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How is your personality influencing the way you pastor? How can you preach the gospel to a community of personalities?

by Jesse Eubanks

When we utilize our personality to build our identity, find our security, or experience freedom, we end up exaggerating some of our gifts and diminishing others. We take a good thing (God’s Spirit at work through our personality) and try to use it to do something it wasn’t designed to do. Instead of using the hammer to hit a nail, we end up hitting people in the head.

When applied through Christian wisdom, the Enneagram is a tool that allows us to identify our relational patterns so we can bring them to Jesus. Allowing God to give us the things we seek (identity, security, and freedom) frees us up to relate to others in healthier ways.


Consider how your personality may be shaping your approach to being a pastor. How is your relational style shaping your views of God, the way you lead, and your relationships with those around you?

A lack of self-awareness is one of the greatest dangers to pastors. Spiritual leaders are gifted at seeing everyone else’s problems while often being utterly blind to their own. Pastors carry unparalleled influence in people’s lives, which means a pastor’s self-deception always hurts more than the pastor alone. The privilege of pastoring carries with it the responsibility to be self-aware.


In the scriptures, we see Jesus’s ability to meet people where they are and speak directly into their lives. Each of his encounters seems customized to touch the deepest wounds, biggest doubts, and worst sins of everyone who encounters him. How can we ensure that the gospel is doing the same thing today?

Every person we encounter has a personality—a mysterious algorithm of emotions, thoughts, and instincts. Each person has their own shame, fear, and guilt that they wrestle with daily. What does the gospel of Jesus offer to these problems?

Take a look at the table below and consider how the gospel can be communicated to touch all three parts of someone’s personality.


I appreciate the Enneagram, but the Enneagram is not my savior. It can never replace Jesus and the goodness of his gospel. However, when used with wisdom, the Enneagram gives me new insights into my own needs, desires, and sin so I can learn to trust God with them. It gives me new ways to see relational patterns in both myself and those around me, allowing me to pursue the two greatest commandments of loving God and loving others.

Jesus has told us that all of life is about relationships. We can’t have flourishing relationships without self-awareness. The world will know we are Christians by how we relate. Let’s build better relationships.


Check out our books and our podcast!

HOW WE RELATE: UNDERSTANDING GOD, YOURSELF AND OTHERS THROUGH THE ENNEAGRAM by Jesse Eubanks Discover how God speaks into your unique personality and life story to make the gospel come alive for you. Enneagram coach and host of The EnneaCast podcast Jesse Eubanks invites readers to go deeper for true transformation. In How We Relate, Eubanks interprets the Enneagram through the gospel story to help readers grow in self-awareness, improve their relationships, and encounter Jesus. LIFE IS ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS. IT’S TIME TO TRANSFORM YOURS.

Like a workshop, interview and game show for your relational health. Welcome to The EnneaCast, a bi-weekly show that explores personality and the Enneagram through the lens of the gospel. Every episode combines teaching, an interview and a game into a fascinating and fun listening experience. Hosted by Jesse Eubanks and Lindsey Lewis, The EnneaCast features authors, artists, pastors and counselors sharing their wisdom with one goal in mind: to help you experience more meaningful relationships with God, yourself and others.

RelateBetter exists to help you build better relationships. Get the tools. Put them to work. Enjoy better relationships with God, others and yourself. Start here!