I took a “Spiritual Temperament Test” on a retreat recently. I’ve compiled my results here so I can throw out the paper I used. I’m not sure where you can get this test but on the bottom it says “This test has been compiled from Sacred Pathways: Discover Your Soul’s Path to God by Gary Thomas (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1996)”.
Here are some of my higher-ranked answers.
- I feel closest to God when I’m surrounded by what He has made – the mountains, the forests, or the sea.
- The words, lover, intimacy, and heart are very appealing to me.
- I feel close to God when I participate in several hours of uninterrupted study time, reading God’s word, some helpful Christian books and then perhaps having the opportunity to teach or participate in a small discussion with a small group.
- I feel closest to God when I am alone and there is nothing to distract me from focusing on his presence.
- The words celebration and joy are very appealing to me.
- I get frustrated if I see apathetic Christians who don’t become active. I want to drop everything else I’m doing and want to help the church overcome its apathy.
- I would enjoy attending a workshop on learning to worship through dance, or attending several worship sessions with contemporary music. I expect that God is going to move in some unexpected ways.
- I feel closest to God when I learn something new about Him that I didn’t understand before. My mind needs to be stimulated. It’s very important to me that I know exactly what I believe.
- I enjoy listening to worship CDs.
- I would enjoy developing a personal rule (or ritual) of prayer.
- I spend more money on books than music.
Here are some of my lowest ranked answers:
- The words tradition and history are very appealing to me.
- A book on church dogmatics would be very appealing to me.
- I don’t mind worshiping God in a group but I’d much prefer to be alone.
- I would enjoy reading the book Windows of the Soul: A look at Dreams and their Meanings.
- I would prefer to spend an hour beside a small brook rather than be involved in a group service.
- Confronting a social evil, attending a meeting to challenge the new curriculum before the local school board, and volunteering on a political campagin are activities that are important to me.
- I would rather nurse someone to health or help someone repair their house than teach an adult Sunday school class.
My top ranking spiritual temperaments are:
Contemplative – Contemplatives refer to God as their lover, and images of a loving Father or friend predominate their view of God. A true contemplative is not going to seek the spotlight. If you fee a kindred spirit with Mary – who sat at Jesus’ feet – you may be a contemplative.
Enthusiast – Loving God with Mystery and celebration. Enthusiasts are inspired by joyful celebration. These Christians are cheerleaders for God and the Christian life.
Intellectual – “Faith” is something to be understood as much as experienced. They are likely to be studying, and feel closest to God when they first understand something new about him.
My lowest ranking spiritual temperaments are:
Sensate – Sensate Christian want to be lost in the awe, beauty, and splendor of God. They are drawn particularly to the liturgical, the majestic, the grand. They want to be filled with sights, sounds, and smells – incense, intricate architecture, classical music, and formal language.
Ascetic – Ascetics want nothing more than to be left alone in prayer. They live a fundamentally internal existence. They are uncomfortable in any environment that keeps them from “listening to the quiet.”
I also ranked low on the Naturalist temperament (feeling close to God in nature) which doesn’t seem quite right. It tied for third-lowest with “Activist,” which is very clearly, not me. I was actually surprised Sensate rated the lowest – it’s probably because I don’t have a lot of experience in incense, high architecture and liturgy. I’ve only ever really been in those sorts of churches as a tourist.