We are so excited to bring you another incredible episode on the enneagram today! As you know, here at Heart of Dating we value the tool of the enneagram when it comes to self-awareness and relationships! So we brought on Kait Warman’s former pastor and author of “The Enneagram for Spiritual Formation”
AJ Sherrill (DMin, Fuller Theological Seminary) has more than twenty years of experience as a pastor, including the role of lead pastor at Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is an adjunct professor at Fuller Theological Seminary, where he teaches popular courses on transformational preaching and the Enneagram.
Today and Kait and AJ discuss how the enneagram can not only be a tool in spiritual formation but also in dating!
Where did you hear about the enneagram for the first time and why do you think it’s growing in popularity in the Christian world?
- AJ first heard about it from a monk out in New Mexico
- He was drawn to it because it wasn’t just a personality test that told you “how great you are” but also discussed aspects you need to grow in.
- Christians are drawn to it because we are longing for a deep self-awareness
- “The goal of the enneagram isn’t the enneagram. The goal is to gain self-knowledge and self-awareness so that you can move more into the presence of God by naming and healing the parts of you that are broken”
Tell us about your new book!
- AJ recently released his book “The Enneagram: For Spiritual Formation” which focuses more on how to apply understanding the enneagram to your spiritual life in lieu of just learning about your type.
- While technology and culture has changed since biblical times, motivation has not.
- AJ talks about how identity and personality are not the same thing and he’s spent time deconstructing it.
Could you tell us a little bit about how identity and personality are not necessarily the same thing?
- Your identity is what’s “non-negotiable” with God which is that you are beloved.
- You can’t make God love you any more or any less, and you don’t have to go searching to be loved by other by other people, because you already have that in your identity.
- Personality is not your identity, it’s strategy. It’s a strategy you have designed to cope in a broken and beautiful world.
- You could rename “The 9 Enneagram Types” to “The 9 Strategy Types” because it’s how we’ve developed to navigate life
What is “The Shadow Side”?
- Is things we know are true at a pre-cognitive level.
- We spend a lot of time hiding things we don’t want to face and we don’t want others to see.
- Using the enneagram helps us mature emotionally in bringing these things out and dealing with them.
Why do you believe that spiritual formation and these practices are so important in singleness and dating?
- Self-awareness is key in bettering yourself which is also key in a healthy dating relationship
- It’s important to recognize the integrated body formation of mind, body, and emotions and the overall holistic way that God’s designed us.
- “Are you becoming the person that the person you’re looking for is looking for” -Andy Stanley
- Dating is about becoming someone not just finding someone.
- Kait and AJ also talked about upstream and downstream practices in spiritual lives for different enneagram numbers.
What is your final nugget of dating advice?
- Don’t believe the myth that one pairing of enneagram numbers is better than another. Any couple will come uniquely with their own strengths and weaknesses
- Regardless of what number you are, show humility as that’s what going to create a beautiful relationship
Connect with AJ!
Order his new book HERE!
Connect on Instagram HERE