Integration

“So they’ll be as unified and together as we are—I in them and you in me.  Then they’ll be mature in this oneness.”

- John


A lot of our conversations with leaders is starting to include the Enneagram.  It is an ancient typing system that has really caught fire over the last few years.  We actually encourage three typing tests because of their low cost, approachability, and unique insights they provide.  Each of these can be found online for free or very little cost.

DISC - measures personality and behavioral style.

StrengthsFinder - identifies five areas of unique talent among a broader list of 34.

Enneagram - identifies you against 9 different personality types and across a spectrum of healthy to unhealthy with that number.

The Enneagram is the one you have likely heard less about but may be the most valuable depending on the person.  The spectrum for each type (or number) ranges from:

Disintegrated/Unhealthy/Unredeemed

to

Integrated/Healthy/Redeemed

Integrated is the place of being wholehearted, healthy, and free.  For people of faith, it is also the place of walking very closely with God.  It’s being so “integrated” into the life of the Father that your thoughts, actions, and attitudes more closely resemble his.

You likely know when you are integrated and when you are not.

I was hanging out with a bunch of men’s ministry leaders a few Saturdays ago.  While most of us were guys doing this stuff avocationally and locally, one leads a team with a large international footprint.

Backyard, sun, light breeze, barbecue, beers, cigars…and other-worldly conversation.  The chaos and uncertainty of this age seemed to be weighing heavy on the hearts and minds of many.  Someone asked about the ability to hold onto hope and joy, given the backdrop of everything happening in the world.  The guy with the international ministry said two simple things that have changed pretty much every day since I heard them.

  • Integration with the Father is the only way to survive.

  • The barometer for integration is joy.

I don’t know how much people would identify me as joyful, but I definitely want more of that.  And this practice isn’t a once a week or before each day kind of thing, but something regular and continuous:

Start of the day.

End of the day.

At regular intervals during the day.

In your calendar.

At regular points of inflection.

I learned a consecration process that we teach our leaders.  It centers, integrates, creates space, gives strength/protection, and invites the wisdom of the age.  I do it in the morning, at the end of the day, and before virtually every meeting I have with everyone.  It has changed everything.

And that is a good thing.  The integrated version of my Enneagram 8 is supposed to be powerful, inspiring, and impactful.  The disintegrated description of me is pretty terrifying.  Healthy eights are some of the most extraordinary leaders on the planet, and unhealthy ones are some of the most notorious dictators, narcissists, and evil people that have ever lived.

Turns out that being more integrated not only allows me to operate with more Kingdom perspective despite the world around me, it profoundly informs the way I love, lead, and influence the world.  I am much more able to offer hope and inspiration.  Partnering more intentionally with the authority, wisdom, and discernment of heaven, has qualitatively changed what I bring to every conversation.

I still spend far too much time operating in my own strength, but stopping to regularly integrate is slowing changing who I am and how I live.  I am recovering joy.  And it is definitely changing the way I view the world around me.

Consider

  • How integrated do you feel?  (wholehearted, healthy, etc.)

  • How integrated do you feel to the Father?

  • Are there natural breaks in the rhythm of your day where you could stop and reintegrate?

  • How different might your life and leadership look if you did?