new to the enneagram

We created this resource with the person in mind who is new the Enneagram and doesn't really know where to start. You'll also find some really helpful resources for the person who wants to take a more active, intentional approach to their own Enneagram journey. Our hope is that you'll feel supported and be prepared to get the most out of the Enneagram.

"Using the Enneagram" on Bridgeway Christian Church's

Engaging Culture Podcast

with Damara Miller, ACC, Josh Uht, Heather Johnson, ACC and Brian Kiley.

Tuesday July 30, 2019


Defining the enneagram

A single all-encompassing definition of the Enneagram is difficult to come by, because it's so many different things. The Enneagram is a framework providing a psycho-spiritual understanding of humanity. It gives us a language to understand our brokenness. It's a Typing system that shows us the restrictive personality we've adopted as kids to feel safe. It equips us with self-awareness which we can then specifically invite God into. All of which leads to spiritual, mental, emotional growth and freedom. Here's one definition of the Enneagram:


"The Enneagram is a psycho-spiritual framework which gives us the tools for shedding the restrictive personality we've adopted as kids to feel safe. Now bound by that self-image, the Enneagram helps us discern the true and original in us from the false and adaptive. Allowing our Original God-breathed Essence to emerge."

- Enneagram Us


Like we said... it's hard to really capture it. Here's what Enneagram experts Susanne Stabile and Ian Cron say about the Enneagram.


"The Enneagram teaches that there are nine different personality styles in the world, one of which we naturally gravitate toward and adopt in childhood to cope and feel safe. Each type or number has a distinct way of seeing the world and an underlying motivation that powerfully influences how that type thinks, feels, and behaves.”

- The Road Back to You

About the nine types

From "The Road Back To You" by Ian Cron & Susanne Stabile

Type One, The Reformer: Ethical and reliable, they are motivated by a desire to live the right way, improve the world, and avoid fault and blame.


Type Two, The Helper: Warm and giving, they are motivated by a need to be loved and needed, and to avoid acknowledging their own needs.


Type Three, The Achiever: Success-oriented and image-conscious, they are motivated by a need to be (or appear to be) successful and to avoid failure.


Type Four, The Romantic: Creative and sensitive, they are motivated by a need to be understood, and experience their over-sized feelings and avoid being ordinary.

Type Five, The Investigator: Analytical, detached and private, they are motivated by the need to gain knowledge, conserve energy and avoid relying on others.


Type Six, The Loyalist: Committed, practical and witty, they are are worst-case-scenario thinkers who are motivated by fear and the need for security.


Type Seven, The Enthusiast: Fun, spontaneous and adventurous, they are motivated by a need to be happy, to plan stimulating experiences and to avoid pain.


Type Eight, The Challenger: Commanding, intense and confrontational, they are motivated by a need to be strong and avoid feeling weak or vulnerable.

Type Nine, The Peacemaker: Pleasant, laid back and accommodating, they are motivated by a need to keep the peace, merge with others and avoid conflict as much as possible.


purpose of the enneagram

The Enneagram has lots of different purposes. It really depends on who you ask and how you want to use it. We see the Enneagram as a powerful multi-dimensional tool... Like fire, or the wheel. It holds a lot of potential with all of it's endless applications. It's also neutral. It's a tool. It's up to us how we use it. Are we going to use it to build up or tear down?


We believe the Enneagram is meant to be a building tool. It helps us see humanity the way God designed us. We are not defined or constrained by the Enneagram. It doesn't put us in a box and it doesn't explain every bit about us.

"The Enneagram doesn't put us in a box. It shows us the boxes we are already in."

- Don Richard Riso & Russ Hudson

Breaking down our working definition of the Enneagram can help us understand some of its purposes.

Check out this PDF to learn more about the purpose of the Enneagram.


What does the enneagram do?

The Enneagram helps us in so many ways. Here are just a few to give you an idea of the wide scope of its uses.

The Enneagram:

  • Emphasizes certain aspects of ourselves that we tend to minimize or miss altogether.

  • Illuminates our hidden motivations and helps make sense of the patterns that we all get stuck in.

  • Validates the gifts and passions that God gave each of us to connect with Him personally and to reflect Him in this world.

  • Empowers us to operate out of our unique strengths. So when we're working together, we all feel more fulfilled and are maximizing our impact on the team and in the bigger Kingdom movement.

  • Enables us to encourage each other well by targeting the deep-rooted beliefs, wounds, needs and fears that we are so often unaware of. All of which come together to unconsciously shape our understanding of ourselves and then play out in our actions.

  • Teaches us how to invite and challenge people in a way that the other person can receive and feel empowered and loved.