Missiologists have frequently observed that, for post-moderns, self identity is actively constructed and cultural association is actively chosen. That is, for post-moderns, identity and association are more matters of taste than tradition.
Few missiologists, however, have taken the next step and asked: where do these differences in taste come from? So I would like to offer this observation, based on my experience with different subcultures: a significant factor is personality type.
This has led to a further observation, that the personality trait that most predisposes people to isolation within, and alienation from, traditional church is intuition. In effect, intuitives are a "least reached people group" in post-modern contexts.
Which leads me to a final question: What if church was more intuitive friendly? What might it look like?
To glean the beginnings of an answer I would suggest first looking at the difference between Sensing (S) and Intuition (N) as defined in Myers Briggs tests. “Sensing and Intuition are two ways to take in information. Sensing (S) indicates a preference for more practical attention to facts and details. Intuition (N) indicates a preference for more abstract attention to patterns and possibilities.” People with an intuition preference are more interested in the “big picture” than “small details”, more interested with “innovation” than “tradition”, more interested in the relationship between facts than the facts in isolation (see diagram).
What would this look like in practice? What are some examples? As a person who is highly intuitive myself I would offer these: a preference for big picture analysis of the Bible over the cherry picking of isolated memory verses, a preference for contextual interpretation over reductionist interpretation, an openness to exploring theology from difference perspetives, a concern over the double standards that emerge when evangelical ethical teachings are examined in parallel, a preference for mind maps over bullet points, an openness to imagination and creativity in worship, an openness to dreams and heightened awareness of the unconscious, a preference for open community over restrictive community.
These are just a few examples to get the creative juices flowing. I would love to hear if you have more examples to ad.