A friend in our small group gave me a copy of this little book recently, after an interesting conversation about Prayer, which has come about as we’ve journeyed through the Prayer Course. It is an older book, which focuses on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator of personality tests/types. I am well aware of the problems of any one tool, but the popularity of Myers-Briggs means that this book is a useful way of taking that way of thinking and applying it to faith.
God’s Diverse People is a short and readable little book that both explains the utility for Christians of personality tests, and ways in which we can apply learnings from it to our spirituality and church practices. There is a particularly helpful chapter on personality types and prayer – which resonates with my own experience, and observations the diverse membership of our small group have had in and on and around the Prayer Course. A key takeaway from this little book is the importance of recognising and where appropriate celebrating the differences that are found in the body of Christ. As the authors write in the closing pages;
“The goal of the Christian journey is not self-fulfilment but incorporation into the body of Christ… At the same time it is an incorporation into the cosmic symphony of phrase. Our different personalities, experiences, and temperaments all contribute something slightly different, something unique, to that harmony…”
This book is a helpful read for those of us in any kind of leadership in a Christian context – a brief way to reflect on how our own personality and temperament may or may not best interact with others. The usual caveats about Myers-Briggs, etc, apply, but if you find that way of thinking helpful, this is a useful book.