Totally Catholic Youth Ministers Lounge

Are you in youth ministry and you've had it with crazed parents? Rollin' your eyes at the pastoral council? Tired of administration work? Love youth? Love the Church? Appalled at parish politics? Looking for some good games? For a creative ways to teach a lesson for Religious Ed? Just need a place to veg out and say "phew! Someone outside of the parish to talk to!"? Grab y'r Starbucks, turn the computer away from the staff's eyes, grab a seat on a donated dusty couch and let it all go.

Friday, March 10, 2006


Extravert, iNtuitive, Feeling and Perceiving. That's me in a nutshell.

Our current staff did the testing and had a day with a counselor who took us through a variety of exercises to learn about ourselves and how to work with others. Us "E"s loved it, the Introverts were exhausted by the end.

The last parish I was in had several people who were definate J's-Judging. Some of the characteristics are "closure, decided, plan ahead, scheduled, planned, settled, fixed, completed, punctual, purposeful". I'm way the other direction: Perceiving: options, open-minded, adapt on the go, spontaneous, open ended, pending, flexible, emergent, leisurely and adaptable.

One woman on that staff was VERY J. It drove her nuts that I didn't have a service event all planned out weeks in advance. One time she yelled at me-now, she was not my boss, technically I was over her, but she had been the "mom youth minister" before I arrived-WHY DON'T YOU HAVE IT TOGETHER?

Eventually she went to the deacon and complained (our boss was out of town). When the deacon told me he wanted to meet with me, I knew it wasn't going to be good. So I asked this woman what to expect. She actually shrugged her shoulders and said "I don't know what the deacon will say".

Then, in the closed door meeting the deacon proceeded to go through my list of "faults". Since he would have no idea what I do on a day-to-day business the only way he could have known was if this woman told him. Suddenly she chimes in "Why did you do it this way and not that way?!" she banged her hand on the table.

I couldn't believe the betrayal. She had gone behind my back instead of coming to me to resolve her obvious frustration with me. Nothing makes me shut down quicker that being betrayed, yelled at and not being up front with me.

It still bothers me to think about it-I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to write her and yell back at her. This time with the new staff was eye opening to me because I realized how "J" and Thinking she was and how important it is to have some clue as to where others are coming from.

I don't believe that she would ever be able to be open to who I was and how I am in this world. Her loss. It seems like so many parish staff not only disagree on theology but have NO idea how the other person works and ministers. Being a Church staff you'd think we would all get along but the reality is so very dark more times than not. Rarely have I met a staff that actually enjoys working together-and ironically they are there to minister together to the parish.

Let me say THANK GOD for the staff I get to work with in this job!


Blogger Mike Roesch said...

In defense of the Js (I'm an INTJ and test highest on J every time), we aren't all like that. Although at the moment, my own youth minister, who is an ESFP, my exact opposite, is driving me nuts by not having e-mailed me the plans for our Confirmation prep class on Sunday. We met to discuss them last week, but, being the N, I didn't write anything down :)

4:24 PM  
Blogger TCYM Lounge said...

That's hilARious!

Good to know that there are kind-hearted J's out there.

4:35 PM  
Blogger Mike Roesch said...

She never did send the e-mail, by the way, so I'm now kind of freaking out.

11:44 PM  
Anonymous Margo said...

Meyers-Briggs is, indeed, a decent tool -- I learned a lot from testing at age 19 and age 23 and turning up "ENFJ" both times, and understanding what ENFJ means.

But I would HIGHLY recommend a study of the classic Temperaments, as well: sanguine, melancholic, choleric, phelgmatic. Our parish recently hosted a 4-week series on these, and wow! was it helpful! My two main responses:
1. "Ok, so I'm *not* a weirdo -- just part-melancholic! And there are others like me! What a relief!" and
2. "Ok, I'd never in a million years do things that way, but you know what? People with strong choleric tendencies usually do X in those very ways, and so, ok: *they're* not weirdos, either -- just part-choleric!" (which I'm not-so-much)

That being said, I'd like to respectfully disagree with TCYM's comment that "XXXX" is her in a nuthshell. No matter our tendencies on whatever tests we take (another big thing I found myself repeating during the series), we are each of us SOOOOOOO unique! I'm largely melancholic and sanguine, but there's so much more to me than that -- and you'll never believe this, but the way I express the mel/sang temperaments is so *me*! ;-)

Any rate -- no offense meant to TCYM or the M-B test, just noting from my experience that a) the age-old temperaments are age-old and still useful for a reason, and b) it is impossible to completely categorize any particular human person; as JPII says, we are each of us unique and unrepeatable.

7:39 PM  
Blogger TCYM Lounge said...

family should NOT be allowed to post! (I think that IS me in a nutshell! )

Mike, did she ever get you the info? That would be outta wack if she didn't. Not surprising, but not helpful, either.

4:47 PM  

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