intuitionSociologists have frequently observed that, for post-moderns, self identity is actively constructed and cultural association is actively chosen. That is, for post-moderns, identity and association are more matters of taste than tradition.

Few, however, have taken the next step and asked: where do these differences in taste come from? So I would like to offer this observation, based on my experience with different subcultures: a significant factor is personality type.

This has led to a further observation, that the personality trait that most predisposes people to isolation within, and alienation from, traditional church is intuition. In effect, intuitives are a “least reached people group” in post-modern contexts.

Which leads me to a final question: What if church was more intuitive friendly? What might it look like?

To glean the beginnings of an answer I would suggest first looking at the difference between Sensing (S) and Intuition (N) as defined in Myers Briggs tests. “Sensing and Intuition are two ways to take in information. Sensing (S) indicates a preference for more practical attention to facts and details. Intuition (N) indicates a preference for more abstract attention to patterns and possibilities.” People with an intuition preference are more interested in the “big picture” than “small details”, more interested with “innovation” than “tradition”, more interested in the relationship between facts than the facts in isolation (see diagram).

What would this look like in practice? What are some examples? As a person who is highly intuitive myself I would offer these: a preference for big picture analysis of the Bible over the cherry picking of isolated memory verses, a preference for contextual interpretation over reductionist interpretation, an openness to exploring theology from difference perspectives, a concern over the double standards that emerge when evangelical ethical teachings are examined in parallel, a preference for mind maps over bullet points, an openness to imagination and creativity in worship, an openness to dreams and heightened awareness of the unconscious, a preference for open community over restrictive community.

These are just a few examples to get the creative juices flowing. I would love to hear if you have more examples to ad.

3 thoughts on “What if church was more intuitive friendly?

  1. Another possibility for a more “intuitive friendly” church would be a focus on inductive Bible study instead of deductive. Traditionally we have done deductive study in the church, taking scripture and telling people the points of interest and what they mean. In an inductive approach the reader (disciple) has to decide what is of significance and how it relates to the rest of Scripture.
    Of course there is a degree of risk in this, but with loving oversight by those elder in the Lord, it can work. I believe the use of inductive Bible study would draw intuitives into discipleship as they actively participate in learning what they believe.

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  2. I like m.b.! When I did my test I was excited that my proclivties for being an intuitive person who sees the big pix was validated. The bummer is that the creative inpiration and desire for innovation often is met w hostility in churces that are institutions. They squash any thing that threatens to take them out of their comfort zones. Most of the last 20yrs i’ve spent trying to get over my inner stigma bc I do not fit in to reg church settings. Now I see it as a gift of freedom & that I have escaped, am well on my way to recovery of creativity & there is still time to contribute my energy for the new things god is doing in this post modern era.

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