How to Lead Volunteers Using the Enneagram

This series examines each of the nine Enneagram types in relation to leading your volunteers!
4 min read

This article series examines each of the nine Enneagram types, and includes the following elements. You can dive into each of these categories in the articles linked below. Or, you can download the complete guide here.

  • Attributes: Three adjectives that describe each type.
  • Driving motivation: This section helps you understand what desires and fears drive a specific type’s behavior.
  • Key verse: Each personality type has a verse with a helpful reminder to turn their attention to God.
  • About the type: This is a brief overview of each type.
  • Leading as your type: Each personality has unique strengths as a leader. Here we examine those strengths and offer some suggestions for overcoming the corresponding weaknesses.
  • Motivating each type: For example, if you’re a Type Eight trying to understand how to motivate a Four, this section will help.

About the Enneagram

On the surface, the Enneagram looks like any other personality test. It features nine distinct ways of looking at the world. But it also examines the unique ways that each type responds to living in this broken and often confusing world.

The Enneagram doesn’t just describe a person’s personality, it helps us understand what motivates him or her. It encourages us as ministry leaders to be mindful of our perspectives—and perspectives of our teams—in a way that can help us:

  • Identify the strengths and challenges of the individuals on our teams
  • Create harmony and operate more effectively
  • Maximize everyone’s contribution
  • Inspire team members with guidance that empowers and invigorates

This series of articles will improve your ability to lead and manage your staff and volunteers. If you’re unsure about your Enneagram type or want to give the test to your volunteers and staff members, you can take a free online assessment like the one at YourEnneagramCoach.com.

On the surface, the Enneagram looks like any other personality test. It features nine distinct ways of looking at the world. But it also examines the unique ways that each type responds to living in this broken and often confusing world.

These resources will develop your skills as a leader and manager and enable you to develop a strong team.

Enneagram Type 1: The Reformer

Ones believe that life is about doing your best and striving for goodness and order. They have lofty standards for themselves (and others) and feel most comfortable when working in a highly structured environment.

Enneagram Type 2: The Helper

Twos are empaths who almost always seem to recognize the needs of others before anyone else. When they notice an opportunity to be of service, they’ll immediately roll up their sleeves and get to work.

Enneagram Type 3: The Achiever

There aren’t many who throw themselves into a task with the enthusiasm of a Three. They’re driven by results and incredibly motivated to be successful. They see the world through a lens of accomplishment and achievement, and they strive to be the best at whatever they do.

Enneagram Type 4: The Individualist

Fours are naturally perceptive and reflective. They value real intimacy and authenticity. Often considered the most romantic Enneagram type, they long to be connected to God, to others, and to their daily activities.

Enneagram Type 5: The Investigator

Fives are driven to accumulate knowledge and expertise. Never content to shrug and say, “That’s just the way it is,” Fives have a never-ending curiosity and desire to get to the bottom of things.

Enneagram Type 6: The Loyalist

When they look at the world around them, Sixes feel a great deal of uncertainty. They long for the security that comes from being in community and in relationships, and this makes them fiercely loyal.

Enneagram Type 7: The Enthusiast

To the Seven, the whole world is a buffet—a never-ending smorgasbord of experiences and interests. Their number-one goal in life is to avoid pain and frustration. Restless and easily bored, you can often find the Seven planning out their next adventure.

Enneagram Type 8: The Challenger

The Eight’s desire to avoid feeling vulnerable fuels a need to be in control. They’re strong-willed and decisive and have no qualms stepping into positions of authority. They’re comfortable taking charge, and they usually shine when they do.

Enneagram Type 9: The Peacemaker

The Nine’s whole goal in life is to bring people together. They hunger to be at peace personally and interpersonally. They are masters of reconciliation and excel at helping others overcome differences and build bridges.

Enneagram Engaging Volunteers cover

Discover the Enneagram’s Surprisingly Simple Approach to Engaging Volunteers

Ready to learn how the Enneagram can help you inspire your volunteers? The Enneagram is all the buzz right now, and we want to equip you to use it to motivate your folks for service! We’ve covered all 9 personality types, with helpful tips and Scripture verses.
Free Guide
Enneagram Engaging Volunteers cover

Discover the Enneagram’s Surprisingly Simple Approach to Engaging Volunteers

Ready to learn how the Enneagram can help you inspire your volunteers? The Enneagram is all the buzz right now, and we want to equip you to use it to motivate your folks for service! We’ve covered all 9 personality types, with helpful tips and Scripture verses.
Free Guide
Enneagram Engaging Volunteers cover

Discover the Enneagram’s Surprisingly Simple Approach to Engaging Volunteers

Ready to learn how the Enneagram can help you inspire your volunteers? The Enneagram is all the buzz right now, and we want to equip you to use it to motivate your folks for service! We’ve covered all 9 personality types, with helpful tips and Scripture verses.
Free Guide
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  Updated on October 16, 2020

About the Author

  • Your Ministry Spark Team is made of ministry volunteers, leaders, and experts who work with David C Cook. We’re passionate about helping others know, love, and follow Jesus. And, we have a big heart for those who serve the kingdom—that’s you. Together, we can do this!

© 2020 David C Cook. All rights reserved.
© 2019 David C Cook. All rights reserved.
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