The word Enneagram has likely graced your social media feed, and you may have brushed it off as the latest personality type trend. While this style of understanding personality has gained popularity, appearing in many well-known publications and on Instagram pages of public figures, it’s more than just a fad.
The Enneagram serves as a tool of self-discovery, helping us see our strengths, understand our weaknesses and more compassionately relate to others. Nine basic personality types, or as the Enneagram calls numbers, are arranged around a circle and connect to each other with lines, forming a figure that represents distinct differences and connected commonalities.
For Rev. Molly Moore, Conference ministerial recruitment coordinator and certified Enneagram spiritual director, the Enneagram is a tool of spirituality. “While we each have traits of specific numbers, God reflects the fullness of all nine types.”
Moore says the Enneagram is best encountered in community. While personal study isn’t bad, hearing the experiences of others helps us better understand our own. In May, the Office of Leadership Excellence will offer a retreat focused on the Enneagram and a connected time focused on change.
“Whether in a community of our own type or different type, richness of shared story brings forth the richness of the Enneagram,” Moore says.
Still skeptical? Moore gives us three reasons why the Enneagram might be worth a try:
Get to know yourself.
The Enneagram gives you a lens to examine yourself as an individual as well as in the greater circle of wholeness. This isn’t a test trying to assign you letters or lump you into one area: The Enneagram helps you claim how you were created by God.
Through the Enneagram, you can explore your weaknesses, seeking to understand how those can be strengthened so you can be a better Christian, leader, and fellow believer. By learning more about ourselves, both our strengths and weaknesses, we can grow into better people.
See yourself as part of God’s kingdom.
If God reflects the fullness of all nine numbers, then understanding which number we identify with most helps us see ourselves in the complete picture of God’s kingdom. Moore says it helps her understand and find Christ in each personality and see how she is reflected in Christ. By pursuing understanding the nine types, God’s fullness, we learn how to be more like Christ.
“The Enneagram can heighten your ministry because you have a better sense of who you are as God’s child,” Moore says.
View others through the eyes of Christ.
Most personality tests encourage us to examine only ourselves while the Enneagram helps us to understand the greater picture of how we’re all created. If we can see Christ in each type, then we can better see those qualities in others that fit those types. By learning about each number, we can better appreciate their worth and understand our connection as children of God.
“We look at the Enneagram with a Christian lens to understand how we’re an important piece of a greater community, see how we bring that community together and recognize that there are other voices of worth at the table.”
By: Lauren Miers