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  • Writer's pictureChelsi Myer

Abby > 5

Enneagram 5s are known as "The Investigator". My friend, Abby, is an Enneagram pro. She uses her intensely perceptive 5-ness to share how Enneagram wisdom has empowered her as a woman, wife, pastor, and mother.




Tell me about what it means being a 5 and how you briefly describe your personality without someone knowing the Enneagram.


A: When I go out to dinner with a group, I like to find a seat at the end of the table. I don’t want to be at the center of the action, and I want easy access to wander away from time to time. I need a moment every now and again to gather my thoughts and then I can reengage. I like to observe, to watch and listen and take notes.

I’m always looking for the big picture, and easily miss the trees. Or, I get obsessively focused on a tree and forget the big picture.


What is your favorite memory of teaching the Enneagram?


I preached through the enneagram (listen here), following characters of the Bible through the darkness of their vice and narrowed in as they found their virtue. Each type has a gift to give to the world, and I love when I can help someone discover the thing that only they can do.

I chose Thomas to represent the fives, because I closely identify with him. I had a difficult time in church growing up, because my questions were not always welcome. My questions were about origin and theodicy and creation and inspiration and restoration. I wanted to name the elephants and expose the holes in what I was learning. What I often found was that the questions of my mind were met with answers for the heart.

The language of salvation is usually about feelings. The language of evangelicalism is about relationship. The language of call is sensing. Those are all heart and gut expressions.

For me, the process of reconstructing my faith, was a slow and steady process, and it happened in my head. I have a half dozen professors and mentors I like to process things with before coming to a decision. I need to sit in the questions that can’t be answered.

My spiritual life suffered until I found a spiritual director that understood I needed to engage God with my mind. And almost as soon as I was able to start connecting to God in my dominant language (thinking), I was able to learn how to translate my language, to begin learning how to find a connection to God in my heart and gut. I still predominantly experience God through my mind, but I’ve learned to practice exercising all of my muscles, not just the ones that are already strong.

At 12 Jesus got left behind at the temple, because he was so wrapped up in learning the scriptures. He was sitting among the teacher, listening and learning and asking questions.

Jesus was able to distance himself when he needed space for himself. He needed silence in order to rest and get his thoughts together. It always prepared him for the next action he was about to take. Jesus was able to resist the demands of his family, and other people.

Jesus did not hoard himself or what he knew, he always shared what he knew and gave himself in relationships with others. And in the incarnation, the word became flesh. To live among us. God put on skin and came to be with us. Word to deed. Thought to action. If you’re a five, this is key, to take what you’ve gathered and put it into practice.


Enneagram, Marriage & Family


My husband is a 4 (The Individualist), which could not be more different than a 5. He lives deep in his emotions, and looks for the beauty in pain. If life feels a little too ordinary, he gives it a little shake. I live deep in my mind and do whatever I can to compartmentalize my emotions and not pay any attention to them. If something feels uncomfortable, I like to rationalize myself out of it as quickly as possible. The more ordinary life is, the better. The enneagram has helped us understand how fundamentally different we are even at our most basic needs. What he needs, I would not naturally give, and vice versa.

Even though you aren’t supposed to type your children, we can easily type 3 of our 4 daughters. Our oldest, Stella, is 17 and she identifies with type 4. Our 8-year-old, Lucy, sees the world in very clear right and wrong categories and has picked up many of the coping mechanisms of a type 1. The most helpful child to understand is our 6-year-old, Mabel, who very strongly aligns with a type 8. She needs to be against everything, not because she’s disagreeable, but because she’s wired to challenge EVERYTHING. She also has a heart for justice and people in pain, and is the first one to stand up to a bully or rescue her little sister when she falls. I have a lot more patience for her, knowing she isn’t trying to be rebellious, but is wired differently. Of course, she crosses the line all the time, and I have to teach her how to use her powers for good, not evil :).


As a pastor, what do you see as the greatest need in people's lives? (other than Jesus)


I think the greatest need for people is vulnerability. Each of us identify with 1 of the 9 types, because we’ve adopted the coping mechanisms of that type to deal with the world around us. If we hope to discover our true self, to develop meaningful and lasting relationships, and live our best life, then we have to loosen our grip on our false self. Whether it’s shame, fear, or anger, we’re all controlled by something other than God’s divine love. With the enneagram, we can better understand our greatest need in life, and adopt spiritual rhythms that meet that need, slowly letting go of our vices.


Abby Jones, her husband, Jeff, and their 4 daughters.

About Abby


Abby Jones is a certified enneagram coach and teacher. She has been studying the enneagram for 10 years, and has found it to be a powerful tool for her own personal growth, leadership development, and learning how to live a more wholistic life. Abby has a BA in Biblical & Theological Studies, and a Master in Divinity from North Park Theological Seminary. She is a Senior Pastor in Phoenix, AZ where she lives with her husband Jeff, and their four daughters: Stella, Lucy, Mabel, and Harper. Find her at www.abbyjones.me.

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