Information contributed by Janelle Tan
One imperative for a fast growing church is counseling. February 20 and 21, a total of 150 counselors for the counseling ministry of City Harvest Church, gathered together at The Riverwalk at Clarke Quay in the first of a three-part training series known as the “Inner Healing and Counseling Clinic”. The aim is to train up effective counselors who can provide pastoral and practical guidance to those in the church who need help.
a fundamental in developing effective counseling skills is to understand and acknowledge different personality types and styles of communication. This understanding set the foundation for the counseling clinic.
Kevin and Joy Dyson, founders of New Covenant International University & Theological Seminary (USA), conducted the training sessions with the use of the DISC Personality Profiling Test. Widely used in various fields of study and especially in counseling, the DISC is an accurate and reliable tool for discovering one’s behavioral strengths and pitfalls.
The acronym DISC stands for four categories of personality types: Dominance (D), Influence (I), Steadiness (S) and Conscientiousness (C). Individuals highlighted characteristics that most accurately describe themselves. This was done through identifying personality-related words such as “Authoritative” and “Meticulous”. Accuracy is established by the fact that this test is taken in a “blind” fashion, where individuals are oblivious to the fact that each selected word counts as a point towards one of the four letters, D, I, S and C.
For example, someone with a high “D” score takes initiative in seeking ways to resolve his problems, whereas a low “I” score would mean a poor self-esteem and a lack in motivation to complete tasks.
Gaining insight into one’s personality type can help in establishing good and lasting relationships. A clear understanding of different preferences and styles of communication can help minimizes interpersonal conflicts. This can also help one to develop strategies to deal with the diverse needs of different people. DISC has been proven to significantly promote mutual understanding between individuals and reduce unnecessary stress in relationships.
|PHOTOS: Lee Boon Bee|
Amongst the flurry of personal anecdotes and humorous examples, Dyson reiterated a simple yet essential point. reading from Psalms 133:1-3 in the Bible, she said, “God made us different. God made us valuable. Differences that are accepted and appreciated bring unity, and unity draws down the blessings of God in our lives.”
Attendee Wendy Woo said, “I found the clinic extremely useful and practical. It has helped us to understand why some people act in a certain way and how we can relate to them. We were also taught how to manage our expectations of others and be responsible for our own actions towards them.”
In conclusion, God did not make a mistake by making us unique individuals, nor was it an error to put together people with differences. Each of us is fearfully and wonderfully made. God means for us to be joined together in Christ, in a way that we might grow and build ourselves up in love, hope and faith.
As we begin to better understand ourselves, our desire mode of communication and our differences, we also become open to adapting each others’ styles for optimal and effective communication. As we provide others with the environment for their gift to freely operate, relationships are strengthened and the body of Christ is blessed.
The place where differences in personalities are celebrated and harnessed, is the place where God’s power is manifested.