experience different seasons where I learn from a different character. But I love the characters who experience the Love of God very deep: The woman trapped in idolatry. John – with his intimate relationship with Jesus. David – which name means The Beloved and was still choosen, even when He made mistakes.

    Q Do you have gifts or talents that you feel are not appreciated or that you don’t have an opportunity to use in the church?
    A Yes. I am good in connecting the dots, also dots which are out of the ‘churchbox’, which I find very valuable, but are not appreciated in the church. Like insights from other believe systems. Of course they miss the foundation, Jesus. But by closing off for everything… I think we miss out and we create pride, that we know it all.
    And I am always attracted to people who are different and I love to spend time with them. I walk sometimes litteraly with girls who are on their way to their drugsdealer. Or I sit with the sexual broken. Or in prison. I think I felt different and often misunderstood. Love heals. But often that means love people in their sin. Like Jesus did (by me). I have the gift of mercy and can see through sin in the heart. But not everybody can value/do that. Often there is that need for judgement.
    I have beautiful deep experiences with the Lord, and I have a deep relationship with God. Experiences I cannot put in words. Because they are too precious. And if I try, it get often judged. I share more with the poor as with people in my church. They love it!
    I feel often my whole personality is too much for the church. Too heavy, too intense. I got in the past a lot of problems with being to sensitive and having too much tears. My deep struggles were not understood. I was too complicated. I needed to have more faith and press away everything else. I missed guidance, how I could use my gifts other thand pressing them away and needed to be someone else. How can you use the gift of experience deep, having deep insights in the heart/soul of a person, inner healing, love the unlovable etc. Now I start knowing it… but it was in the church a lonely journey.

    Q Do you have gifts or talents that are particularly encouraged and supported in the church?
    A Yes, being a missionary: reaching out and evangelise and give to the poor. The church loves to hear the testimonies how God saved people from brokeness. The outcome: maybe also a SJ thing?
    I think people in the church might also like certain insights I have. I can bring deep insights towards my friends in the church, how to handle certain pain and problems. But most of them are NF’s as well.

    Q Are there expectations from other Christians that you have a hard time meeting because of how your mind naturally works?
    A O Yes. I am more into being, than into doing. My times with Jesus are being. I am not working by having beautiful prayers or that I have to read a chapter from the bible. I just be. That is not always appreciated. I feel from religion I have ‘to do more’. My times with Jesus are: being aware of the connection I have with Him in rest. Often without words. Often with words from Him what I drink in and what is ministrying my heart (where the tears come again).
    Out of this comes the realisation that we never can comprehend God, how mystical, huge and intense He is. People often claim that we have to do it on a certain way. Or that God is a certain way. And they try to lay that on me. But I feel resistance. He is so much bigger. And I want freedom that I can do it different/see it different than the mainstream in church, because that is where I am at this stage and it is still in God, but more the hidden areas, the secrets of his heart.

    Q Which teaching/preaching styles connect with you best? How do you like to hear and learn about God and His word?
    A Often interactive: Together we understand more than one person! Unless I hear new exciting things, what I am not yet so familiar with, then I don’t mind to drink it in and concentrate for an hour! Because I need time to process.

    Q In what ways could the church better connect with someone like you when preaching the gospel?
    A Go a little deeper! Deep a topic out. Make it personal: what does it mean for you as preacher? Where can I connect with you? Give me insights and connections, that new things makes me excited!
    And maybe: listen to me and people like me. Even when we are vulnerabel, in pain, thinking deep and asking questions, and not quick enough: we have something to say as well. We also represent an aspect who God is.

    Q What’s one of the biggest challenges you face as a Christian?
    A Judgement of christians around me, few people can really listen, so many go so quickly in their safe box and want to preach truth and are afraid for heart issues/feelings.

    Q Why are you a Christian? In other words, what makes you believe this faith is the right one?
    A The gospel was made VERY personal for me. (also a long story what I wouldn’t share too open in the church.) By experience I know Jesus came to my level in my sin to bring me to his level. I love Jesus intense and I am sure in His love for me and see Him working powerful. What He did in my life is a big testimony! (what I am slowly processing to put in words…)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Dorien, thank you so much for commenting 🙂 Sounds like the Lord is working powerfully through you to reach people who many would like to overlook. May He bless your ministry abundantly!

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  13. Hi Marissa,

    This looked like such an intriguing project so I thought I would chime in with my responses!
    I am twenty-two years old and an ENFP. I am a Christian and a member of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America. We are a small denomination known for our Presbyterian format of government, our adherence to reformed Christian doctrine, and the exclusive use of Psalms sung A Capella in our worship services. I virtually grew up in this denomination though I have changed churches within the denomination due to moving, school, and various life circumstances. I honestly love my church even though we are somewhat of a niche denomination.

    1. Which Bible characters and/or stories do you most identify with?

    I have always identified with the story of Lazarus’ resurrection in John 11:1-44. I keenly relate to this story because I unexpectedly lost a brother a few years ago in a tragic accident. The grief and love Jesus demonstrates in this passage is so powerful. I am always stunned that the omniscient sovereign God-Man would weep over the death of his friend – the friend he knew he was about to raise from the dead. And yet he does, because that is the nature of death, and the nature of grief and love. That is the depth of love Jesus has for his followers and his friends.

    I also identify with the Psalms, mostly because I grew up singing them and inadvertently memorizing many of them. The Psalms are an outlet for every human emotion and response to the various injustices, hardships, joys, and experiences we encounter in this life. The Psalmists are not afraid to enter those dark places of despair, grief, and shame. They are a poetic and musical journey from death and sin to the resurrection and life everlasting!

    2. Do you have gifts or talents that you feel are not appreciated or that you don’t have an opportunity to use in the church?

    My church is very small – we are a young church, only a few years old, and lately I have struggled to feel like there is ministry and service I can contribute myself to. I think most of that is simply due to our present circumstances which are in the process of changing. I have been blessed though to always feel like I can contribute whether it’s through hospitality, council, teaching Sunday school classes, leading singing, lifting others up in prayer, or simply offering my opinion. I have always felt like I had a voice in this church and for that I am very grateful!

    3. Do you have gifts or talents that are particularly encouraged and supported in the church?

    I have good interpersonal people-skills. I love teaching and working with children. And I also have an eye for marketing, promoting, and mobilizing people. My skills are more or less encouraged and supported by my church. We are a small church and sometimes that feels like a disadvantage, but at the same time it also means everyone needs to be doing something to keep everything running smoothly and to actually make effective ministry and outreach happen. I work full-time and am a college student on top of work, so that somewhat limits my capacity to serve my church. However, I do what I can, and that includes helping with our social media accounts, leading singing in worship services, and teaching a Sunday school class to Pre-K/K students.

    4. Are there expectations from other Christians that you have a hard time meeting because of how your mind naturally works?

    I have frequently felt put into what I like to call the “extrovert box” and not simply by Christians but I have definitely seen how Christians can be more judgmental or misunderstanding about my seemingly contradictory personality. It is not so much like I feel expectations are shoved on me that I cannot live up to as much as it seems people frequently have misconceptions of who I am based on the extrovert they see me as. People presume I am shallow, flirtatious, an attention-seeker, and flighty. And I always feel like I have to go the extra mile to prove that my convictions are real, deep, and near and dear to me. I love to be fun-loving, I love small talk, but I also know how to take seriously what really matters and I enjoy deep, meaningful, intellectual conversations maybe more than the superficial small talk. My friendship, words, and actions are authentic and sincere even if I draw people in, attract a crowd, and sometimes end up in the “spotlight”. I never try and lead guys on but my kindness and personality are frequently misinterpreted as flirtation and, yes, I have been told that I need to be more careful, tone down the kindness, be less nice to people so as not to accidentally break men’s hearts. You would think if there was one thing in the world no one would have a problem with, it would be kindness, but nope – some people know how to take issue with anything I guess. I have a lot of ideas, I sometimes make impulsive decisions, and I like to talk about possibilities, but I can be focused and dedicated. I know my personality can sometimes seem contradictory and confusing, but ultimately what it comes down to is not taking people for granted; not presuming that what you see on the surface is all there is to them.

    My apologies for such a long-winded response!

    5. Which teaching/preaching styles connect with you best? How do you like to hear and learn about God and His word?

    I actually prefer more intellectual preaching styles. Expository exegesis is probably my favorite format of preaching, the sermons that preach directly from the Bible and expound on the context, meaning, and application of a specific passage, chapter, or book of the Bible. I have always believed that preaching must center and flow from God’s Word otherwise it is ineffective at best. In terms of personal style, I really appreciate pastors who have more of a story format to their preaching, as well as an engaging speaking style. Though any pastor who is passionate about what he preaches – and passion does not always mean loud and animated – will capture and engage my attention and spirit.

    6. In what ways could the church better connect with someone like you when preaching the gospel?

    I am a big-idea thinker and I love to see connections between pretty much everything. Whenever I read the Bible, I try and find ways that God’s Word applies to my life. I find parallels between my experience and the experiences of the people in the Bible. I appreciate pastors who can apply the Scripture to real life, not simply give you a few dry doctrinal truths to mull on. I also appreciate pastors who can connect the dots between the Old and New Testament, who can find Jesus on every page and always bring it back to the Gospel, whether they are preaching from the Gospel of Mark, Genesis, the Minor Prophets, or any book of the Bible.

    7. What’s one of the biggest challenges you face as a Christian?

    My personal biggest challenge as a Christian is probably not being constantly distracted with the demands of life and actually finding and taking time to read God’s Word, pray, and meditate. I tend to be overly optimistic about how much time and energy I have to spare at the end of the day. I also have difficulty saying no to demands or requests from people, especially friends and family, so finding space in life to cultivate my own spiritual well-being can be a big challenge.
    I am a people-pleaser, so it is also a challenge for me to not constantly try and conform to the ideals of what everyone else thinks a good Christian should look like. I have to remember to keep my eyes on Jesus Christ, to be transformed by His truth and not conform to the opinions and standards of others.

    8. Why are you a Christian? In other words, what makes you believe this faith is the right one?

    Hebrews 11:1-3 summarizes well why I believe what I believe, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” The entirety of Hebrews 11 explains the heritage of faith from the beginning of time and why I have such a strong assurance in what I believe and why I believe it.

    Ultimately it comes down to the power of God’s Word and the Holy Spirit in my life. I did not come to an understanding of the truth through any wisdom of my own, but by the grace of God and His providence and faithfulness in my life. I can look back on so many instances in my life where God was planting seeds, working in my heart – through my family, my church, and in my circumstances – to bring me to Him.

    Dani, ENFP

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love what you wrote about Jesus weeping for Lazarus. That has always touched my heart as well. Even knowing He was going to bring Lazarus back within the next few moments, He still grieved. I’ve heard some people say things like “we don’t have to be sad because we know God will bring them back to life” when comforting after a loss, but grief is the natural human response to death and I feel like Jesus’ tears say it’s okay to mourn even though we have hope.

      It’s interesting that you mentioned you feel like you have to prove your convictions are real and deep. I had an ENFP friend mention something similar just last week. Thanks so much for your comment!

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  14. I’m an enfp.

    Bible stories and characters… honestly the one that most comes to mind is Peter. I feel like I can relate to him often not thinking (or seeming like it at least) before he speaks, like the time he said Jesus won’t die or something and Jesus responded, ‘Get behind me Satan.’ And the time he denies Jesus three times, everyone seems to paint him as the ‘bad guy’ for this when really I know I, at least would’ve done the same thing. And also he doesn’t want to let Jesus wash his feet, (stupidly independent and proud, I get that) and says (really meaning it at the time) that he’ll never leave him. Whoops. Cringe of embarrassment. Then at the same time he’s the one who often voices what the others are thinking, and the first to figure out who Jesus really is (I think). He just gets so involved in everything and is just so interested in what Jesus says, I guess. He even walks on water for a bit! Then we can see how he grows as a person when he receives the gift of the Holy Spirit and after Jesus leaves, he’s gone from the guy who denied Jesus three times to one of the most influential missionaries of his time. I guess it kind of inspires me that one day I might find confidence in Christ to make a difference. There’s also John, I love how he writes with metaphors because i feel like a lot of Christians (gotta love the sj’s — no offence) take things a little too literally. And also Joseph. I love the tricks he plays on his brothers as well as the whole story itself, and how forgiving he is. Often people tell me I’m too forgiving, but I remember Joseph and Jesus’ 490 times to forgive as well as the infinite times God has forgiven us, and convince myself that isn’t a thing. I guess I just love how human the bible characters are, they’re imperfect just like us but God still uses them for his work. And the intuitive characters I probably more relate to.

    Talents and how my personality doesn’t mesh I’m just going to put together. For me it’s probably how I can see many sides to something, and then get very attached to them. I’ll often find myself defending the ‘bad guy’ in any circumstance or finding the views on many issues I form aren’t exactly in line with how most people interpret the Bible. I’m very into ‘different interpretations’ and think we should investigate all of them, even the stupid ones, and I often feel like we accidentally judge people for their sins too much. My prioritising is probably very unique. I’m a very relationships-first kind of person, and will override rules quite often when I put people first. I guess I kind of take some things more weightily than others in the Bible. But often I’ll just agree because I don’t want to argue (so what’s my opinion on feminism and lgbtq+ again? I’ll actually contradict myself for hours). I also don’t think people get that I’m not afraid of hell. It’s what I deserve so I’ll take it gladly. Apart from the fact that God loves me, so I think I’ll praise him for eternity instead. That leads me to another point, I view time as what you make it. Like that piece of string analogy where the tip is our life on earth, I feel like a small amount of time can be more significant that eternity if more defining stuff happens in it. Just little things.

    So how do I most like to learn God’s word and study it etc, what parts work best for me? I love having in-depth conversations about the topic and anything and everything to do with it. I hate time constraints with a burning passion. We will go on as long as we need to. I like sermons, bible studies, new ideas and perspectives to consider, but not just a set of questions that we work through in a linear fashion. I love drawing links between things, and I love stepping back to look at the big picture of the Bible. Maybe one day I will make a concept map of it. I also love focusing on what’s important, and remembering not to get caught up on the tiny details that don’t matter (they can be awesome though).

    Talents I think are used are that I teach children, and working with the younger kids to help bring everyone together and break cliques. I’m still quite young so I think I can be more useful when I’m older and less confused.

    The church could probably connect with me better by allowing me to fully express my thoughts without thinking I’m being judged (although that’s mostly on me, articulating things in a confusing way and always wanting to please people and take things personally). Also I wish we had more time to just talk about anything and everything, and I wish I could connect with more people. Also, I think the church should cater for every type too, especially intuitive types as I think it is fairly sj-dominated as a whole, and np’s and others exist as well and everyone as desperately needs God as anyone else. Maybe bible study groups by type every now and then? That could be interesting.

    The biggest challenge I face as a Christian is probably focusing on God and God alone. I’m a master of ulterior motives that I convince myself are pure, and I often take other people’s opinions too heavily when I’m trying to please them or I am too proud and independent and think I know everything. I like to take on too much stuff too. Also I struggle with the existence of hell, but I think that stems from me focusing too much on people rather than God.

    I’m a Christian because God wanted a relationship with me, and he went to some pretty extreme extents to get it. And honestly, personally knowing the one who is in charge of everything is just amazing! He weaves everything together so perfectly and it’s like I’m a character in a story who can talk to and trust the author, knowing they’re doing a much better job than I ever could.

    Thank you for this blog by the way, it’s really encouraging to see how my faith can affect and be affected by my personality type.

    :)))))))

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Rielle! I’m so glad to see someone mention Peter. I’ve always through he was very relatable and I wonder if he might have been an ExxP type of some kind.

      I’m so glad you found the post encouraging. I’ve been getting lots of feedback from ENFPs this week, so I think the next type-specific post I write will be about your type. Should be out next week or the week after. Thanks so much for commenting 🙂

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  15. I’m an INTP and a Christian, which is, apparently, not a common combination from what I’ve read on type and religion.

    Which Bible characters and/or stories do you most identify with?
    My favorite Bible character has to be Samson. For some reason he resonates with me. Most people look at him as though he was a mindless brute, but I think he was sorely misunderstood. He was a Nazarite from birth, and so had no say in the matter. And by the time he met Delilah, he was probably tired of his own reputation. He wanted to be known for who he was instead of what he was, and so he passively broke his Nazarite vows—vows he never chose to take in the first place—by having someone else cut his hair. Most people think he gave in solely because of Delilah’s nagging, and while that may be true, that nagging was a constant reminder of that one thing that he was that had nothing to do with anything that he cultivated himself. It had become the whole of his identity. When he was young, he was probably pretty cool with his abilities, but as time wore on, that was the only thing he was known or celebrated for. It was a gimmick, and there was more to him than simply his physical strength. He wanted to be ordinary—to have someone admire and love him for who he was, instead of for what he was.

    • Do you have gifts or talents that you feel are not appreciated or that you don’t have an opportunity to use in the church?
    As an INTP female, it’s difficult to be relegated to the kitchen. While I can cook a mean casserole, I would much rather be discussing apologetics or doctrine, so the women’s duties in the church as well as women’s Bible studies are not particularly interesting or challenging to me. They are centered around how to be a godly wife and a good mother, and while those things are of infinite importance, they are not my primary identities. My intellect, my extensive knowledge, my thirst for information does not really get fed because I’m forced into circles where the primary discussions center around birthin’ babies and recipes and other things that don’t interest me much, even though I am a mother and I do cook things. I know that I’m not like most women in this regard, and I’m not trying to deride those interest, it’s just that they aren’t mine, but I’m pigeonholed into those arenas, and it’s tantamount to mental torture for me. The men get to have breakfasts with the pastor and discuss things that are much more interesting to me, but I’m excluded because of my chromosomal makeup. So, because I’m an introvert and an INTP female, I don’t mix with the people at church much, which I regret being the case.

    • Are there expectations from other Christians that you have a hard time meeting because of how your mind naturally works?
    Again, this centers around my personality type and my gender. I don’t have the aptitude for service or the natural gift for nurturing and comforting, so I’m a bit like a penny waiting for change. I’m not as socially adept, and sympathy and compassion are not my strong suits, so the resulting service is awkward and a bit stiff and disingenuous.

    • Which teaching/preaching styles connect with you best? How do you like to hear and learn about God and His word?
    I love systematic theology. I love apologetics. I need logic and reason and facts and evidence. Luckily, my pastor is an INTP as well, and so he preaches exactly the way I learn. I could listen to him for hours! So many people approach their faith as an emotional endeavor, and that isn’t how I operate. I can look at, say, a complex mathematical equation and see God in the order and complexity. It even looks beautiful on the page to me. When I read about cosmological discoveries or watch pendulums swinging in simple harmonic motion, I see God’s order. That’s where I worship. God is found in the systems He created, and his imagination and creativity and intellect is where I feel the deepest emotions of connection with Him. That’s difficult to explain to people, let alone find people with whom I can explain them in the first place, unless I’m talking to a scientist or an engineer (usually a man, and thus someone else’s husband, which is always awkward, because my interest in these things translates as interest in the person with whom I am speaking, not the subject matter being discussed).

    • In what ways could the church better connect with someone like you when preaching the gospel?
    They can use logic and reason and evidence in a systematic way. They can use big words and complex ideas. Give the Greek and Hebrew verb tenses that show the specific meaning of the text, give the historical context, not just of the Bible characters and settings, but of the broader region that influenced the culture and people being discussed. I’ve sat in churches where they delved into things in such a cursory way at such a shallow level, that they weren’t telling me anything I didn’t already know. Depth is key, and that’s hard to find. That doesn’t appeal to most people.

    • What’s one of the biggest challenges you face as a Christian?
    The biggest challenge is to love others. Well, not really to love others—let me rephrase that. To like others and enjoy their company, to help others and ask for the help of others. It’s difficult to “not forsake the gathering of the believers” because I don’t particularly enjoy the groups of people with whom I’m encouraged to associate. Being social is difficult enough as it is, and because I can’t find many people that I can connect with in the way that is satisfying, substantive, and meaningful, it’s easier for me to go to church, listen to the sermon, and exit stage left as quickly as possible. I’m then seen as cold and aloof (which I’m totally not!), instead of a soul tortured by small talk and disappointed by the lack of connection (which I admit is mostly my own fault for not being willing to endure that which ultimately leaves me feeling empty and unfulfilled, but which others find meaningful and important). I realize that the world doesn’t revolve around me and my needs, but it’s difficult nevertheless. I do try, though!

    • Why are you a Christian? In other words, what makes you believe this faith is the right one? I’m a Christian because I can’t not be. It doesn’t make sense. There is order in the universe, the system is complex, and because of this, there must be an Author. I want to know that Author, to tap into his creative intellect, to know the whys and the hows of it all. I have to know! I believe that Christianity is the right faith because it puts me into the most proper position in relation to the Author and His creation. It makes sense to me, and when my intellect is satisfied, I’m at peace.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Apryl 🙂 I’ve also heard INTP Christians are rare, which is why I was a bit puzzled when I started meeting several in-person as well as online (that’s one of the main reasons I started this project – the INTPs I met made me want to understand what attracts different personalities to Christianity). Thank you so much for commenting and sharing your perspective!

      Like

  16. I’m an ENTP female from an unfaithed home. Have been involved in an evangelical denomination most of my life and am married to a pastor.
    Thomas. Jesus didn’t mind it that people who loved Him still questioned and needed “evidence”. Jude 22 “Have mercy on those who doubt” was helpful too. One of my favorite books is James, because he pulls no punches about how people are meant to be living—truth, justice, concern for others is how the Love is expressed.
    It can be hard for an NT female to find a place, especially as a pastoral spouse. I understand that many people find me intimidating and hard to connect to. I don’t always try as hard as I should because I know from experience that I’m just not going to connect with most people in a natural way. I know I’m not what people expect, and I’m very comfortable with that, but I want the opportunity to be known and appreciated for who I am, not just “known of” for whom I’m not.
    I appreciate preaching that is well-thought-through and cohesive. Obviously if things don’t make sense or are illogical, I’m going to notice right away and it’s going to bother me. I also really like when someone’s teaching shows me something I haven’t seen or heard before, of course. Digging in for myself, and then having other people to share insights with and exchange perspectives is the best.
    Faith has been a struggle. That Ti runs everything through a pretty rigorous filter for illogic and bullcrap. I have no patience for hypocrisy, or for people who hurt “the least of these.” I get frustrated by the anti-change mindset and the slooooowwwwnessssss of getting anything done in your typical church.
    OK, I do have one concrete example/peeve about how the church could be better structured for people like me. Someone, somewhere, promulgated the leadership rule that when someone comes to the church leadership with an idea or suggestion, the best thing to do is to tell that person, “that sounds like a calling. I affirm and validate you going and doing it.” Now, I very much understand that leaders don’t want people constantly complaining to them about things they should “fix” without any willingness to be part of the solution. But for me, I cannot possibly do all of the ideas I have. I know they are not callings, just ideas. But don’t they deserve a hearing? And if they are good, can we figure out a way to connect with people who care about that issue and are good at getting things done, so we can take a team approach to initiating new programs or approaches? That’s all.
    On this last one, I’ll just say
    1) that I’ve had more than one experience of connection–supernatural occurrences with a holy feel, from the mundane experience of a “conversation” during prayer, to some mysterious, strange, encounters;
    2) I’ve experienced the very real changes in my life—peace, freedom, clarity—that come from this relationship with Jesus.
    3) I went through a huge time of questioning in my 30s, tearing down my entire faith to its roots and requestioning everything, from multiple perspectives. I spent years processing all of it through my Ti lens. And it stood up. I may not have all my questions answered, but whenever would I, as an ENTP? And every other religion and faith system I examined (including atheism, materialism, hedonism, etc.) had its places of inconsistency too; it seemed to me that the Christian ones were more explicable than the others.
    4) I stand firmly against chronological snobbery and give thinkers and philosophers of the past credit for being as intelligent as we are (in some cases, much more so). There have been an awful lot of extremely smart and thoughtful people who have found Christianity to be logically consistent and practically sound.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Hi there, I’m Alexis a female INTJ. I’m also a 5w4 in the Enneagram system, which makes me more similar to INFJs than typical INTJs are.
    I truly don’t like novels or stories of any kind very much. When I read the bible I focus more on the epistles than on the stories. I know this is an incomplete perspective on the Bible, but to-the-point information that has beautiful metaphors/analogies are most connective with me. I’d say then that I’d most identify with Paul. (Ni likes metaphors etc.; Te likes to-the-point)
    My affinity for new ideas are not appreciated. Introversion isn’t appreciated. Thinking outside the box isn’t appreciated. Church tends to attract a fairly conservative group of people (Sensors) so I have a hard time finding people that are like-minded. Church can be very feeling-oriented as well. Greeting time, emotional testimonies, small group. I find churches either dry that teach, or the services highly emotional in worship specifically. Because my last function is Se, I get VERY distracted during worship and have a hard time focusing with light shows, loud electric guitar etc. Don’t get me wrong, I love the music, but it’s distracting nonetheless.
    Organization is supported in the church. (Being a J).
    I really like interactive times. For example, a small group where we spend lots of time in solitary prayer and then speak. Very creative things like everyone is handed a random colored pencil, and then you listen to God for 20 minutes about what he wants to say to you regarding that color. Or everyone go around and take turns positively affirming members. Structured interaction. In a worship service, at the end have time for small groups. I like non-traditional services like Table Churches. My ideal worship service would be: no greeting time but maybe some greeting time would be acceptable if we had some goal like “meet 3 new people”, then a worship service with 3 new songs and 2 hymns with a fairly dark room to eliminate some distractions and a small worship band to eliminate distractions, then the pastor speaks for 35 minutes all the while connecting to scripture so as to not be merely a motivational talk, there may be breaks in the talk in between for the congregation to speak/interact with each other, then one last song while people come up, communion every week, then we may break into small groups of 8 or so to delve deeper in each others’ lives with some creative prompt

    Liked by 1 person

  18. So first off, I’m an INTP. I’m also an Enneagram Type 8w9, so I’m a bit more extroverted. And being a teenage girl, this comes with a lot of challenges. I saw this post and thought it would be interesting to share some things.
    Q1. Which Bible characters and/or stories do you most identify with?
    I identify with Deborah the most. I’ve always felt a strong connection to her, because she stood up for what was right and seemed rather fierce. I personally believe she’s an NT. Stories of ‘atypical’ women who had courage to do what was needed always resonate with me.
    To a lesser extent, I also find the story of Daniel encouraging. I have a tendency to rebel when I can’t get what I want, or when something’s going wrong. And this story reminds me that just because you aren’t fighting evil, that doesn’t mean you’re accepting it. That’s a very powerful message for me.
    Q2. Do you have gifts or talents that you feel are not appreciated or that you don’t have an opportunity to use in the church?
    Yes. As an INTP, I get many ideas.
    So some churches I view as conventional. This is because they don’t think of any new ideas, see the Bible in cultural contexts, just see it at surface level. I have a big hobby in writing, and often enjoy writing dystopias, with unconventional or emotional themes. I’m not sure that some churches would agree with that sort of thing.
    Q3. Do you have gifts or talents that are particularly encouraged and supported in the church?
    I’m not exactly sure. In some churches, I feel that not much of what I’m good at would be valued. But in some churches…I don’t exactly have a musical talent or anything, but I am more comfortable with ‘vibrant’ churches, with uplifting music. But I suppose that isn’t what the question’s about.
    Q4. Are there expectations from other Christians that you have a hard time meeting because of how your mind naturally works?
    Yes. Being an independent thinker, I have often been called rebellious. I am not a quiet type of person and tend to voice my opinions quickly. I also have a challenge with women’s contributions being ignored in churches.
    This also causes problems in my family. I have my own ideas about certain issues, and my father tends to view me as rebellious when I voice them or act differently. I try to deal with this accordingly and follow the rules, but I find this very challenging.
    In fact, a few years back, I went through a dark ‘feminist’ few year phase. I used to rant about how women aren’t valued, how men are terrible…I’ve gotten over it now, but my father finds this a little hard to get used to. Because, being an INTP, I’m not a tomboy, but I’m not a standard ‘lady’ either. I can’t be boxed in.

    Q5. Which teaching/preaching styles connect with you best? How do you like to hear and learn about God and His word?
    I like the passage to be shared, and then for everyone to be able to share their viewpoints on the matter. Then things can be discussed logically. I don’t like it when people make absolute statements or won’t let other people talk. Basically, freedom of speech and a wide framework to interact with works for me.
    Q6. In what ways could the church better connect with someone like you when preaching the gospel?
    Don’t act like because I’m a woman, I should be quiet. I have my opinions, and when I don’t get allowed to talk, it cuts very deep. And I like to talk about ideas. So just because I say something contrary, it doesn’t mean I buy into it. I actually find it useful to look at multiple sides of an issue and debate something.
    Also, please don’t hold me to stereotypical standards of behaviour. If I don’t act like a standard female, it’s because I’m not one. And when I don’t act like one and people tell me I’m rebellious and evil, it just makes things worse.
    In fact, I have an unusual behaviour, where, when I am stereotyped as something, I end up acting like the stereotype, because I come to the belief that that is all I can ever be. I know it’s not entirely related, but I’ve also had problems with NTs being stereotyped as always being bad.
    Q7. What’s one of the biggest challenges you face as a Christian?
    It’s hard to name just one, but I’ll name the worst one first…
    It’d be coming to terms with my gender, and how it affects my relationship with God. I don’t entirely discount the idea of headship, but I have a different take on it than others do. I see it as a picture of God’s relationship to his church. I believe that people should work together. After all, someone, especially a Thinker, having absolute power over a family, is a concerning thing.
    Another thing that happens to me – especially in my family – is that when something is banned, even though I don’t want to do it, I get displeased that it’s banned and do my best to make it lawful. Previously, when something has become lawful, I show no interest in doing it. I just wanted it made lawful so there could be one less rule.
    Also, I have trouble having faith like a child, because, due to my personality, I like to have information. And not having it is a big challenge for me.
    I have come to terms with this more over the past few years, but I’m still working on it.
    Q8. Why are you a Christian? In other words, what makes you believe this faith is the right one?
    I believe the Bible because it is a light in a dark world. When you look at all the other belief systems, they have unfair, unjust weights and measures. And I don’t believe that, if a god like that was the true god, that we’d still exist.
    And the whole Bible makes sense! So many things are explained. It’s impossible for the universe to have occurred by accident, for instance. And at times, when I read the Bible, something will jump out at me, really speak to me. I believe that’s the way that God talks to us today, and that’s proof that he exists.
    One of my favourite Bible verses is Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
    In a world where so many variables are at play, it’s comforting to know that someone is in control, someone has everything planned and designed. I know that I have a purpose here, and despite the challenges that I face, I know that this is the right faith.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Hannah! I love Deborah, too, and I agree she seems like an NT type personality. Her story is so encouraging for Christians who’ve been told they shouldn’t lead or have opinions because they’re women. God trusted a woman to judge Israel, He worked with several prophetesses throughout the Bible, and it’s pretty clear from the way Jesus interacted with women while here on earth that He doesn’t see us as second-class Christians.

      I’m sorry you’ve had people misinterpret your independent thinking as rebellion and were discouraged from expressing your views because you’re a woman. It’s so frustrating and discouraging when something like that happens. Though I’ve always felt pretty comfortable with traditional feminine gender roles, the idea that women should be silent doesn’t sit well with me. My church doesn’t let women speak in church services (though women will occasionally give seminars and can participate in group discussions) and I’ve struggled with finding ways to use my teaching gift while also honoring the Bible’s teachings on headship.

      Thank you so much for commenting!

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      • I just would like to make an update to my original comment. Being a rather young teenager, I’ve been mistyped sometimes. Recently I took the test somewhat more honestly and scored as an INTJ with a low J preference. I guess I’m not really extroverted, but I get strong opinions and will voice them if I feel people don’t like them.

        I feel pretty comfortable with traditional feminine gender roles, but feel that independence isn’t Biblically called wrong.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Hi Marissa, I am an INTP, female, 63, who has been a Christian for 35 years.
    I have never identified with any biblical character that I can think of. Sometimes lately, I think of Peter and his tendency to blurt out things before he has completely engaged his mind.. As another INTJ said, I like to throw out ideas I have read, things that have pricked my spirit whether I understood them completely or owned them or not. That tends to confuse people, and I find people fearful of things and others they do not understand.
    I left the church 9 years ago, and returned 3 years ago strictly for fellowship. I do not look to the pulpit for input in my life. I have a hard time with the sociability expected of people in general. One woman who is central to our church told me recently she tried to engage me in friendly conversation for over a year. I am not comfortable engaging in small talk with people I do not feel connected until I have had meaningful and usually intense spiritual discussions. I need to connect through my head first, then heart.
    At my current church, and the lprevious one, I have attempted to start small home groups. The pastor’s are encouraging, but the congregation is not interested. I crave in-depth conversation about God. It is the heart and soul of most my conversations with the people I do converse with in all areas of my life, few though they may be.
    As for preaching, at this point in my life I am interested in understanding God’s design for community both historically and relationally. I am also drawn to studying the true meaning of the Hebrew and Greek words. I am amazed at how many of the standard evangelical doctrines are based on misinterpretations of verses and history.
    My biggest challenge as a Christian is to follow God in true relationship, doing what I hear from the Father, rather than another’s agenda. Separating from this has been traumatic yet freeing.
    As for why I am a Christian, I answered a call, one that went straight to my heart and soul, one that changed my life dramatically and permanently. There have been challenges, but the experience of knowing the true God leaves any other belief in the dark. I see a big picture of how God is working. Nothing else answers the dilemma, nor solution, for mankind.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I am infj and enjoyed reading and relating to a lot of what was already written! I am drawn to Daniel in the Bible. The more I study the book of Daniel, the more I appreciate him-his quiet strength and faith. Leah is someone that I hurt for. No one really has much good to say about her, but her life was full of pain. I am a happy Sunday School teacher, girls’ Bible study leader and sing in church (although it terrifies me to be up in front of everyone!). I feel pressured to help with kitchen duties in church like all the other ladies, but I absolutely hate it. Yuck. I love a speaker who does in-depth study and speaks with authenticity from the heart. For myself, I like to study the Bible with prayer and enjoy finding out meanings from the original languages. The church can communicate best with me if it is not show-y or superficial. My greatest challenge in the church is relationships. I am a Christian because of the evidence of the truth of the Bible, and then because of the knowledge of God’s presence in my life. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Kellee, 29, INTJ, enneagram 5w6, HSP
    1.) Which Bible characters and/or stories do you most identify with?
    Anyone who doesn’t have faith or who felt unworthy – Thomas, Jonah, Jeremiah, Nathaniel. I’ve often wished I could be more trusting, like Enoch was.
    I admire Joseph, Ruth, Daniel, Esther, Mary.
    2.) Do you have gifts or talents that you feel are not appreciated or that you don’t have an opportunity to use in the church?
    I think I’m a good observer of people. I’m a good counselor because I can see multiple viewpoints and offer an unbiased opinion. I’ve often felt that I could be a good vice president and offer sound advice, but not have to be in public. I’m a deep thinker and love discussions, but need time to process first, so I’m hesitant to speak up.
    3.) Do you have gifts or talents that are particularly encouraged and supported in the church?
    I like to sing, and my home church often asked me do special music. I’ve stepped away from that role. I don’t like being in the spotlight, and I feel the idea of special music is to focus on one person. It can be more about looking and sounding good, rather than praising God. If I sing, I’d like to sing in a choir.
    4.) Are there expectations from other Christians that you have a hard time meeting because of how your mind naturally works?
    I think people expect me to act a certain way – bubbly, energetic. (This happens in other environments too, just not church.) But I’m not outwardly emotional, I don’t enjoy small talk, I’m quieter, and I don’t have any kids, so I think it’s hard for people to know how to relate to me. (I don’t blame them.)
    5.) Which teaching/preaching styles connect with you best? How do you like to hear and learn about God and His word?
    Anything well thought out and interesting. A good story. Anything that challenges my current way of thinking. Anything practical that will help me live my life. I don’t like preaching that frequently references the dictionary or Bible commentaries, preaching that has too many emotions, or preaching that constantly references power points (point A, point B, etc). I love Philip Yancey’s writing, which speak to me more than most sermons. As long as it’s authentic, I will listen.
    6.) In what ways could the church better connect with someone like you when preaching the gospel?
    I think the best thing the church can do is understand and value the different personalities and gifts that people in the church have. I know I’m not the only one who feels dissatisfied with the church. I think that if the church focused on reaching their members first, rather than outreach, the church would be that much stronger. I want to see a church that truly loves everyone. I think outreach and church planting are great things. But when the foundations aren’t strong (aka a strong congregation), there is no point in having huge numbers.
    7.) What’s one of the biggest challenges you face as a Christian?
    I wish Christians weren’t represented so negatively in the media (not that the media is wrong). I wish Christians could show more love toward others. I wish their motivations were pure. That’s why I hesitate to tell others I’m a Christian, and I try to live by example. (Key word: try.)
    8.) Why are you a Christian? In other words, what makes you believe this faith is the right one?
    Jesus.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Kellee, thank you so much for commenting! I agree so much with what you wrote, especially in response to #3 and #6. I would far rather sing in a choir, too – singing solos is too much attention on me and how I sound. I’ve let people pressure me into doing it, but I think I’m going to completely step away from that as you’ve done.

      And what you said about the church needing to focus on reaching their members first and strengthening the foundation is something that’s been on my mind of late. The Bible speaks of God being the one who calls new people in, and I suspect He’d rather call them into a strong church that’s truly following His command to love than one that spends all their time focused on reaching the world. That’s not to say we don’t preach the gospel, of course, but as you said there’s no point in having large numbers without a strong congregation.

      Like

  22. INTP female here. 🙂

    1. Which Bible characters and/or stories do you most identify with?
    The story that always resonates with me the most is Joseph–how he was able to forgive his brothers and see that God used all of the circumstances in his life for good. I most identify with Solomon/the writer of Ecclesiastes, struggling with the apparent meaninglessness of life yet trying to find joy and contentment in life through God.

    2. Do you have gifts or talents that you feel are not appreciated or that you don’t have an opportunity to use in the church?
    I particularly enjoy mentoring others–talking one-on-one about life, faith, challenges, etc. It is difficult to establish these relationships because everything in church is usually done in a group setting: either the entire congregation on a Sunday morning or in smaller groups in Bible studies (but still groups…). I would appreciate churches having a mentor program where they could facilitate connecting me to an older woman willing to be my mentor, and younger women who would like support and guidance in their lives from me (Titus 2:3-5).

    3. Do you have gifts or talents that are particularly encouraged and supported in the church?
    I am able to explain complex topics very well through writing, and often explain deep spiritual truths through analogy and metaphor. Many people have told me that my writing has encouraged, challenged, or otherwise benefited them in their walk with God.

    4. Are there expectations from other Christians that you have a hard time meeting because of how your mind naturally works?
    The biggest expectation that challenges me is that of sharing the Gospel. Obviously, I want other people to know the Gospel and to believe it as true. But I have a hard time determining when and how to share it. I don’t want to force my beliefs on someone, I want them to follow Jesus because they have experienced His love and desire to know Him. So I’m usually better in encouraging people who are seeking or new believers, rather than convincing people to consider Christ.

    5. Which teaching/preaching styles connect with you best? How do you like to hear and learn about God and His word?
    Logical teaching with uniquely insightful perspectives into the text connect with me best. I struggle with a lot of modern preaching (and worship styles) that cater to SFs–they are loud, overly emotional, and surface-level. I don’t mind some emotional appeal, but it’s difficult for me to appreciate a sermon based solely on a pastor preaching with a fiery passion but not actually teaching me something. I enjoy when the teacher probes deeply into a passage and the characters, and causes me to look at something in a new way and challenges me to think and critically examine my own life. I also appreciate a practical application to whatever was taught.

    6. In what ways could the church better connect with someone like you when preaching the gospel?
    (see above) They could find a balance between logic and emotional appeals in sermons and worship. They could be intentional about welcoming and connecting new people, and provide a way for introverts to connect to a small group of people more easily than having to find someone in a large crowd at church to engage with in small talk.

    7. What’s one of the biggest challenges you face as a Christian?
    Sharing the Gospel (see above) and connecting with other Christians at a new church, for example. Knowing how to share my faith winsomely and respectfully. Also, while I can understand and believe in deep theological/spiritual truths, and communicate about them in unique ways, I struggle with living them out in daily life/in a practical way (S).

    8. Why are you a Christian? In other words, what makes you believe this faith is the right one?
    When I look at the world around me and ponder what I’ve learned in my advanced studies in science, I can only conclude that there must be a Creator. The ways God has reached out to me and shown His love and faithfulness in my life are what draws my heart to Him, and are why I believe that the Creator is a loving God who wants to know me and be known in return.

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