Church communities may not be seen as a good prospect from a revenue perspective, which is true. It is something I choose to do as a way of “giving back” and do not charge a fee, only asking them to offset direct expenses, including access to PD online. It does take a commitment of time, and can be most rewarding when you see people make the link between communication/personality and church.
I’ve worked with United Churches in Ontario as well as this one United Methodist Church in Florida. One common “concern” voiced by a few participants is that the Bible is the only information they need, and when we are able to help them create linkages between personality style and the Bible, it is another way of looking at the gospels, and linking it back to how we have different perspectives and expectations in church based on our personality type.
This particular church in Florida seats 1750 people, has 2 services weekly, and has a 600 student Christian school attached, so it is pretty big. The “music” program, called Worship & Arts, has at least 100 people involved, mostly volunteers. I started working with this group about 8 years ago, and am a member as well, so have been able to follow their “growth” which has been truly awesome.
In addition to the Worship & Arts team, I’ve facilitated sessions with the church staff, volunteer leadership and the entire school staff and teachers over the years, making Personality Dimensions® part of their “culture”. In the past, we linked it to team building, leadership, conflict, and other communication strategies, so this was the first time that we linked it to “church”, and it was really awesome how it worked out so well.
For this session, we had 50 participants, mostly part of Worship & Arts and a couple of extra church staff, which made for a lot of great interaction. Of the 50 participants there were: 14 Authentic Blues, 16 Organized Golds, 12 Inquiring Greens, and 8 Resourceful Oranges. We had a 3 hour session including dinner and covered different activities or “themes”. For the first activity over dinner, participants were asked to do the following:
With your “color” team, discuss the following questions over dinner. As much as possible, find answers that all can agree with. Write your answers on the flip chart paper provided. Be prepared to share your team’s answers with the rest of the color groups after dinner.
After taking time to discuss the questions, and enjoy their dinner the groups came up with some very fitting, and creative responses…
- Name three aspects or attributes of this church community that appeal most to your “colour” group.
|Friendly – warmth
|Vacation Bible School
|Open table, all in
|Office Staff Efficiency
|Evolving to include
|bible study/small group
|Small Groups/Bible Study
|Modern, well-maintained facilities
- List three ways in which (church) demonstrates “all ages, all in” that appeal to your “colour” group.
|Worship & Arts/music/God rodz
|Operation Christmas Child
|Inclusion, worship & arts
|Missions all inclusive
|Youth Mission Trips
|Ministries for all ages
|School and Church together: 600 students on site
|Respect for tradition
|All ages on platform singing
|Children’s moment in service
|Home for recovering Catholics!
|Shining Lights/special needs
|Age inclusive praise team & participation in services
|Shoe Boxes, Reindeer Run – all inclusive
- As we grow older/mature, our spiritual needs tend to change or grow. Identify more/other ways in which (church) could address the spiritual needs of your “color” group – at least one answer for each age group:
- Preschool up to middle school/junior high
- Teens to young adults
- Families with young children
- Mid-range adults (40 to 60 approximately)
- “Mature” adults (60 up)
|Preschool up to middle school/junior high
|All inclusive mission activities
|Include Prayer at children’s activities
|Spray park/splash park
|Teens to young adults
|H.S. Group/mall/social activities
|Confirmation; help with career planning and life skills
|Exposure to other beliefs
|Coffee bar; charging station
|Families with young children
|MOPS, Santa, Egg Hunt, Parent child banquet, intergenerational activities, mentoring, prayer partners, give parents a break – child care
|More emphasis on unchurched families w/children who participate; More interaction with older members
|Provide stable environment
|Involve youth assisting w/young families
|Mid-range adults (40 to 60 approximately)
|Wing men’s’ group
|Maintain perspective (Life balance)
|Care (small) groups *to meet each other
|“Mature” adults (60 up)
|Empty Nesters, small groups, disciple
|Mentoring and tutoring children and families, and vice versa
|Respecting tradition (big picture)
|Facebook Tutorial classes (technology
- Name a scripture, parable or bible story that appeals most to your “color” group.
|Jonah, Prodigal Son, Daniel
|Martha and Mary when Jesus was at their home
|Moses parting the red sea@ (Exodus 14:21)
|Naomi & Ruth
|Turn water into wine
|David and Goliath! (Matthew 14:22-36
|Peter walking on water
|Mark 89:29 “Who Do You Say That I Am?”
Our final activity was not based on scripture, one of those team bridge building games. The participants started in brightened color groups, and then we mixed them up 2 or 3 times, plus handed out the behavior cards to cause even more confusion. It definitely proved that crazy unstructured teams are not effective, but they did have a lot of fun and built four really cool bridges as you can see in the pictures below.
Participants were given the following directions:
You will be put into teams, then read all of these instructions. Team Leaders will be assigned to lead a team and will meet separately while the “building” teams read these instructions and plan their bridge building – DO NOT START BUILDING UNTIL YOUR TEAM LEADER TELLS YOU TO START
Using the materials given, and one extra item of your choosing, you will be building a bridge that can achieve the following:
Can support the weight of a bible
A bible can pass under it without touching it
Some creative design feature makes the bridge different and memorable
Spread out and look at the materials in your bag to help you plan how you will build your bridge
You have ten minutes to plan – during which you may not start building
When your Team Leader says “start building”, you then have ten minutes to build your bridge
The most important part of this was to see that each “color” could identify pretty good responses to each question, and they were different from each other color, to truly emphasize how we filter perceptions through our “Personality Dimensions”.
Karen Rae Short has been privileged to work with numerous organizations in the public and private sector across Canada, frequently applying personality type to coaching and workshop design and delivery. As a True Colors facilitator, she was delighted when Personality Dimensions® was first introduced and has been a Personality Dimensions® Facilitator and supporter since day one. With 20 plus years of workshop design and delivery, Karen enjoys a “dual” lifestyle, travelling from Tampa Florida to work with her Canadian clients during the winter months, and working the rest of the year from her Canadian home in London Ontario. She can be reached at email@example.com.