Introverts in the church (pt2)

When you think of Jesus in the Gospels, do you think he was an extrovert or an introvert?

Might seem like an odd question. But some research was done in 2004 by Susan Howell (this was mentioned in the book on page 15) that when they were asked whether Jesus was an introvert or extrovert they concluded that 97% said that Jesus was an extrovert. This test was taken by introverts and extroverts. So even introverts have concluded that Jesus was an extrovert. However is that from what they read in scripture or is that what church culture is portraying to them?

“The evidence of Jesus’ personality is not clear-cut. Our bibles that print his words in red tempt us to see him as a talking head, while relegating other aspects of his ministry to incidental circumstance” pg 15

Jesus hangs around with a select few, his closest friends and he retreats from the crowds. Yet on the other hand he is surrounded by many people, teaching to many crowds, he goes to weddings (although he is not the centre of that party), he has dinner with lots of people and seems to show extrovert qualities as well as introvert qualities. It seems that Jesus shows us both. But what is most interesting is that we tend to home in on the extrovert qualities and say that we must be like that. Its difficult when you can’t be like that – where does that leave me? Pray harder? Ask God to change me to an extrovert? Read my bible more?… mmm

A quote from the book –

“Because introversion is not synonymous with shyness or aloofness, true introverts are harder to identify than you might think. You can’t always look for wallflowers or people staring at their feet to determine who the introverts are. Healthy introverts are not recluses. Just because we are oriented toward our inner worlds does not necessitate that we live in a private world, devoid of social contact and activity. It means that whatever context we are in, we are predisposed toward what is happening inside of us more than we are in what is taking place around us. Introverts can be in an unruly crowd, still immersed in our internal worlds. (p. 42)”

I think we need to start thinking about this in our churches, CU’s and homegroups. Even think about our own expectations because the silly thing is that I can quite easily cast judgement on people if I don’t think they are performing as much socially as they should, because that is the expectation and how we should act. But do our hearts, churches and CU’s accommodate for introverts who won’t be the social butterfly but will be the ones that think more deeply, spend time in study, think and ponder over questions, have deep conversations and relationships and enrich the church in this area? Or is the church all about the outward loud appearance of always being active and social?

I guessing I am leaving with a question. Any comments please do comment.

Next post: How introverts can serve and lead in church?

Website of Introverts in the Church

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3 thoughts on “Introverts in the church (pt2)

  1. I find Sundays pretty draining as an introvert. First there’s the service, which is great because I just get to listen and think and reflect over the sermon, but then it’s straight into songs followed by chat and coffee time. THEN it’s lunch for a couple of hours with someone from church. I appreciate their hospitality, and prefer to get to know people in one-to-one conversations sure, but after that I’m really glad to get home!

    • Yeh I know exactly what you mean. It is great being with people, but afterwards it is always nice having that “im going home” feeling and just relax…

  2. Introverts I know (pt4) | Gospel Sunshine

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