Personality Types, Startups, and Church Planting


For me, I feel as though when it comes to looking at startups or church planting I'm more likely to do through through a sociological lens or even psychological. Meaning, I'm interested in the culture of the setting and the personality, makeup, and background of the one venturing to start this endeavor. As they say, context is everything.

Who you are means everything. Where you grew up, how you grew up, why you're setting out to start something, your personality and more are significantly influential. When it comes to church planting, as much as we try and assume it doesn't, the church will and does take on the personality of its founder. The same with any kind of startup. It is inevitable. It is similar to when we have children. Not only do we pass along our DNA but as they grow up in our household they are influenced by who we are, our likes and interests, leanings, etc.

One of the starting points in this whole startup conversation (whether church planting or business startups) is to recognize and understand who you are. If you're scattered and spontaneous then whatever you're starting carries that as well. If you're highly organized and structured then that spills over into your new church or startup (obviously we want to build a team that fills out and covers our weakness). Maybe before you start something you should first take a deep dive into who you are ... your personality, strengths, weaknesses, leanings, etc.

Even in the last article posted here on the Intrepid site it was and is the realization that I even view this whole conversation from the only framework I know ... my own. Since I'm naturally curious and mildly creative I'd much rather start something now and then figure things out on the fly. Two business startups later and I'm still operating this way. I'm not saying it's better or worse, it's just this is who I am and how I operate. I've finally learned to become comfortable in my own skin.

I view church planting now in the same light. The first time I planted a church I did it "by the rules." I followed the lore and how-to's of church planting. It didn't fit me. I hated it. It was forcing a round peg in a square hole. I didn't know then that the best way to plant is to actually be the person God made me to be. I can't be anyone else. You can't be anyone else. So how about we both stop trying?

That's a scary thing. To break against the norms, customs, and culture and "conventional" church planting and startup "shoulds." But what if you could simply be yourself? How freeing is that? Maybe that means you don't have the leadership and skill to launch and grow a multi-billion dollar company or even a large church (in whatever form that takes ...). But you can operate in your own giftedness and skill set.

The greatest asset you can bring into this is yourself. Stop copying others.