First of all, I’m hoping this post makes at least a little sense, because I’m constructing most of this post in the midst of a “restless leg v. insomnia” battle at 1 am.
Anyhow, I have to admit that I really don’t understand extreme introverts. I’m not one. Like my son Connar, I usually need to be around people to get energized. That’s not saying that I don’t like to be alone at times and fish, or watch a Bucs game. And I don’t love being in places where I don’t know people just to meet people-that to me is hard work. But for the most part, I’m pretty extroverted.
As a pastor, I’m trying to learn more, and encourage all kinds of folks to be involved in serving the church in all kinds of ways, consistent with their gifting and even personality. I want to meet people in their introversion. That’s not to say that I accept the introverted excuse to ignore visitors sitting near them (I’ve seen this in churches and it drives me nuts when folks play the “introvert” card). Introverts need encouragement in this direction, just like extroverts need to be encouraged to have deeper and more meaningful relationships.
With personalities in mind, I know its probably not best to put an introvert as a greeter. But there is probably much more to ministering properly to introverted folks than this. Looks like I may have found a good resource in this blog, Introverted Church, and also in this book: Introverts in the Church
If you are an introvert, have introverted children, minister to introverted folks, this blog really offers some things I haven’t seen anywhere else.
Interesting post. I have to admit that, for the most part, I'm an introvert. I greatly enjoy being alone and actively seek time alone if it has been a while since I found only myself in a room! Its not that I don't like being around others, I simply struggle making conversation with those I don't know, especially if they are more introverted as well. It is definitely a challenge at times to be as inviting as I know I should be, especially at church. Jeremy
Jeremy,My introverted friend. Thanks for your thoughts. I think the danger that can happen with an introvert/extrovert diagnostic is that one can be elevated over the other as more spiritual. Usually extroverts are elevated more highly in ministry, with introverts considered more spiritual? Perhaps?But God uses our introversion and extroversion, as well as challenges us in our introversion and extroversion. So we're all struggling forward together.Conversation can be hard for introverts, and easy for extroverts. However relational depth can be challenging for extroverts and easier for introverts in established relationships.I'm curious about this book and will probably order it, after I get through some of the ones I've already ordered (and still in the box!).Thanks again for your interaction and honesty brother!