Here is a summary of the 9 “Spiritual Temperaments” that are described in the book Sacred Pathways by Gary Thomas. You can take a self-assessment at this site provided by North Point Church: http://northpointministries.org/misc/sacredpathway.html. There is one path to God through Jesus Christ. However, we may have different experiences and preferences along that path.
1. Naturalists — love God best outdoors. These people worship in the midst of God’s creation. They celebrate His majesty and discover spiritual truths through nature.
2. Sensates — love God through their senses. These people worship through sensual experiences — sights (like art), sounds (music), smells, and more.
3. Traditionalists — love God through religious ritual and symbols. These people worship through traditions and sacraments of the Church. They believe structure, repetition, and rigidity, like weekly liturgy, leads to deeper understanding of God and faith.
4. Ascetics — love God in solitude and simplicity. These people worship through prayer and quiet time, and the absence of all outside noise and distraction.
5. Activists — love God through confrontation, fighting for godly principles and values. They worship through their dedication to and participation in God’s truth about social and evangelistic causes.
6. Caregivers — love God by serving others, and worship by giving of themselves. They may nurse the sick and disabled, “adopt” a prisoner, donate time at a shelter, etc.
7. Enthusiasts — love God through mystery and celebration. These people worship with outward displays of passion and enthusiasm. They love God with gusto!
8. Contemplatives — love God through adoration. These people worship by their attentiveness, deep love, and intimacy. They have an active prayer life.
9. Intellectuals — love God with their mind and their hearts are opened up to a new attentiveness when they understand something new about God. These people worship through intense study, apologetics, and intellectual pursuits of their faith.
· We are a mixture — we rarely rely on a single approach or temperament to connect with God every time; we are more likely to be a mix of several
· Temperaments change — spiritual temperaments evolve over time, much like couples love each other differently over the course of a marriage. We are likely to find different ways to connect with God during our lifetime.