Why The Church Needs Highly Sensitive People

In our last post we examined important facts about highly sensitive people. This week we share how sensitivity is not a weakness, but rather a strength and why the church and the world desperately needs more highly sensitive people.

How Highly Sensitive People Advance The Work of the Church

Highly sensitive people are the artists and creators of the world.  Most people might not think they can relate to high sensitivity, but chances are good that their favorite songs, paintings, and stories were created by the highly sensitive. HSP’s are endowed with the power to reach into the world of feelings, emotions, dreams, visions, and ideas with their words and art and so are positioned to uniquely contribute to the ministry of the church.

 HSP’s offer cooperative and compassionate leadership. Highly sensitive persons tend to listen more, clearly express the reasons for their decisions, and pay attention to the strengths, preferences, and passions of those they work with. They are big on encouraging words and building consensus, and they allow colleagues to vent when needed. This allows HSP’s to be effective leaders and supervisors of employees and volunteers.

HSP’s help those around them process their emotions. HSP’s serve as sounding boards, they build up others with encouragement, they react sincerely and empathetically to people’s struggles, and they help them see connections they wouldn’t have seen on their own. HSP’s make excellent coaches, therapists, counselors, and spiritual directors.

HSP’s are highly discerning. Discernment is a gift that is much needed on church governing boards, teams, staffs, and committees. HSP’s are excellent in personnel and volunteer oversight roles as they are sensitive to the needs of employees and volunteers and provide intuitive discernment in the hiring and recruitment process.

HSP’s provide empathy, compassion, and healing. The core to being a highly sensitive person is the ability to see the world through another’s eyes. HSP’s don’t just feel compassion, sympathy, and joy for others, they even feel other people’s feelings as if they were their own. They truly can step into the thoughts and feelings of others. Such empathy is a blessing to others and inspires understanding and connection. The church often relies on highly sensitive people to minister to the homeless, hurting, sick, and grieving.

HSP’s are deep and wide thinkers. Highly sensitive people think on several levels, seeing a variety options and solutions. They frequently see third alternatives others do not. Because they are open minded to issues and opportunities, they are good problem solvers and wise decision makers. They also take the time to think through how things will play out and can often predict or prevent future problems.

 HSP’s have a rich inner world. Many HSP’s are highly spiritual, sensing movements of the Spirit that others miss. HSP’s frequently want to “go deeper” in their relationship with God and their personal experience, knowledge, and understanding of spiritual things.

Next week we will take a look at what supervisors, managers, and spouses need to understand about highly sensitive people, and provide several HSP related resources.


Posted on July 23, 2019

Jim Baker

Jim is a Church Organizational Leadership and Management Coach, Consultant and Trainer. Throughout his career Jim has demonstrated a passion for showing Pastors and Ministers how to use organizational tools for church and personal growth and health.

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“For I may be absent in body, but I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see how well ordered you are and the strength of your faith in Christ.” Colossians 2:5