Extrovert or Introvert? I am a Christian.

*Disclaimer* this is to no one personally who has publicly proclaimed them self as an introvert or extrovert.  Most of these articles are hilarious and help us understand one another better.

I think the more we can understand about ourselves and others is awesome.

The more we understand the better we know and love ourselves, can be loved, give love, etc.

There is just so much out there lately on extroversion and introversion.

What gets me about all this though is AS a Christian… why do we care so much about our personalities?

For example:

The bible does not say if you are an extrovert “go out” and make disciples, be at the outreach events, and make sure to invite people over for dinner during meet and greet.

The bible does not say if you are an introvert, “read” and know my word, do the behind the scenes work, and go to the bathroom during meet and greet.

If the bible doesn’t speak to us according to personality types, I think it can be a dangerous thing to put so much weight into what “we are” because then we just might get too comfortable in being who we are as an “extrovert” or “introvert” instead of “Christian”, and so act according to our personality and not our identity.

Introverts and extroverts alike, let us just remember that as Christians:

We are unified.

We have the same purpose.

We have the same identity.

We have the same goals.

In our different personalities and amazing uniqueness of course there are a million ways we can act like Christ in our own giftings – but let’s remember to not hide behind “who we are in our personalities” and not do Kingdom work because it doesn’t fit “in who we are”.

Encourage one another, strengthen one another, push one another to love Christ and love others – not just in a way that is comfortable.

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Posted on August 21, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I don’t disagree with what you’re ultimately saying, but I will say that (while people are not let off the hook for pursuing the great commission), understanding these elements better helps the body of the church function at it’s best, as it is one member but with many parts. As people learn how they can best serve in their strengths, it will push the mission of the church forward more effectively.
    Our church sent an article out to its members once on how to reach introverts because most often churches do a great job reaching extroverts and have a harder time helping introverts who walk through the doors as first time visitors (christian and non). It was helpful for our church to think about.
    And further, as someone who was in ministry full time for awhile, I was often pushed into many extroverted roles. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s good for me to be stretched and as a Christian making disciples, that is going to mean stepping out of my comfort zone A LOT regardless of being an introvert or extrovert. But it has been helpful for ministries like InterVarsity to be able to think more about how to place their staff in environments where they can best serve, and they’ve been able to use the Myers Briggs to help figure that out.
    Years of ministry event after ministry event falling apart to the point where there is eventually no ministry group anymore is no mystery now as I learn more about being an introvert. I am not the person who should be in charge of gathering people for a large event, being the Emcee, directing all the details, and leading the energy. No matter how hard I try, it’s just not going to work well. It is helpful to know that, as I think about my ministry “failure” in retrospect and as I think about serving the church moving forward.
    Yes, identity-wise, we are all Christians. Extrovert and Introvert do not identify us ultimately. But they do help us figure out the best ways our gifts serve the church and in what ministry contexts we will best serve. And there are examples of both introverts and extroverts in the bible (Moses was an introvert, Paul was an extrovert).
    Just throwing that out there :).
    I love your blog!

    • You make an excellent point as I was about to speak of myself. Yes, we should explore who we are for many reasons. I’ll only highlight two as I can literally go on forever about this topic.

      1. You realize what strengths your people have like krys593 said above. Why ignore the strengths of your people and push everyone to do the same thing when you can use their strengths in areas where they can really shine and reach people within the kingdom of God? If they don’t know their purpose yet, this is a good starting point in directing these Christians in serving the church. A good leader understands the strengths of their people and places them into the position where they can use their gifts and talents to help the team succeed in its goal.

      2. You help people realize their weakness and thus improve them. By knowing your personality, people are more aware of what weaknesses they have that otherwise they may have overlooked. It may be obvious to others but not to them.

      Now keep in mind that people shouldn’t just accept their weakness as saying “well that’s just how I am, take it or leave it”. Absolutely not. In fact I think that that is what you were meaning in your post about those that say “well I’m too introverted to be of any use in serving.” We should all strive to become better more well rounded people. And the best thing about being a Christian is that with the help of the Christ we can strengthen those weaknesses. If God has called you to do something, know that God did it because he knows you can do it despite your personality. He can help you get there and strengthen the weaknesses that you have that may be a roadblock along the way. That’s why a Christian must stay in tuned with the Father so that their personality weaknesses will not do that. Phlegmatics and Melancholies (both types of introverts) tend to worry a lot. Thus they will have a bigger problem with having faith in rough times. But if they meditate on the scripture about how God hasn’t given them a spirit of fear, but power, love, and a sound mind, they can rise above that fear to worry less.

      All in all, personality studies help us become more aware of the habits and mindsets that we have as a human. We can use our strengths to do his work and we can seek God as he will help us with our weaknesses so that we may fulfill the individual purpose that he has for each of us.

      Sorry about the essay. I really can go on forever about this lol
      lovethyintrovert.com

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