The 9 Letter Dirty Word in the Church

Introvert.

Yes, if you don’t know that that has often been/and is a dirty word in the Evangelical and faith communities, then you are probably an extrovert. I didn’t realize it was a dirty word until I read Adam McHugh’s insightful and powerful book, Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture. After I finished Adam’s book almost two years ago I began to wonder if I was really an introvert, but always trying to fit in and act like an extrovert. I slowly began to own the introverted side of me and see it as a unique gift from God.

I would tell you that this was just my experience, but the countless people that sit across from me in therapy, work with in ministry, and hang out with in coffee shops tell me a different story. They paint a picture of struggling with their introversion because it has for so long been seen as an inadequacy in them. Maybe a minister told them they needed to get up front and share their testimony because “good Christians do that.” Or maybe a missions pastor pulled them aside to say that they needed to be more bold in their door to door evangelism. Or maybe a parent continually called them shy as if it was a bad word. These experiences and many others are real, and they are repeated day in and day out, leaving many introverts feeling like the asset that they have been given is somehow…not an asset at all in the Church, or in life.

I want to say to you, what I tell the introverts who come and see me in therapy.

Introversion is the unique way that God wired you, and it is a gift. You have insight and skills that others do not have. So I encourage you to come out of hiding and take full ownership of, and live into the introverted nature that God created in you from the beginning.

1 Comment

  1. by Linda Stoll on March 17, 2012  8:23 am Reply

    Adam's book was a huge gamechanger for me! I felt like I was looking in a mirror ... so affirmed, validated, and relieved that somebody finally got who I am. And it was all ok because that's who God shaped me to be.

    All the preferences, needs, idiocyncracies, desires, and gifts that define who I am all fell into place ... made sense.

    "Introverted Mommies" was borne out of my great desire to free young mothers from the guilt that plagues them when they just can't wear that "super mom" hat ...
    http://creeksideministries.blogspot.com/#!/2011/08/introverted-mommies.html

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