For anyone that knows me in "real" life it usually surprises them to learn I am an introvert. Contrary to popular belief I am not shy or stand-offish. I really like people!
I just don't get all my energy from them. That is the psychological definition of an introvert or extrovert; whether someone is energized by being alone or by time with people.
My personality and yours are both designed to fully and completely glorify God.
When Jesus told us to go and make disciples of all nations (Matt 28:19) I know that God had intended that we use our distinguishing personality traits to glorify Him and further his Kingdom!
But does it ever seem like sometimes introverts get a bit of a bad rap?
We are perhaps mislabeled as unfriendly or isolated, and therefore not as useful to the Kingdom. Our culture is an extroverted one and it can be difficult to feel encouraged and valued as an introvert.
Take heart: Genesis 1:27 tells us creation reflects God's image, so introversion reflects Him! Therefore we are fully needed and essential to the body, and any thought otherwise is a lie. So awesome right?!
I want this article to simply point you introverts to encouragement that your precious hearts, minds and traits are essential to the Kingdom and Great Commission.
You fit some of the most laborious, servant-minded, Spirit-attuned roles that are needed to be filled. Our churches ministries, Bible studies, small groups, servant teams, and social groups would be sorely lacking if introverts dropped off the face of the planet.
If you are an introvert here are several encouraging ways I have seen your gifts used, optimized, and counted as an immeasurable blessing the Lord and others:
* Your unique ability to to be watchful and observant of what's happening around you
* You often use necessary alone time to pray and become a prayer WARRIOR (Psalm 145:18)
* You teach the whole body about God's heart when we understand how you tick. He did after all you
make your introversion as a reflection of his image (Gen 1:27)
*You are excellent at being keenly attuned to others needs and emotions
* You often share the gospel one-on-one with such grace and insight
* You are an example of the differences God has instilled in each of us and how that reflects His heart
* Your gifts are incredibly important: listening, praying, comforting, mercy, serving, and more!
* You often excel at removing distractions in life and seeking sanctuary to hear from God
Wow! Go God! Thank you for introverts.
I'll leave you with this: pray today for an ability to be an introvert who glorifies God and blesses others. Please don't pray to be changed. Introverts have a unique role to fill and are built to do ministry in a meaningful, eternally impactful way.
Add your own encouragements and insights to this list in the comments so we can really show off who God is through introverts and their unique make-up.
"God has always been about the business of shattering expectations, and in our culture, the standards of leadership are extroverted. It perfectly follows the biblical trend that God would choose the unexpected and the culturally "unfit" - like introverts - to lead his church for the sake of greater glory.”-Adam S. McHugh, Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture
Carly is a husband-swooning, health-inspired, simplicity-loving, Jesus-follower. She and her hunky husband Ryan adventure wherever the Lord takes them and most recently that has been into the often scary world of chronic illness. Connect with Carly on her personal blog,Pinterest and at Reaching For Fringe, a resource for chronic illness and marriage. Very nice to meet you!
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6/6/2013 11:42:29 pm
I've tested as being 99% introverted! :-) I do get energized by the right kind of interactions but not by people in general--no matter how much I love them and enjoy being around them.
Well put Christian!
6/7/2013 03:38:34 pm
So glad Brittany :)
6/11/2013 06:58:13 am
Hi Carly! Wonderful list! I can so identify, as a major introvert myself! Hey, if it helps anybody, one of the things that helped me understand how God loves to hang out with us introverts is a chapter that A.W. Tozer wrote, called "The Saint Must Walk Alone." You can find it on Google if you need a little extra encouragement. :)
6/11/2013 03:07:09 pm
Thank you for writing this!
7/22/2013 08:32:09 pm
Great post! I am an introvert and recently joined a church where everyone sits in circle before the service starts and shares about their lives in the service people randomly interject and teach along side the pastor. Often the pastor said 'everyone must participate', during the worship everyone was on their feet singing loudly i was happy just sitting and soaking it all in but i was asked a few times if there was anything wrong, in the end they concluded i was no participating because i did not know the words. But that was not it at all i might have told them more about me if they let me get a word in edgeways. I was asked questions and before i had a chance to answer another question would be asked. It was just too much for me. After a three hour service all together my nerves were shot. I really like the people though i love how they are i just dont know how to tell people how I am. How do I express myself to a church full of extroverts so they can understand who i am and how I am. I know if they just had this understanding they would accommodate my personality type i know they are loving people i just don't know what to say. Im considering not going back which is sad because i love their energy but i just can handle people putting me on the spot expecting me to spill my life out before everyone yell out in church sing loudly clap and dance etc, its just not me.
Belle I was exhausted just reading about your experience! Ha!
7/26/2013 06:26:20 am
pseudo-extroverts**. I am writing on an ipad and I don't get along with this particular piece of technology :)
7/26/2013 06:28:01 am
Ok this is getting is getting ridiculous ha ha. 1 cor 12:18 is the verse I am trying to point you towards. Ha ha sorry for the errors!
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