Spiritual Temperament Assessment

Rate each statement on a scale of 1 to 5.

5 = Almost Always True
4 = Often True
3 = Sometimes True
2 = Rarely True
1 = Never True

1. I feel closest to God when I’m surrounded by what he has made - the mountains, the forests, or the sea.
2. I enjoy attending a "high church" service with incense and formal Communion or Eucharist.
3. The words tradition and history are very appealing to me.
4. Taking an overnight retreat by myself at a monastery where I could spend large amounts of time alone in a small room, or praying to God and studying his Word, are activities I would enjoy.
5. I would like to awaken the church from its apathy.
6. I feel closest to God when I see him in the needy, the poor, the sick, and the imprisoned. I feel God’s presence most strongly when I am sitting quietly beside the bed of someone who is lonely or ill or taking a meal to someone in need. You can count on me to offer a ride or volunteer for helping activities.
7. God is an exciting God, and we should be excited about worshiping him. I don’t understand how some Christians can say they love God, and then act like they’re going to a funeral whenever they walk into church.
8. The words lover, intimacy, and heart are very appealing to me.
9. I feel close to God when I participate in several hours of uninterrupted study time - reading God’s Word or good Christian books and then perhaps having an opportunity to teach (or participate in a discussion with) a small group.
10. I feel cut off if I have to spend too much time indoors just listening to speakers or singing songs. Nothing helps me connect with God better than being outside.
11. I’d have a difficult time worshiping in a church building that is plain and lacks a sense of awe or majesty. I have a difficult time worshiping through second-rate Christian art or music.
12. Participating in a formal liturgy or prayer-book service, developing symbols that I could place in my car, home, or office, and developing a Christian calendar for our family to follow are activities that I would enjoy.
13. I would really enjoy spending time on a night watch, taking a short vow of silence, simplifying my life.
14. I connect with God best when I’m cooperating with him in standing up for his justice: writing letters to government officials and newspaper editors, picketing at an abortion clinic, urging people to vote, or becoming familiar with current issues.
15. I grow weary of Christians who spend their time singing songs while a sick neighbor goes without a hot meal or a family in need doesn’t get help fixing their car.
16. The words celebration and joy are very appealing to me.
17. I really enjoy having thirty minutes of uninterrupted time a day to sit in quiet prayer and enjoy his presence.
18. I spend more money on books than music tapes.
19. I would prefer to worship God by spending an hour beside a small brook than by participating in a group service.
20. I'm naturally drawn to museums and concerts more than I'm inclined to take a walk in the woods, work in a soup kitchen or read a book by myself.
21. I would really enjoy developing a personal rule (or ritual) of prayer.
22. I feel closest to God when I am alone and there is nothing to distract me from focusing on his presence.
23. I get very frustrated if I see apathetic Christians who don’t become active. I want to drop everything else I’m doing and help the church overcome its apathy.
24. The words service and compassion are very appealing to me.
25. 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 way.
26. When I think of God, I think of love, friendship, and adoration more than anything else.
27. I connect with God best 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.
28. If I could escape to a garden to pray on a cold day, walk through a park on a warm day, and take a trip by myself to the mountains on another day, I would be very happy.
29. I would really enjoy using drawing, exercise or art to improve my prayer life.
30. I feel closest to God when I’m participating in a familiar form of worship that has memories dating back to my childhood. Rituals and traditions move me more than anything else.
31. I would describe my faith as more "internal" than "external."
32. The words courageous, confrontation and social activism are very appealing to me.
33. I sense God’s power when I am counseling a friend who has lost a job, preparing meals for or fixing the car of a family in need, or spending a week at an orphanage in Mexico.
34. I spend more money on music and worship tapes than books.
35. I would rather be alone with God, contemplating who he is, than participating in a formal liturgy or being distracted by a walk outside.
36. I get frustrated when the church focuses too much on feelings and spiritual experience. Of far more importance is the need to understand the Christian faith and have proper doctrine.
37. Seeing God’s beauty in nature is more moving to me than understanding new concepts, participating in a formal religious service, or participating in social causes.
38. I feel closest to God when I’m in an environment that allows my senses to come alive - when I can see, smell, hear, and almost taste his majesty.
39. Individualism within the church is a real danger. Christianity is a corporate faith, and most of our worship should have a corporate expression.
40. The words silence, solitude, and discipline are very appealing to me.
41. Activities like confronting a social evil, attending a meeting to challenge the new curriculum before the local school board, and volunteering on a political campaign are important to me.
42. I would rather nurse someone to health or help someone repair their house than teach an adult Sunday school class, go on a prayer and fasting retreat, or take a lonely walk in the woods.
43. I connect with God best when my heart is sent soaring and I feel like I want to burst, worship God all day long, and shout out his name. Celebrating God and his love is my favorite form of worship.
44. The most difficult times in my faith are when I can’t feel God’s presence within me.
45. The words concepts and truth are very appealing to me.

Final Results

Naturalists draw near to God through nature.

Sensates draw near to God through the senses.

Traditionalists draw near to God through ritual and symbol.

Ascetics draw near to God through solitude and simplicity.

Activists draw near to God through bringing about social change.
Caregivers draw near to God through caring for and serving others.

Enthusiasts draw near to God through celebration and mystery.

Contemplatives draw near to God through personal adoration and heartfelt devotion.

Intellectuals draw near to God through their minds.

The highest number of points possible in each section is 25. The higher your score, the stronger the dominance of this spiritual temperament is in your life. But remember, most of us have more than one temperament. Any score of 15 or higher indicates a tendency toward this temperament.


Taken from SACRED PATHWAYS by GARY L. THOMAS. Copyright © 2000 by Gary L. Thomas.