Saturday, December 7, 2013

ENFJs in ministry and preaching

[If you've got no idea what I'm talking about here - read my last post...]

I’ve spent the last week reading up on ENFJism. It’s all pretty interesting. Tonight I want to continue my series about different personality types and ministry, but because I don’t know many ENFJ ministers up close, what I’m saying may not be spot on. I’d love to be corrected - particularly if you are an ENFJ or if you know one well.

ENFJs have Extraverted Feeling as their primary mode of operation with Introverted Intuition as their auxilary function. This means that the ENFJ’s primary mode of living is in the outside world (as opposed to in their own heads) where they wear their judging/decision making hat (all of the time!) The colour of the ENFJ’s judging hat is FEELINGS. They are constantly making decisions about things, weighing things up, working out how to respond based on how they feel about things and how things fit into their personal values system.

ENFJs love people. They love to be around them, to draw them out, to make them feel comfortable. They have all the social graces. They are confident, polite, well mannered. They laugh when they should. And they are really good friends. They listen, they help, they own your problems as their own, and they keep in touch when you’ve moved away. Unlike their ENFP cousins, who think they are insightful but often are just projecting their own feelings onto others (an introverted feelings thing), ENFJs really are in tune with the feelings of others. This makes the ENFJ a much trusted confidante and sometimes something of a guru, for ENFJs love to teach people and offer advice. Imagine Buddha sitting up on a mountain... it gives them a buzz.

Being a J type, the ENFJ gets stuff done. If it involves people management, they are most likely to do it brilliantly. They like to bring out the best in others. They love people and people love them... but because the ENFJ feels so much for others and wants so much to help, in ministry they can get burnt out with over committment. They need to remember that they’re not Jesus and leave it to him to change people.

But over the years, many ENFJs have forgotten that they’re not Jesus and have become cult leaders. ENFJs make great cult leaders. People love them, they understand how people feel and so can manipulate them, they are organised, they are confident, they LOVE people to come to them for advice (this can be like a drug to the ENFJ), and they get pretty excited about hero myths and quite easily develop hero complexes. Such an ENFJ is bad news. You might not have seen one full blown, but some church ministers elevate themselves a little too high and you can see the cult thing in embryo.

ENFJs will likely work pretty hard at their preaching. They are not really into impersonal analysis so aren’t going to preach theoretical stuff just for the sake of it, but ENFJs see themselves as on a spiritual journey and they are keen for any nuggets of wisdom along the way. To help them on the path to enlightenment, they will read theology and all sorts of things and this comes out in their preaching for they are very ready to impart their knowledge to others. They love the teacher role and really love to be agents of change. Their sermons will certainly have charm and some flair and are likely to be much better organised and more practical and directive than the ENFPs.

1 comment:

  1. I'm an ENFJ and I reckon this is spot on Simone. I am never more buzz-y than when I've been mentoring or making a difference in someone's life, and I love to preach.

    But the danger you mention is familiar too. I include in some of my daily prayers specific lines aimed at some of these tendencies, for example:
    - I trust that Jesus is the powerful and generous head of his church.
    - I confess my love of power and desire to manipulate people.
    - Please give me the humility to receive others' help.