Podcast Episode 12, 27 min
Small Church Pastor Personality Types with Jean Morgan (Ep 12)
Jean Morgan, a small church pastor who wrote a Masters thesis about the correlation between a pastor’s personality and the size of the church they serve.

Okay. So the question that we were looking at that you were looking at was: is there a correlation between the typical size of a church and the typical personality type of the pastor?

Not as a way of, well, then obviously you need to change a personality type in order to get bigger, but suitability. Maybe in trying to discover why some churches are small, why some churches are big, why some pastors are happier in a smaller congregation and doing better ministry in a smaller congregation, maybe that's where they're supposed to be. And maybe personality is actually part of the reason why we're in a smaller congregation. And what I appreciated about your approach to it was that it wasn't about trying to fix small churches or fix small church pastors. It was about trying to understand suitability.

How did you approach this? And again, even before I get to that question, one of the things I appreciate about this is I have been talking and writing for years about the lack of really good metrics about small churches. One of the reasons why it's harder is because in a small congregation, when you have 20 people in the room, metrics don't matter so much, relationships are all that matter.

When you've got a congregation of 2000, then percentages and metrics may mean a lot. But for small churches in general, that is, you know, why are small churches in general this way? How do small churches function as a group of like-minded ministry people? There hasn't been even enough metrics done on that, as in all the tens of thousands of small churches in the country, why are there no metrics about how they work or very few metrics about how they work, the way they work and so on.

And not from the standpoint of how can we fix them, they’re small, what's their problem? But what's going on here? So with that, as the framework you decided you wanted to look at, how did you land on the idea of let's take a look at, is there a correlation between personality and church size?

JM: Actually that came from our conversation. Because we were talking about the possible research directions and you'd mentioned this one as a third option and it just resonated with me and with the advisor: does personality trait factor into the size church that a particular individual may pastor?

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