I’ve been slowly reading a book called Introverts in the Church by Adam S. McHugh. As an introvert myself, I’ve found it to be a fantastic book. Every few pages there’s some anecdote that has me nodding along and saying, “Yes! I’ve been there!” I’m also finding that whenever I mention this book in Christian company the introverts in the room start to perk up and want to know more.
One thing that this book is instilling in my heart is that the church direly needs people spanning the spectrum of personality type. Right now the Church—in the United States at least—seems to prize the extrovert personality as the one true personality type. From what we call the ideal pastor down to how we teach people to evangelize, it’s primarily an extroverts game. It’s a shame though because that philosophy in turn makes it harder for some of the Church’s members to feel they can utilize their gifts effectively for the kingdom.
I don’t have a grand conclusion (after all, I’m not done with the book), but I did want to ask a few questions while they’re fresh on my mind.
For everyone: think about how your church practices openness to the variety of personalities walking through the door. Take a basic example: the time before and after church. Do you create a place for the contemplative person to prepare for worship? Or is it set up like a mixer? (If you’ve never thought of this before, have you ever wondered why some portion of the congregation tends to show up late and leave early?)
For the introverts reading this: what are some ways you feel like the church has supported you? We could come up with negative stories all day long, but I think it’s important to call out ways in which the church has been successful.