The Struggle Of Being An Introverted Christian
Written by Dave Herrmann | May 19, 2015
TL;DR – this is a story about me as an introverted Christian and how I learned to examine my intentions more.
This past week my church put me on the welcoming committee.
Yes, me. The biggest introvert you’ll ever meet, was now on the welcoming committee…
Insert panic attack….
When I heard the news, I quickly got nervous. I thought to myself, ‘I can’t do that. I’m an introvert’! Put me on the set up team! That’s where I shine. It’s where I feel most ALIVE. It’s where I can be me. After going back and forth about this in my head, I responded to the email and promptly declined the offer. I stated that it would make me feel REALLY uncomfortable. Thankfully for me, this wasn’t a problem for them. In fact, the email came back moments later suggesting some other areas where I could help.
Boom! Off the hook! At least I thought I was.
The following Sunday, as service started, we went through the usual stuff, but this time we got to the “meet your neighbors and get to know one another” portion of the service, or as I like to think of it, my “personal h e double hockey sticks.” Our pastor informed us, while looking at me (it’s funny how that seems to happen in these times) to greet 10, yes 10 people. I felt the Lord’s conviction right then and there. So, I did it. I went through the motions and met 10 different people. It wasn’t easy. It was actually very awkward. However, I powered through! And that’s where today’s post comes in.
Is it okay for Christians to be introverted? Many of you are probably rolling your eyes thinking “yeah, I was born this way!” To a certain degree that is true. We all have personality traits and for some of us (many of us) introversion is a way of life. So what can we as introverted Christians do in a church that seems very extroverted?
It starts with understanding who you are.
I mean fully understanding that you’re not inferior or that there’s nothing wrong with you. You simply like deep conversations over small talk, you prefer solitude a lot more than being around people. Small group discussions typically find you without words and you’re much more comfortable with your hands down during worship. There is nothing wrong with that.
But, here is where we as introverted Christians DO tend to get in trouble.
Acts of service.
You see, we LOVE being alone. And saying “no” to any group activity is usually the norm for us. But that is where we need to improve. You see, in my example above I didn’t want to be on the welcoming committee, despite being asked. I said no because it genuinely freaked me out. THAT, my friends, is where we get in trouble. We’re hindering God’s Devine plans because of our own insecurities. What if God wanted me to be on the welcoming committee for a specific person? What if someone missed their blessing because I freaked out and said “no.”
Now, this isn’t written to get you all messed up in your head. I just wanted to point out that as introverts we tend to act on fear and insecurity and distance ourselves from one another. It’s something that I’ve struggled with in my life, but God is helping me work on it. Why? I don’t know. Maybe He’s teaching me something for another season in my life. I can’t be sure, for only He knows His plans. But what I do know is that I need to understand my motivations and intentions before I say “no” to anything.
From here on out, I vow to not let my introversion impact my true mission of making disciples of ALL nations. Are you with me? Will you go out of your comfort zone too?
Next time I get asked to be on the welcome committee, I will accept and just embrace the awkwardness that will come along with it. Who knows, maybe in a couple of weeks, I will have a funny or cool story to share.