Enneagram 7: Is There a Bright Side to All of This?

Healthy 7’s: Bringing joy to others through their gifts, healthy 7’s help us see the best in our circumstances. A healthy 7 can help us find contentment where we are, or at least inspire us to be adventurous and find joy and contentment in unexpected places. Joy is a gift to be created, shared, and received.

Unhealthy 7’s: When they’re in unhealthy space, 7’s will reframe sadness to the extent that they deny its presence. They may internalize their sadness and inability, attempting to escape that from sadness in self destructive behavior.

Healthy Stress Move to 1: When 7’s make a healthy stress move, they will find energy to focus and complete tasks while resisting the temptation to micromanage in order to get the positivity they crave.

Unhealthy Stress Move to 1: Unhealthy stress moves in a 7 will look like an unhealthy 1. Controlling and dualistic, they may brood over their circumstances and their inability to change them. They will look for scapegoats on which to place the blame for their circumstances.

Enneagram 7’s and Grief: Grief cannot be reframed; it must be experienced but will not last forever.

COVID-19 and Church Leadership

Healthy Seven’s are masters at reframing our current circumstances, choosing optimism over pessimism. Believing in a bright future, the 7’s in our future might appear a bit “pollyanna” to the dependent and withdrawing types. We need encouragers, though. We need those who will press forward because they are looking or joy and hope, not because they are intrinsically compelled (8) or because they feel obligated to be strong (3).

During our COVID-19 pandemic, we need healthy reframing without avoiding the reality of our current situation. There is much to be negative about. Our smart phones bring us news of death and infection and economic calamity. Our social media brings us opinion after uninformed opinion. We need church leaders who will help us release the negativity that pundits and politicians would use to manipulate us. A healthy 7 will gently point us away from our negative impulses and news feeds and towards a faithful calm response to an uncertain time.

7’s, we know we need to have some fun right now to escape the house, escape the quarantine, and escape the negativity. We need to not forget what joy and laughter feel like. However, be cautious about asking us to leave behind the negative feelings. Some of us aren’t ready to look for a bright future. We may need to grieve the past or focus on the here and now. Those are needed, too.

It’s easy to be pessimistic about the changes the pandemic will force on our churches. Will you remind us that nothing in the future is written in stone? Will you help us reject the dualistic view that the church will either thrive or fail in a post-pandemic world? When the time is right, will you help us to see the possibilities and adventure of a new church world? Your faith sees a good God worthy of praise and adoration regardless of our circumstances. We’re going to trust you to remind us of that.

Here’s a few questions to keep in mind:

Who is seeking you out for encouragement? Are you responding with a listening spirit or an attempt to reframe things to make it all seem OK?

Can you be honest with yourself that you’re grieving, too? Not everything can be reframed into something that feels happy. Acknowledging what you’ve lost or may likely lose will help you be a pastor to others.

Send us funny memes and jokes. Please. (Just kidding.) But what could you do to bring a different perspective to space that tends to become negative?

Who do you know that is responding to the pandemic with either/or thinking? What might you do to encourage third-option thinking?

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