Updated: Jan 29, 2021
Kathleen Willey Peterson is a Certified Pastoral Member of the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling, and has been an International Representative since September 5, 2013. She has also been an NCCA Licensed Pastoral Counselor since April, 2016. Kathleen is the Founder and International Director of Aaron & Hur International Ministries.
Intuitive Leadership: Leadership and Temperament
Leadership is a privilege and a calling. It is more than a position on a flowchart or a simple job description. It demands of the leader creativity, forward thinking and high levels of sacrifice. You can read through the 40,000 books on leadership sold by Amazon and still feel overwhelmed and lost in the role as leader, especially if you do not understand how God has uniquely created you and each one of your team members. This is true of any leader, and especially the men and women God has called to lead within the church. Like any leader, the church leader works with plans, budgets, personnel, vision casting and much, much more! They in fact are running a business! But this organization is different from other businesses, because this business involves tensions that the local hardware store owner does not have to face. The church environment has at least two distinct differences from a corporate setting, the intensity of spiritual warfare and the expression of temperament.
Though we know that the war against sin and death was won on the cross of Jesus Christ, there is a battle for the hearts and souls of millions around the world.
Church leaders are in the forefront of the battle. They deal with the business of church but also are privy to people’s lives and homes at a level that no other person is invited. They walk in to the hospital room to sit by the bed of a dying church member, they are asked to counsel people when their marriage is in trouble (regardless of the state of their own marriage), and they are called to officiate the funeral of a 16 year old suicide victim. They have to be at church rather than home for most of the holidays, they are expected to be at every pot-luck dinner, birthday party and children’s concert at the church. As the icing on the cake, they are subject to criticism on every front from what their child posts on Facebook to the lengths of their Sunday sermon. Those external factors do not compare to the internal struggles they face with their own identity, insecurities, and wounds from the past, and battle to keep their relationship with God fresh and personal. So we must recognize the pastor has unique challenges that differ from leaders in other arenas.
Another difference between the church leader and other leadership roles is found in the setting. The church setting, though it has similarities to the business setting is quite different. As students of temperament using the Arno Profile System we study the individual in three areas, Inclusion - Control - Affection. In a business setting the temperament areas that present themselves are the areas of Inclusion and Control. In fact, the APS Personnel report only includes these two areas. But, the Church is intended to be much more than a social club (Inclusion) or a business (Control), it is a Family (Affection). As church was meant to be, the whole of the person is expressed in the context of Church. Since most church leaders do not understand temperament and, much less, the three areas of temperament, they find themselves struggling within themselves and with their staffs and congregations. They try to create a mold of what a good Christian should look like. Usually that mold is determined by the leader’s temperament. The Melancholy in Inclusion leader determines that the spiritually healthy person should be quiet and reserved, contemplating on the depth of theological truths. In contrast, the Sanguine in Inclusion pastor thinks that a spiritually mature church member will be outgoing and hit the streets evangelizing every person they meet! Often, the standards that are set are impossible to meet. One national church leader described his feeling in this way, “I feel like I am wearing a coat that was not made for me, it is the wrong size but I am expected to wear it!” His temperament profile revealed that he was PG-S-PS. He was expected, by his supervisors, to lead as a Choleric in Control rather than learning to lead with the pastor’s heart of the Supine!
Aaron & Hur International Ministries purpose is to minister to church leaders and their families with the goal of helping men and women fulfill their calling in the Kingdom of God without losing their families or their sanity. A&H has teams in USA, Colombia, Brazil, and Cuba. Besides these countries, we have ministered to leaders in Panama, Costa Rica, England, Ireland, Austria, Uganda and more. We provide counseling, discipleship, and training to these church leaders.
As part of our training program for our team we developed a series of classes. Our introductory class is title Original Design. This class is focused on helping leaders and teams understand God’s design in them and the natural needs, wants and motivations of each temperament. We have three other classes developed as advanced classes— Intuitive Leadership: leadership and temperament, Team and Temperament and After God’s Own Heart: Ministering to Ministers in crisis.
In 2019 we presented workshops to over 1000 church leaders and ran 1075 APS Reports in countries around the world. The testimony of church leaders filled our hearts with joy, as they discovered the beauty of God’s reflection in themselves, in their spouses, children and in their ministry teams. In the past year we have seen pastoral marriages restored, pastor’s kids hearts return to the Lord and pastors recover the joy of their salvation! We are honored to serve the Lord by serving his Church Leaders! All for the Glory of God!