Enneagram 3: Why I Am the Way I Am

Richard Rohr once said, ““There is nothing to prove and nothing to protect. I am who I am and it’s enough.” As a type 3 on the Enneagram, I don’t believe that. I can’t believe that. There is a voice inside of me that just rails against that kind of affirmation. And yet, at the same time, I crave affirmation. Who I am isn’t enough. But what I do (if other people deem it successful or of some worth) is enough. I can certainly appreciate that this makes very little sense to someone whose brain doesn’t work like that — which is probably most people. If you don’t know or haven’t heard about the different Enneagram types, check out this link. Here are a couple videos about the sometimes dreaded type 3.


Here’s another good one.


I’m so fascinated with all of this.

If you’re familiar with the Enneagram, or even if you’re just becoming familiar with it, what type are you? Or what type(s) do you think you might be? How does it affect you? Does it bring about a kind of better self-awareness?

I hope this brings about the kind of self understanding that it has to me. Even if that understanding isn’t always wonderful to know.

Cheers,
Eric

My wonderful wife, Megan has written about goal setting in ministry as a type 3 here. She’s a very gifted writer, even if she won’t believe that. Because she’s a 3. What a vicious cycle.

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A Video Worth Watching

In honor of Peter Rollins’ talk this morning at the Outlaw Preachers conference, I wanted to post another talk he did a couple years back.

This video from the Poets, Prophets and Preachers conference a couple years back has been making a bit of a resurgence as of late. I think it still has a lot to say to us today. Check it out.

What did you think? What stuck out to you? What will stay with you?

Cheers,
Eric

What Vanilla Ice Can Teach Our Youth Ministry

I know that judging by this picture, most people would think the idea that he could teach you about church to be silly. And it breaks every mantra I have to trust anyone over the age of five with strips shaved on the side of his head. But I think that as another year of Sunday school, confirmation, and youth group begins, there are a few things we can remember from the immortal words of the man himself.

With the start of each year it seems there is the re-commitment to doing our best. Here are three words of wisdom from the man himself that we can do as a church to better serve the youth in our congregations (and really everyone else as well).

Stop

Unless you’re in the rare 1% of church people who are really dynamic leaders, we need to stop with the idea that it’s up to the leader to have a successful youth program. The type of education where one person is the expert and they impart information onto the eager learners is a thing of the past. And it’s only going to deliver the results that we’ve been getting in the past. And that’s not great.

So if we want to improve, we need to stop doing autocratic, leader-centered ministry.

Collaborate

I think collaboration is one of the primary things that will save youth ministry. It does put the pressure on one expert. It also allows for all viewpoints to be heard and discussed (there is room for this in the church at large too, not just the youth wing). The common fear that most pastors have about collaboration is that irrelevant conversation will somehow seep into the the group if we allow more than the leader to speak. That’s just not true. Sure there will be people who say some things that are out there, but if they’re not even allowed to engage in conversation, then going to church becomes an even more passive act and easier to abandon.

Collaboration is the way forward in ministry because it acknowledges that everyone is an expert on faith in their own right. You want to make ministry relevant? Let young people in your church have a voice in it.

Listen

Of course the whole “let the people have a voice” thing doesn’t go very far if the people in charge aren’t listening. I think listening is the most important thing that a person who works with you can learn to do. In order to lead a group of people anywhere they want to go, you have to know where they’d like to go. You have to listen to what young people are dealing with, the things that they’re concerned about. A “relevant” ministry is one that comes out of the concerns of the community. But the first step in creating this, is to really listen to what people are saying.

So as the new school year is upon us, I would beg of you to remember the words of Vanilla Ice and stop, collaborate and listen.

Cheers,
Eric

This Week’s Music…

Over this past week, there are pretty much two albums I’ve been listening to on constant repeat. I wanted to share those with you.

“The Head and the Heart” by The Head and the Heart

“Bon Iver” by Bon Iver

Apparently this week was brought to you by self-titled albums. Here’s some of songs from these albums that have been making their rounds this week.

If you’ve heard these songs before, you know how awesome they are. If these are new to you, enjoy! These are some of my favorites.

What have you been listening to this past week? What music has been getting you excited lately?

Cheers,
Eric

Facebook’s Fight Against the Reality of Death

Okay, so the title may be a bit hyperbolic, but I think there’s something to it if you’ll grant me some space here.

At yesterday’s F8 conference, Mark Zuckerberg unveiled what the newest features of Facebook — a new feed dubbed “Timeline” — will look like and how it will operate. I couldn’t help but notice that littered throughout his presentation were really interesting claims about how the social realities of Facebook are impacting our lives. With the new features, Zuckerberg claims that Timeline will be the most user-friendly aspect of Facebook and will allow users to maintain control of their entire online social experience.

“You have complete control over your timeline.”

This is the line that Mark kept repeating as he was presenting this new format. The more often he said it, the more frequently I found myself cringing. After thinking about it a little bit further, I realized what was bugging me about it. What Mark was essentially offering was complete control over our lives. If we can control our timeline, we can control what happens in our life. It offers a safety net from the unexpected things in life.

Now granted, nobody actually expects a social network to prolong their lives. In fact, some people may expect the direct opposite. But implicit in his presentation was that we can have complete control over our lifespan. It gives us the assurance of autonomy and independence that people need to feel in order to be secure in their very existence.

“Complete control of our timeline” gives us permission to assert ourselves over and against the reality of death.

Social networking and identity construction has always been an interesting correlation to me. But never before have I encountered such a concrete example of a denial of our non-existence through the means of social technology. I’m really interested to see how something as innocent as a feature named “Timeline” influences our subconscious notions of ourselves in daily life.

Maybe I’m way off-base here. But I think there’s something to this. What do you think? How would you respond if a social network promised you “complete control over your timeline”?

Cheers,
Eric

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