Monday, November 09, 2009

Feeling Christianity

Over the past 5 year, 38 young adults have undertaken the Internship program at my church, King’s Church Durham. At the start of the year, inters do a Myers-Briggs personality evaluation. One of the dichotomies of this evaluation is “Thinking-Feeling” which is about how a person makes decisions. “Thinkers” more naturally make decisions based on their thoughts, “feelers” more naturally make decisions based on their feelings.
Of the 38 interns, to my knowledge only 6 have been “thinkers”. That’s less than 16%. I have done no further research, but I would guess that this trend would follow across Christians in general, not just King’s Church interns, though perhaps not to quite the same extent.
A common misconception about Christianity, and faith in general, is that it requires the suspension of reason. Therefore people who tend to make decisions based on rational thought rather than gut instinct would be less likely to have faith of any kind, including Christianity.
As someone who loves thinking, and loves discussing my thinkings with others, this distresses me. I’m not sure what should be done about the situation though. Thoughts?


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

A tricky but an very interesting one. I wonder looking at this whether it is something to do with the profile of people King's attracts and of those who would choose to participate in the kind of internship King's offers?

Would it be fair to say that the King's internship is very people oriented rather than about improving structures, developing technologies and so on? Could it be that the gift mix needed for being a 'successful' intern (given the current content of the program) might put off those who would be looking for other ways to serve?

Joe 50 said...

This is interesting, as I'm fairly certain that if you did a similar survey of Parish Assistants in my church over the past 5 years the percetnages would be exactly reversed. So I don't agree that it's a trend that goes across Christianity. We don't cease to be humans when we become Christians and so I'd expect to see a fairly similar range amongst belivers and non-believers. However, what I thnk this does show is that personality types are attracted to different types of churches. I don't think either of our churches would like to be told that they attract one type of person over another, but in reality this seems to be the case.