any strengths-based churches out there?

StrengthsFinder is my favorite personal assessment test. It was the first one that I’d taken that gave me a better sense of the unconventional me. My top 5 talent themes are: ideation, input, strategic, adaptability, woo.

I’ve heard there are organizations and churches that have developed their whole corporate culture around the StrengthsFinder themes. It’s called a Strengths-Based Culture, and staff are placed in positions where they can best use their strengths to succeed. Or, as the Gallup website says it, “Our goal as an employer is to align our associates with a role that maximizes their potential and allows them to do what they do best every day.”

The 2 churches I’ve heard that have a Strengths-Based Culture are Mosaic (Los Angeles) and ROCKharbor (Costa Mesa). Vineyard Church of Waterville has kind of a strengths-based approach [ht: Marc Pitman.]

[update] Pine Ridge Church pastored by Tadd Grandstaff is strengths-based via Tally Wilgis.

Do you know of any other strengths-based churches?

(Stephen Shields would like to know too. He works for Gallup.)

Aside: Strengths-Based LeadershipNew Book Destroys the Myth of the Well-Rounded Leader announced Strengths Based Leadership, by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie, releasing this week. What they found:

  • What great leaders have in common is that each truly knows his or her strengths — and can call on the right strength at the right time.
  • The most effective leaders are always investing in strengths.
  • The most effective leaders surround themselves with the right people and then maximize their team.
  • The most effective leaders understand their followers’ needs.

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15 Responses

  1. Marc says:

    My top five talent themes are: Strategic, Learner, Relator, Achiever, Positivity.

    I had my youth leadership team go take the strength finder test a few years back…


  2. gavin says:

    hey dj, our church does a lot of strengths training & workshops for families, individual members, and the community. one of our primary teachers is youth leader for our youth community and does an exhaustive strengths exploration with our graduating seniors.

    not sure if we are a strengths church, but we sure emphasize it a lot.

  3. djchuang says:

    @Marc, @Gavin: thanks for your comments; what is the name of your church and its website address?

  4. Steve says:

    It's not a church per se, but the Christian college my daughter goes to, Greenville College, uses Gallup StrengthsFinder throughout its daily life, not only for professors and students, but I believe even non-academic staff and so forth. You'll even see a link for it on their website at

  5. Jeff Gibson says:

    I used Strengthsfinder for a “finding your place in ministry” class. Pushed it hard for a year until I found out that it really didn't affect where people were serving. Most of the people who took the class were already serving somewhere. I do think it is hugely effective for understanding where people fit into the staff. Helps you know that a first impressions pastor should be a woo (a 1000 friendships an inch deep) not a relator (few friendships very deep.)

  6. Thanks DJ!

    I have a feeling there are tons of churches that are utilizing strengths to a significant degree but so far they haven't connected. Perhaps you're starting something…

  7. Michael says:

    can't resist the temptation to advocate for “weakness based church”

    i'm pretty sure “annoying trickster” would be in my strength assesment 🙂

  8. Amy Kimes says:

    Whittier Area Community Church – has everyone take the StrengthsFinder test and posts them on our Intranet for us to read and compare.

  9. marcpayan says:

    church name: Christian Tabernacle

  10. We use the Strength Finder and the Kiersey Temperament (Myers Briggs) as a part of our overall culture…

  11. decarter says:

    We use Strengths Finder at Sandals Church in Riverside, CA. I'm involved at the Moms Bible weekly study, all of our leadership team take it and use it as a basis for discussion at our training. It is one of the more accurate and insightful tools out there.

    We all are aware of each others' Meyers Briggs types as well. This helps us as a leadership team to work smarter with each other. Our 6 small group leaders are almost all introverts, and being able to encourage their leadership abilities and affirm their “quieter” qualities has helped in shepherding them.

    Great post, thanks, DJ.

  12. Daniel Im says:

    Hey Bro,
    Upon coming to Onnuri Community Church in Seoul, Korea, I'm striving to change the culture to be strengths-based. Being a strengths performance coach, I have the full permission and go-ahead with our lead pastor. So I'd like to say that Onnuri English Ministry ( is striving to be strengths-based.

    Also, at the previous church I was at (River's Edge Community church) in Montreal, Canada (, I began a strengths movement there that has put our entire staff through strengths training including nearly 100-150 leaders. Before leaving to Korea, I trained and established a strengths team to carry on the training, so that they're leading the movement now. 🙂

  13. Kurt says:

    What i want to find out is if there is anyone who has developed a church ministry adapted curriculum based on the 34 strengths? In other words, if i am an “Activator” what direction should i seek ministry in? Or if i am “strategic” etc. Anyone know if a church has developped or expanded the curriculum of Strength Finder?

  14. djchuang says:

    The book that does connect StrengthsFinder themes to a church context is, “Living Your Strengths: Discover Your God-Given Talents and Inspire Your Community
    by Albert L. Winseman, Donald Clifton, and Curt Liesveld — great guide to work thru with your leadership team

  15. Phil Henry says:

    My strengths: Strategic, ideation, learner, future, input