Seems that some British academics have discovered that church actually attracts a certain demographic of psychological types.
According to the National Church Life Survey (NCLS), "They wondered whether the strong presence of certain psychological characteristics among churchgoers could mean that those with differing psychological types may sometimes feel alienated."
Using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, they discovered that there is an extremely high percentage of church attenders whose psychological types are:
S - sensing
F - feeling
J - judging
(there is an almost equal number of E and I types).
In NCLS' media release:
They said the over-representation of preference for “sensing” characterised a community concerned with continuity, with traditions, with stability, and with a God grounded in divine changelessness. “Here is a community concerned with guarding what has been handed down by previous generations.
“A community shaped by such a pronounced preference for sensing may, however, be quite alien to individuals who view the world through the lens of intuition.”
The researchers said the over-representation of preference for judging characterised a community concerned with organisation, with discipline, with structure and with a God who welcomes a regular pattern of worship (whatever that pattern might be).
“Here is a community concerned with valuing regular commitment, advanced planning and respect for guidelines (implicit as well as explicit). Such a community may tend to reject spontaneity and flexibility. A community shaped by such a pronounced preference for judging may, however, be quite alien to individuals who view the world through the lens of perceiving.”
The over-representation of preference for feeling characterised a community concerned with human values, with interpersonal relationships and with a loving and caring God. “Here is a community concerned with peace and with harmony. Such a community may tend to project a feminine profile, given the significantly higher levels of preference for feeling reported among women than among men in many national population studies.
“A community shaped by a preference for feeling may, however, be quite alien to individuals who view the world through the lens of thinking.”
I'd always thought that the church attracts a certain personality type, but to have it confirmed by academics is rather interesting to me, perhaps more so because my psychological type doesn't actually match that of the majority.
Perhaps that explains why I get frustrated sometimes and why I cannot understand why people cannot see things the way I do?
And perhaps the reason why churches cannot seem to reach out to everybody in the community is because we lack the understanding on how to reach out to certain personality types that are foreign to our own?
What about Jesus? Does He appeal only to certain personality types, or is it simply a church/organised religion thing?