HIRING & Rural Pastors’ Myers-Briggs Correlated w/ Church Size/Health

Commentary by Prof. B: There are many research-based and valid ways to look at pastoral suitability.  Martin Butler has looked at various leadership traits and behaviors in his exhaustive research.  Kenton F. Hinton D.Min. offers a somewhat different and interesting correlation between the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and whether a pastor can grow a church. The following is gleaned from his presentation to the 2017 annual meeting of the Great Commission Research Network held Oct. 19, 2017 at Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, KY.

Caution: These findings were part of a DMin project by Hinton and based upon a sample of 28 rural churches led by Anglo pastors.  Though the results mirror other research (notably Finke and Stark), the reader must be careful to apply this cautiously outside of the sample context. One of my colleagues at the presentation stated, “This proves what works in Johnson County in Southern Baptist Churches” (ET).

Here are some of the takeaways.

ESFJ pastors

  • mostly grew a church.
  • top spiritual gifts (ranked): faith, prophesy, pastor, encouragement
  • strongest skill set: preaching

ESFJ pastors

  • mostly plateaued a church.
  • top spiritual gifts (ranked): pastor, giving, encouagement, faith
  • strongest skill set: pastoral care

E/ISTJ pastors

  • mostly declined a church.
  • top spiritual gifts (ranked): teaching, wisdom, knowledge, pastor, giving
  • strongest skill set: teaching

(Hinton didn’t expand on other MBTI categories)