Personality, Gifting, and Godliness

We all have different personality types, and traits.

Many a team building seminar has exhorted the worth of knowing whether you are a leader, or a facilitator, or another of the personality types observed by the experts. But have you ever thought about how your Christian life and growth might be affected by your personality and gifting?

I work on a great staff team at church, and I love to see how God uses our personalities and gifts to help one another, and make us more effective in ministry as a team, than as individuals.

I have friends who I particularly value for the way they encourage me to godliness, in ways I would not think of on my own.

For example, some people are naturally adventurous. They are quickly willing to step out in faith, to make changes, to push boundaries, to regularly ask of their life and ministry “What if?”

I greatly benefit from people who are like this, because I am not! I’m generally happy with the status quo, and not particularly questioning or adventurous. I like things to be nice and organised, calm and well thought out.

This isn’t all bad, as I’ll go on to mention, but the reality is that Christian life isn’t neat and tidy! And faith in God is not trust in my well-planned schedule or five year plan! We face challenges, change, growth,… or stagnation. Sometimes God’s Holy Spirit will unsettle us from our comfortable routines.

Faith in God often looks like blind uncertainty from our vantage point – but our faith is not placed in where we are going, or the plans that we have, but in the God who guides us! And he is certain and unchanging.

I need my more adventurous friends and colleagues to encourage me to take God at his word and to step out in faith. To risk change for greater growth. To “be an Abraham”, who when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. (Hebrews 11:8)

Yet that’s not all that there is to say, because my personality type expresses itself in other traits that are needed for godliness too!

Faithfulness – plugging away day after day, and not giving up when things are hard.

Pragmatism that blends well with the vision and excitement of others, to produce plans that are adventurous and well thought out!

Organisation – that enjoys working out what a step of faith might look like in practice.

I still pray that God would make me a visionary, someone who is eager to do anything that he would ask, with excitement and faith.

But I also rejoice that God knows how he has made me, and is growing all the parts of my personality to reflect Christ, and be used in his service!

Join me in asking that God would show you your strengths and weaknesses and how he can use you in his church.

Do you need to work on growing in faithfulness? Getting your head down and carrying on when things are tough?

Or is your personality such that you need a kick to get going, step out in faith, and make some brave changes?

4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.

1 Corinthians 12:4-6

  1. Ask God to show you where he is at work in, and through your gifts and personality.
  2. Ask Him to surround you with people who will compliment and
    challenge your gifts.
  3. Don’t give up attending, and getting stuck into your local church (chances are this is how he will answer point 2!)