Spirit-Filled Pastor Defends Why He's Preaching About the Enneagram
Matt Brown, founding and lead pastor of Sandals Church in Riverside, California, recently defended why he uses the Enneagram as a tool in his sermons. Last year, Brown preached a nine-week sermon series based on the Enneagram, and for the last three weeks he has discussed the Enneagram from the pulpit as a component of Sandals' "Relational Remix" series.
The Enneagram is a personality system that posits there are nine basic personality types. The Enneagram has become widely popular in some Christian circles within the past few years, but the system's origins are somewhat disputed. Some credit it to Christian mystics from the fourth century, while others attribute it to pagan, Eastern or psychoanalytic sources.
In an online video of his sermon, Brown says whether the Enneagram has pagan or Eastern roots does not change his feelings about including it in sermons.
"You don't have to be a believer to have information," Brown says. "You just have to be a believer to be saved. The Bible reveals how God can use non-Christians and their wisdom to help us become real with ourselves. When I tell people we're studying the Enneagram, they [go], 'Oh my gosh, that's pagan. That's Eastern.' Yeah, do you know what the Bible's full of? Pagan and Eastern non-believers that God uses repeatedly to point out his truth. And do you know why that is? A broken clock is right twice a day."
Brown points out that in Titus 1:12, Paul cites a pagan philosopher and false prophet to make a point about the Cretan people. He says this show that God will use a right point regardless of the source. In the same way, he says the Enneagram is a useful tool, regardless of its origins.
"People say, 'Well, you can't use the Enneagram—it's Eastern,'" Brown says. "If God could use magicians from the East to point out Jesus, he can use the Enneagram to point out you."
Brown says that while some people will misuse it, he likes the Enneagram because it ultimately helped save his marriage and his ministry from the brink of collapse. He says God used the Enneagram to help him see himself, others and God in a fresh way, and he just wants to do the same thing for his church.
"My prayer for you is that God would use this to bless your life, because in order to change your life, in order to become what's right, you need to see what's wrong," Brown says. "And the Enneagram gives you lenses to see what you're doing that's wrong."
Watch the video to hear Brown's full explanation of the Enneagram, the nine types and how understanding it can help your spiritual walk with God.