Dr. Michael Lea of Prince Frederick, Maryland is a Certified Pastoral Member of the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling and has been an International Representative since October 21, 1998.
Dr. Lea is the Congregational Care Pastor for Chesapeake Church in Huntingtown, Maryland. He holds a Master Degree in Counseling Psychology, a PhD in Christian Counseling, and a PhD in Christian Psychology. He enjoys studying new things, home improvement, and spending time with family.
Dr. Lea has a passion for those he serves and with whom he serves. He is the author of Counseling Youth (NCCA), So You Think You Are Married …Ten Tips on How to Live like It (Westbow Press), and First Steps (CCTA).
The story of how I first became aware of temperament and of the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling (SACC) constantly reminds me of God’s intervention in our lives beyond my human reasoning.
I was attending a secular graduate school and pursuing my Master Degree in Counseling Psychology. The challenges were many with running a business, maintaining a healthy family life, volunteering as a youth pastor, and attending night school. In addition to those regular challenges I was frequently vilified for my Christian faith when instructors would refer to me as a barbarian for believing such a thing. In God’s wonderful way he used the instructor’s behavior to produce a great byproduct. The byproduct of the instructor’s behavior was that my classmates had no problem knowing where I stood on Christ as my Savior.
One evening one of my classmates came to me with a sheet of paper that had been posted somewhere on campus. He told me the sheet was not of interest to him but he thought it may be to me. The flyer was an invitation to examine this thing call temperament.
As with many of us, after being exposed, I was on my way. I finished my graduate degree in 1996 and started to study Creation Therapy. I had gone to graduate school to be better equipped to serve my youth and their families. I had not realized yet the value of the tool named Temperament Analysis Profile, now known as the Arno Profile System (APS). I had already realized the shallow nature of how the world treats the struggles in life.
After becoming an International Representative (IR) with SACC I was able to purchase and teach Creation Therapy and offer Created in God’s Image.
Ephesians 4:11 teaches us that as leaders we are to equip the people for works of service. As an IR I have the opportunity to use one of my spiritual gifts, the gift of teaching, in equipping the workers. In my capacity as an IR I have taught thousands of people how to grow and serve the Lord through gaining an understanding of their God breathed temperament.
Since becoming an IR I have been associated with thousands of generated profiles. Using the profile to reveal the truth of God’s work gradually became a mainstay in my ministry using it with individuals, ministry team analysis, and the couples’ mentoring. If the focus is equipping one worker for service, even if just one, to be a more productive servant for God it is a ministry success. The use of the APS has produced many successes.
The use of the Arno Profile System is integral for my church’s care ministry to care for a body of around two thousand attendees.
Using the profile is just one of three ways that my being an IR has helped in advancing God’s kingdom. There is a course available through the SACC entitled Created in God’s Image. It is the non-professional version of the material presented in Creation Therapy. (Creation Therapy is available for IRs to train people in administering the APS.) Even though I enjoy teaching Creation Therapy this course provides the most fun and is to me more rewarding.
If you are wondering about becoming an IR teaching this course alone can sway you toward yes.
The population you reach is yearning to hear about themselves and learn about others. My own excitement gets elevated as I see someone understand the “why” answers they have been searching a lifetime to answer. Even though the course is designed to be a self-study course I provide it in a class setting over a six-week period. The class is designed to be informative and fun. Each time I offer this class it ignites a desire in others who then request the class be offered again. As an IR one can supplement their income by providing such a class in a professional setting, or to help strengthen the ministry workers in one’s local church.
A true testimony of how powerful this course can be is that many people take the class two or three times. As an IR I have been privileged to teach hundreds in my church community with prospects of many more. The more people learn about their temperament the more many of them want to know.
Being an IR continually provides opportunity for me to be involved in my church community. Even as I write this release I am reminded of my temperament. To think of the thousands of interactions I have had over the years and how God has allowed me to understand and work through the Melancholy task driven temperament affirms for me that I take his yoke upon my shoulders.