Christian Introverts: Is There a Place for You to Work in the Kingdom of God?
About ten years ago, I learned that I was a Christian introvert. For years, I found comfort and peace in solitude, gravitated to smaller crowds with a preference to small circles of friends versus big crowds of associates. After decades of stereotypes, I realized that I was not shy, antisocial, snooty, or moody. While that was a great resolve after years of being misunderstood, I had to learn what exactly an introvert was. How could I successfully live my life for God and still be in the safe and secure space of my Introverted World?
I’ll tell you this. If you have ever met me, I assure you that your last assumption would be that I am an introvert – I speak, I mentor, I talk to practically anyone, I talk too much, and you can hear my loud, high-pitched laughter from miles away. Nonetheless, I am an extreme introvert. I have a deep passion and need for my personal space and private life. There are many days where it feels as if I must conjure up the power of Samson to exit my comfort zone and interact with the real world. Have you ever felt this way?
Who is an Introvert?
In summary, an introvert is someone who prefers a silent, peaceful space and spends their time alone versus with a large group of people. Many times, people think that introverts prefer solitude because they’re antisocial which isn’t necessarily true. Introverts are just people who reflect on inner sentiments, ideas, and feelings rather than drawing their inspiration from their external surroundings.
Christian Introverts Giving God Glory
One of my greatest fears was that my introverted persona would influence my ability to carry out my work for the Kingdom of God. You see, as passionate as I have been about strengthening my spiritual walk with God, I had a difficult time understanding how that could happen if I remained in my shell, refusing to share the pearls that God had gifted me.
From the outside looking in, you would not believe that many speakers, preachers, teachers, coaches, prayer warriors, and leaders are introverts because they seem to be extremely courageous and confident. They don’t seem to fear to speak before anyone.
But guess what? If you sat down and had a heart to heart, you would learn that many of them are introverts. However, because of their commitment to the call God has on their lives, they push past their fears, insecurities, doubts, and their precious alone time.
For a very long time, I did not think that God could use someone like me, with a meek and reserved personality. I doubted my abilities to manifest the calling that He has on my life. However, over time with prayer and grace, God helped me break that ‘negative’ thought process and I realized that God created me this way with intention and would use me just as He uses out-going extroverts.
How Can One Be a Christian and an Introvert?
Well, we are not two-headed monsters. It is quite possible to work for God and be an introvert – it happens every day and has for decades. You see, when God created me in my mother’s womb, He knew I would be a little intense, an inward thinker, and yes HIGHLY reserved.
Numbers 23:19 (NIV) says, “God is not human that He should lie, not a human being that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?” Don’t forget that God does not make mistakes. I am not an introverted Christian by accident. I am who I need to be to fulfill the purpose God has for me – and so are you!
Are There Introverts in the Bible?
Moses, one of the greatest Biblical heroes of faith, was likely an introvert. Let’s consider the time when Moses escaped to the wilderness after killing an Egyptian. During that time he became a shepherd and spent most of his days in solitude with his herd. Moses even tells God He should choose another leader for the Israelites since he has never been an “eloquent speaker”, and because he is “slow to speak” (Exodus 4:10, NIV).
If God used Moses, someone with slow speech, to free an entire nation from slavery and fulfill His covenant then surely God can use an introvert today.
When we consider the characteristics of an introvert, one might think that Jesus was one, too. One of the many characteristics of an introvert is the desire for solitude to “recharge” and “re-energize” one’s strength. Throughout the Bible, Jesus often takes time to recharge and renew. Silence and solitude were consistent throughout Jesus’ life; it is where He took time to pray and commune with His Father. (Luke 5:15-16).
Christian Introverts Serving in the Church and Community
PSA: Introverts fit in and serve God the same way that extroverts do! Let’s go back to Moses once again as a point of reference – he led a nation, and Jesus, the Son of God, King over all things under the stars!
Introverts can serve God in any capacity that He sees fit. He created many different types of personalities and gave us all an array of superpowers to use for His glory. We must be true to who we are and thankful for who God created us to be.
Understand that we will all be challenged to get a little uncomfortable. Just as Moses pleaded with God to send someone in his place to speak, when it was all said and done, Moses was pushed beyond his comfort zone and eventually had to stand before the masses and speak from a place of discomfort. It was Moses’ responsibility to guide God’s people out of Egypt. He did just that while being drawn to solitude and silence.
Can you imagine how difficult and uncomfortable this must have been for an introvert to have such a job to carry out? Moses allowed God to have His way even though he was afraid and unsure. God pushed him past his anxieties to obedience and the calling on his life.
Stand up, fulfill your calling, Christian introverts! Master the purpose that God has created just for you.
So, What’s the Play Call?
- Always begin and end with prayer. (Mark 11:24)
- Embrace and love yourself just as you are. (Ephesians 2:10)
- Allow God to stretch you beyond your Comfort Zone. (Matthew 19:26)
- Remember that no matter how uncomfortable you might be, the overall goal is to work for God as He purposed.. (Proverbs 20:5)
- At the end of the day, retreat, re-energize, and revive. (Ezekiel 3:24)