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Personality Type and Religious Leadership by Roy M. Oswald (1988-06-01)

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  • PDF | Unknown pages
  • The Alban Institute (January 1, 1989)
  • Unknown
  • 9
  • Other books

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  • By M.Carson on April 28, 2016

    I enjoyed the book, but as an INTJ I agree with another reviewer: For an INTJ it feels like a bit of a letdown. The authors seem to stop short of saying, "choose a different path--don't go into the ministry!"(Hilariously, if you look up God the Father's MBTI, you'll find a lot of people making the case that He is an INTJ. How does that compute? And what would the authors say about it?)In the Mormon religion, where I serve in a leadership role, there's no such thing as a leadership career path. Instead you are chosen and invited to serve, and your options at that point are things like: 1) happily accept, 2) waffle and then accept, 3) ask for some time to pray and ponder on it, 4) say no directly, etc. But it is expected that everyone will take on a responsibility of some sort, that this is a part of spiritual growth, that the responsibilities will change from time to time (e.g. new bishop every five years give or take), and the longer you are a member, the more likely it is that you will be involved in a leadership role.Having accepted the opportunity to serve as a local leader then, and being familiar with the essentials of MBTI, the function stack, Socionics, and the Enneagram, and knowing of my introverted preferences, I was anxious to purchase this book and dive in. Unfortunately I found that, like another reviewer here stated, the authors seem more interested in encouraging the leadership skills of other personality types.The biggest problem I see with this is that INTJs are very adaptable when they engage their secondary function. In fact, INTJs are well known for succeeding at dramatic personal change when it's required. We seek external data and modify our course or characteristics to best complete whatever our mission is, especially when our identity is at stake.Of the INTJs I know who are serving or who have served in religious leadership roles, men and women, all have developed enough Fe (extraverted feeling) to successfully offer counseling and spiritual leadership. Our INTJ Fi (introverted feeling) is strong enough that we typically make an honest role model for self-development and have a solid grasp on our own hypocrisy. We are one of the least gossipy types and are great at keeping secrets. We tend not to scheme (typical to a lack of Fe+Ti) and adopt a "take me or leave me" attitude toward new positions, where we give honestly of our competence. If in doing all of this we reveal our weakness at building rapport, please excuse us as we dig through scripture and try to figure out why rapport is even necessary or desirable over raw competence (Jungian psych does offer great answers though).Also, I doubt that an INTJ clergy member would stock their bookshelves as full as the authors stated. That just doesn't jive with my experience. For one, a full bookshelf at work is a basic threat to our mobility, so it would fail a contingency planning test. Thinking through my INTJ friends, they tend not to set up a huge base camp at work and prefer instead to put those efforts in at home. I do however have ENTJ and ESFJ friends who stock hundreds of books and make sure they're in open view, and have good reasons for doing so (often around rapport and image-building, and that's fine).I can't give the book more than three stars for these reasons. But I can give advice for other INTJs who may be in a similar position to me:1. Much of the general advice toward INTJs is easily applied to spiritual leadership, but we have to put in the effort to draw correlations. For other types this may seem obvious, but INTJs may need to push themselves to make it an actual exercise. Going outside of MBTI, the book "The Wisdom of the Enneagram" has a lot of great advice for INTJs. Closer to MBTI, Dario Nardi's "8 Keys" book gives great advice for rounding out your personality, with exercises for every function in the stack.2. INTJs can build their Ti (introverted thinking) in a healthy way by developing systems for evaluating their success as a spiritual leader. This activity will in fact require Te research and Ti development/experimentation and is a fun way to come to grips with one's own weaknesses and potential pathways forward. Nardi recommends Ti as a key area for development for INTJs.3. Always assume that others have completely different needs from your own until you have proven otherwise. The savior's example of inviting others to "come, follow me" is a tremendous help here. Instead of seeing ourselves as the one with all the answers, it is helpful to invite others to exercise their faith and develop a course of study or other exercise that will bring them to higher ground. This can be done more efficiently than becoming trapped in e.g. a supervisor spiral with an ISTP. And of course, the savior himself has shown us the power of invitations to take positive action.4. We have it in us to make dramatic change happen. We are system thinkers and system builders. Once the system-level change is in place, we know it will have dramatic effect; time is all that is required. But we have to have courage to take the steps we need to take to put the system and its changes into effect. Otherwise we'll never see the fruits.I hope this is helpful to others. No matter what your personality type, I believe that you can make a positive difference in the lives of many.

  • By Robert L. Campbell on July 17, 2016

    Although a bit old, it is welcome addition to my library on personality typing. It is interesting to see the distribution of MBTI types among clergy. ENFJ Is the most common (Extravert-iNtuition-Feeling-Judging) - but only 15% actually. This is an Alban Institute publication, from the days it was associated with the National Cathedral in Washington (now shifted to Duke University). This study unfolds how different types function in the various clergy roles of pastoring, prayer, and spirituality. It also looks to typical pitfalls that my occur.

  • By Guest on March 13, 2016

    I enjoyed this book so much that I decided to do my first rating/review of a book ever. (And I read a ton.)This book gives you exactly what it advertises: a study on the different types and temperaments in religious leadership. It gives you insight to your approach in the ministry and to spirituality, and also will point out some pitfalls: including common heresies of this type and how some types have a natural propensity for clergy/parishioner relations. They also will point out the many conflicts that can happen between types, that sometimes can simply solved by viewing the difference.This is one of those books you can jump around to whichever section you need, as long as you have a basic understanding of the types. If not, I recommend reading the first few chapters as you start.Worth every cent of the purchase.

  • By Tonya Eza on July 9, 2007

    I have been familiar with personality typing before, but this is the first book that I have read that puts it into the perspective of a religious worker. I gained more insight into what type of leader I am in the church, and what type of leader my pastor is, and that helps us both to work together better for the good of the church. I have suggested it to a sister church worker who is experiencing some difficulties in relationships with her staff members at her church. I would recommend this highly to anyone in any church, regardless of denomination, as a good way to understand all who are on your staff.

  • By Douglas on July 27, 2017

    Really good book both for myself and for those I serve. Highly recommended

  • By Donald B Behnke on August 20, 2012

    This is an interesting book to say the least. I purchased the book for a seminary class and I have decided to keep it for my personal library. It outlines different personality types and how they interact especially in clergy vs clergy and clergy laity roles. My wife and I discovered some differences in how we think and communicate based on taking quick survey in one of the early chapters. A good asset for dealing with differences of opinion and conflict management.

  • By Juan G. Quiroga on January 31, 2014

    it is a good book, and i would recommend the reading of this book to a friend or classmate at school

  • By Adam P. on July 9, 2016

    Such a helpful resource looking at the Myers Briggs and how it plays out in ministry. So thankful for this book!


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