Such qualities of sensing and intuition suggest very different paths of religious and spiritual development. Sensing types are at home in the church that has attachment to a strong tradition and a set way of doing things. They welcome solid and straightforward teaching, and studying the texts of their scriptures. They tend to prefer a certain and conservative faith. In such an environment intuitive types feel constrained and cramped in their spiritual development. Intuitive types are at home in the church that welcomes experimentation, innovation, and change. They welcome imaginative teaching that approaches the topic from novel and oblique perspectives. They tend to prefer a questioning and liberal faith. In such an environment sensing types feel unsupported and overchallenged in their spiritual development. The judging process (the choice between thinking and feeling) has to do with our preferred way of making judgments or of coming to decisions. Thinking types start with a commitment to objective impersonal logic, while feeling types start with a commitment to subjective personal values. Both thinking and feeling are rational processes, but what counts most heavily in the two forms of rationality differs one from the other. Thinking types value integrity and justice. They are known for their truthfulness and for their desire for fairness. They consider conforming to principles to be of more importance than cultivating harmony. Feeling types value compassion and mercy. They are known for their desire for peace. They are more concerned to promote harmony then to adhere to abstract principles. Thinking types are guided by their head. Feeling types are guided by their heart.
Such qualities of thinking and feeling suggest very different paths of religious and spiritual development. Thinking types are at home in churches that proclaim the justice of God and are concerned with the objective truths of the faith. Thinking types want to test others' understanding of God. In such an environment feeling types can feel uncomfortable, especially when their heads are opened up as muddled and confused by the thinkers' logic. Feeling types are at home in churches that proclaim the mercy of God and are concerned with the needs of others. Feeling types want to warm others' love for God. In such an environment thinking types can feel uncomfortable, especially when their hearts are revealed as cold by the feelers' concern that they too should display the same kind of comparison and sensitivity for others.
The attitude toward the outer world (the choice between judging and perceiving) has to do with our preferred way of operating in the outer world. The judging types use a judging process in the outer world (either thinking or feeling), and as a consequence their outer world is well organized and structured. Perceiving types use a perceiving process in the outer world (either sensing or intuition), and as a consequence their outer world is spontaneous and flexible. Judging types enjoy routine and established patterns. They prefer to follow schedules in order to reach an established goal and may make use of lists. They tend to be punctual, organized, and tidy. They prefer to make decisions quickly and to stick to conclusions once made. Perceiving types have a flexible, openended approach to life. They enjoy change and spontaneity. They prefer to leave projects open in order to adapt and improve them. Their behavior may seem impulsive and unplanned.
Such qualities of judging and perceiving suggest very different paths of religious and spiritual development. Judging types are at home in churches that are highly organized, structured, and predictable. Services are planned well in advance and run to schedule. In such an environment perceiving types can feel frustrated by the lack of room for spontaneity and flexibility. For them the environment is too uptight. Perceiving types are at home in churches that are flexible, adaptable, and unpredictable. Services are subject to spontaneous inspiration and change. No one quite knows whether they will begin on time or when they will end. In such an environment judging types can feel frustrated by the lack of planning and preparation. For them the environment is too messy and chaotic. When Christian churches are compared with the population as a whole, among adults there tends to be an overrepresentation of introverts, intuitive types, feeling types, and judging types (ISFJ). Similar research has not been conducted among other faith groups. Psychological type theory is of considerable practical benefit to practitioners concerned with youth development and with religious and spiritual development. The theory enables practitioners to recognize the types of people among whom their programs and strategies work most effectively and the types of people who are less likely to benefit from such provisions.