Personality Tests and YWAM | How Different Personalities Experience Our Mission (ENFP)
We as YWAM globally have adopted and embraced what we call our 18 Foundational Values. Things like: Know God, Make God known, Value the Individual, Function in Teams, Be International and Interdenominational, etc. YWAM is an extremely diverse organization and as you can see by the last three values mentioned, we are called to celebrate and encourage that diversity and the way it makes us strong as the Body of Christ.
Many of us know, however, that with diversity and differences of opinions, values, strategies, and giftings, come real challenges in doing life together. We strive for unity and understanding at every turn and when it comes down to it, living in such a diverse community is one of the absolute best things about YWAM.
Sometimes, however, tools are needed to help us understand one another’s unique functionality. This is why, at YWAM Redding, we embrace things like Strengths Finders and Myers Briggs, to help us grow together as a team and as a family.
Because of all this, we thought it would be fun to take a raw look at YWAM through the eyes of different Myers Briggs personalities.
Whether you are all about personality tests, or you think they’re all a hoax, most of us have heard of the infamous Myers Briggs 16 Personalities test. (And if you haven’t, you can find it here. You’re welcome.)
Now, before I go on and lose some of you who are in the hoax camp, I do want to make one important statement regarding personality tests… I fully acknowledge and agree that not every single person on earth can fit neatly and perfectly into one of just sixteen profile types. I believe that every human ever created is entirely unique because they are a reflection of our vast and complex God; a unique reflection of His never ending angles and sides and dimensions.
THAT being said. I love Myers Briggs. I love those “oohhhh” moments when you read the profile of a friend and suddenly realize why they have a certain behavior that always baffled you in the past. I really believe that this resource can give us valuable insight into others, and into who we are and how we operate without defining us and our self image or the way we view someone else. We don’t’ want to trap ourselves or others into a box, but we really can learn a lot from these tests. It’s a balance, people.
To make this simple and to be able to compare perspectives across personality “types”, I will be interviewing members of our staff who represent these different types so that we can see how they view specific aspects of YWAM life.
This week we are interviewing one of our ENFPs! (Which seem to make up the majority of our staff). If you want, you can check out their personality profile here.
So without further ado… Here are their answers:
What is the best part about the community living aspect of YWAM?
“Always having someone to enjoy a moment with! I am an extreme extrovert so I LOVE being with friends. To me life is all about relationships – with God and with others. The ability to connect and relate to other people, to share life with them, is one of the greatest gift God has given us. The staff at this base are my family, and being able to take someone out to coffee, hear how their doing, share my own thoughts, and connect on that level is just amazing. Especially with people who are SO like minded, yet totally unique in their expression of God’s love.”
What is the most challenging part of community living?
“This is a hard one to answer… I think I’m also just such an extreme optimist that anything can be turned into a positive somehow haha. Like even the challenges of understanding people who have different backgrounds and experiences and opinions are actually fun to me, and I look forward to understanding people who are different from myself.”
How do approach “striving for unity” (as described in Eph 4)?
“Have the hard conversations! In my opinion, there is nothing that two people walking in humility and love can’t overcome. As long as we are striving to understand the other person and aren’t trying to just validate ourselves or prove that we are right, we should be able to move forward in love! Even if we have to just agree to disagree, I can still fully love that other person with the love Christ has given me.”
What is your favorite thing about outreach?
“Probably getting to experience different cultures and learning how to present Jesus to different people groups. I love seeing how each culture is a unique reflection of different aspects of God’s nature. Whether it’s street preaching or sitting in someone’s home with them discussing God over tea, I love connecting with someone and seeing the change that comes as they gain revelation that Jesus truly is the Son of God who died to save them!”
What is the most challenging thing about outreach?
“Probably choosing to get away and be intentional about alone time. Outreach is always so full on and exciting and your team is so close. Sometimes it can be tough to do what Jesus did and get away with the Father. I have to remind myself that even though being around the people I love fills me up, being in His presence is always going to be the biggest thing to refresh me and fill me with what I need to keep going strong.”
How do you overcome these challenges?
“Prioritize the time and plan it ahead! It sounds funny that that would be my answer considering that a weakness of ENFP’s is practical skills and planning haha. But for me, if I tell myself that I am going to take 2-3 hours at 9am on our off day to JUST be with Jesus and do something fun with Him, it makes it easier to say no to other things that come up and opportunities to hang out with people.”
What tools do you use to remain healthy and thriving in busy seasons?
“Kind of what I just mentioned! I’ve learned to be really intentional about “getting away” with God. No matter what is going on in my world, if I keep my gaze fixed on Him and run to the secret place, I know I will always be rooted and steady in the strength of His love.”
How, or in what environments, do you encounter God the most?
“Part of me really loves reading my bible and journaling in a cafe or trendy coffee shop. I call it ‘introverting in public.’ But really the BEST thing for me is to be totally alone some place that I know I won’t be interrupted. And that can look like different things. I think another strength of ENFP’s is that we’re typically energetic and like adventure (it’s at least true for me) so I love changing things up and going on little adventures with Jesus. As long as I feel free to get lost in worship with Him.”
What is your absolute favorite thing about being in YWAM (in general)?
“I think it really has to be either doing life with like-minded people, or the sense of freedom and adventure. I love the fact that there’s such a sense of freedom to dream big and go after the impossible with God, and that there are always people surrounding you and cheering you on. There’s such a freedom to come alive, to be and become who God made you to be, to use and explore all your gifts and passions as you live in wonder of who God is and explore His heart! And then you get to use those gifts to carry that wonder and freedom into the nations and teach other people how to come alive in Christ! What could be better?!”