3 comments on “Does Jesus hate introverts?

  1. Hey there. I’m a fellow introverted Christian. Perhaps not quite as introverted as you describe yourself, at least not these days, but I wouldn’t have been far off it once upon a time. Now, I grew up in a church that didn’t talk much about evangelism at all; I was a few years out of high school before I switched to the Baptist denomination. I’ve had most of the experiences you describe, but nowhere near the magnitude that you describe them.
    I don’t dispute that it is the calling of every Christian to be involved in spreading the Gospel. Every Christian will do that differently though. As introverts, we tend to be pretty poor at reaching a large number of people; we get burnt out if we try to know dozens of people and tell them all something about the Gospel. However, I don’t know if anybody has ever talked to you about the fact that we don’t have to do it that way.
    There is such a thing as relational evangelism. It’s more time consuming, and doesn’t reach the same number of people, but it works. The only two things that you need to do are to be open about the fact that you are Christian, and to find one or two non-Christians who you’re able to build a friendship with. Now, finding those one or two non-Christians may be hard, and building a friendship with them is challenging when you’re shy and introverted, but the cool thing is that you can take your time. You’re not looking for a short term outcome here. You’re looking to build a genuine relationship with them. Why? Because by doing so, you can show them the love of Christ. You can show them the difference Christ makes in your life. Maybe along the way, you’ll pick up a few more non-Christian friends via the friends of your initial one or two. That’ll probably be easier than trying to meet them from scratch.
    Now, as long as you’ve been upfront and honest about the fact that you are a Christian from day one, it’s not that hard to talk to somebody you’re comfortable with about the Gospel. You may realise quickly that they’re not interested in listening; in that case, continue to be their friend, but make sure they’re not the only one (otherwise we’re back at square 1 of not witnessing to anyone). Showing somebody Christ’s love often paves the way to talk to them about Christ – see the Casting Crowns song “Love You With the Truth” for a far more eloquent description of this than I can come up with.
    If you’re doing this for a while, and find that you’ve built up a group of half a dozen or so non-Christian friends (over the course of a year or two, perhaps), you’ll typically find at least a couple of them will be interested in talking about faith; at least one of them is likely to be open to the idea of coming along to church. I say that out of experience, in case you’re wondering.
    It’s absolutely not true that the church isn’t the best place for introverts. Extraverts in the church aren’t always particularly sensitive towards the struggles introverts face, but it’s a basic fact that people in the church aren’t perfect. Within the church, we need a lot of grace and a lot of forgiveness, because we mess up all the time. Every Christian has areas that they struggle in; for introverts, that often includes engaging in church fellowship and evangelism. It’s not an excuse to fail, but it is a recognition that overcoming those struggles will be challenging. Rather than trying to assess yourself against the extraverts, recognise where you are at the moment, and where you would ideally like to be. Maybe you can’t spread the Gospel to dozens of people like the extraverts can. However, you can do better than not spreading it at all. Build a small number of close relationships, and spread the Gospel gradually through them. As you do so, you might find it gradually becomes easier to do more; maybe you won’t either). Nevertheless, introversion isn’t an excuse not to witness, but it’s a good reason to be sensible about how you witness.
    God bless,
    Ryan

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    • A very interesting perspective and I appreciate your point of view. The church I went to was very missions minded, so they pushed global evangelism which made me feel like what you described wasn’t good enough.
      I’m sure my perception would very greatly had the church spoken more about this relational evangelism rather than focus so much on spreading it to EVERYONE.

      Thank you for your comment. It definitely broadened my perception.

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      • The Western Church sadly thinks all too often in terms of individualism rather than community; they see all the commands of the Bible as needing to be carried out completely by every member of the church because they see the individual as the primary recipient of the commands. There are two problems with this: firstly, no individual can carry out all the commands completely, and secondly, the Bible wasn’t written primarily to individuals but to the Church. The command to preach the Gospel to all nations is a command to the church; every member of the church has a responsibility to contribute towards that. However, the way people contribute will be different. For some, they are best equipped to focus their evangelism towards those who are unsaved around them; for others, they are gifted in a way that equips them to go into other communities and preach there. The key is that everybody is playing their part, and that the Church as a whole fulfils her obligation to preach the Gospel to all nations. There is, of course, the temptation to take this as permission to do nothing at all (or to find a way to pretend we’re doing something while really doing nothing at all); we need to be watchful to ensure we don’t use it that way, but as permission to do it in a different way to those who are more naturally gifted.
        I absolutely adore 1 Corinthians 12, particularly verse 12 onwards. Different Christians have different gifts, all of which are for the building up of the Church as a whole. We need each other, because no Christian has all the gifts, and the Church suffers for the loss of even one of its parts. Your evangelism may not be on the same scale as another Christian, but odds are there is something else that you’re able to do better than most. Find that, and make sure you to that to the level you see extraverts doing evangelism.
        As a bit of an aside that you may or may not find encouraging, I’ve found that evangelism gets easier the more of it you do. I started off just doing it with one or two non-Christian friends I was already close to, and gradually found it easier to meet more people and start evangelism from the get-go. I’ve even been able to do walk-up evangelism with complete strangers. However, this is all at the end of a long process; I’ve seen God help develop gifts in me that I didn’t know I had. There is the classic parable of the talents – if you invest faithfully what you’ve been given, even if you’ve only been given a little, then you have done what is required of you. Do what you’re able to with what God has given you, and you might just find that God blesses you with the ability to do more 🙂

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