We all so desperately want to be known and understood. Even more, we want to be fully loved for who we are (maybe even in spite of it). We were made to be in perfect relationship with one another, perfectly known and loved, different though we may be.
But we live in a broken world. And so people will not know and love us perfectly. Instead, we will be misunderstood, misjudged, overlooked, underappreciated. This is just as true within the church as it is outside it, which is why I’m unsurprised to see Relevant.com’s recently trending piece, What Introverts Wish the Church Understood About Them, touching a nerve with so many.
Contributing writer Julia Howell hits on a common, sensitive topic amongst introverts. “With all the extroverts seemingly running the show, where does an introvert like me fit in,” she wonders. “Do we even have a place at church?” And with that question on her heart, here are 4 things she wants the Church to understand about her personality type:
1. Introverts are not anti-social. “It has come to take on a meaning of anti-social, which is not the case,” Julia says. “We can deal with people—we have no problem with that, but in general, we recharge by ourselves.”
2. Introverts Can Serve in All Sorts of Roles. “Introverts shouldn’t feel pressured to do what is socially acceptable—such as pretending to be outgoing if they don’t want to be,” writes Julia. “Conversely, introverts shouldn’t feel tied to the stereotype of solitude if they really enjoy talking with people.”
3. Introverts Aren’t Shy. “Introverts, though not always outgoing in social situations, usually have other talents that are important when working with people,” Julia says. “These can be deep thinking skills, listening or respect for others.”
4. Introverts Can be Effective Leaders. “The Church needs all kinds of personalities to function,” says Julia. “Introverts (as well as extroverts) are necessary to the Church Body. Ministry requires a variety of positions in which introverts and extroverts can feel comfortable.”
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