Years ago if you had asked me what the one thing I would change about myself was, I would have undoubtedly answer my introverted nature. We live in a society that places an emphasis on being outgoing and sociable; i.e. extroverted. The heroines of movies and books are far more likely to be overtly expressive, spontaneous, and sociable, not the shy, quiet person that prefers solitude over being the life of the party. I tried my best to be extroverted for most of my high school and some of my college years; trying to be talkative, funny, and witty. I did my best not to feel nervous when speaking in front of others and to control the awkwardness that I felt when around people (though in hindsight most of the awkwardness I felt was due to people expecting me to be more outgoing rather than accepting that I’m a introvert). Even at church it seemed I would not be accepted as an introverted christian. People kept pushing me to be different; telling me to “speak up more” and “loosen up.”
One of my fears was how being an introverted Christian would impact how I served God. Everyone I looked up to as spiritual mentors seemed to be amazingly bold and outspoken; they never feared to speak up and speak out. I didn’t believe God could use someone so soft spoken and reserved as me.
This belief was only reinforced whenever leaders and organizers at church found out how quiet and introverted I was they would make statements like “Well, I guess we can stick you in the back somewhere.” I believed I was destined to simply play a background role in someone else’s amazing tale of courage and faith.
Thankfully, God freed me from this way of thinking and I realized that God can and will use me for whatever purpose he desires. More than that, I have been able to accept myself as I am and I no longer try to be someone I’m not. I now embrace the introverted aspect of my personality because that’s how God created me- and God doesn’t make mistakes (more on how to love yourself).
An introvert is simply someone who prefers a calm environment and would rather spend their time alone than with a large group of people. Sometimes people think introverts prefer solitude because they’re socially awkward or inept which isn’t necessarily true. Really, introverts are just people who reflect on inner emotions and thoughts rather than outward stimulation. Unfortunately, this can sometimes come off as being shy, rude, or unsociable. I promise, if you meet me and I don’t talk to you, you shouldn’t take it to heart; I don’t talk to anyone (joking; kind of).
Christians can definitely be introverts! As I mentioned earlier, I thought for a long time that I needed to become more extroverted in order to truly serve Christ. How wrong I was! What I failed to realize was that God created me as an introvert. When God crafted me within my mother’s womb he made me quiet, contemplative, and 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?”
God does not make mistakes. I am not an introverted Christian by accident; I am who I need to be to fulfill whatever purpose God has for me (and so are you).
Example of Introverts In The Bible
Don’t believe me? Here are a few of our favorite Bible heroes that very well could have been introverts… or at least had some introverted characteristics.
Moses, one of the greatest Biblical heroes of faith, was probably an introvert! Remember when Moses fled to the wilderness after killing an Egyptian? It was in the wilderness that he became a shepherd, spending 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” because he is “slow to speech and tongue ” (Exodus 4:10, NIV). If God used Moses, someone slow to speech and tongue, to free an entire nation from slavery and fulfill His covenant then surely God can use you too!
Believe it or not, Jesus displayed some introverted tendencies. One of the aspects of being an introvert involves the desire to enter into solitude to “recharge” or “renew” oneself and Jesus often did exactly this! In fact, solitude and silence were reoccurring themes within Jesus’ life. The Gospels often show Jesus withdrawing from people and everyday life and seeking solitude to pray and spend time with God (Mark 1:35, Luke 5:15-16, Mark 3:7). Obviously, there is no shame in being quiet, contemplative, or with enjoying solitude.
I’m just going to put it out there introverts can serve God in any way extroverts can. In fact, you would probably be surprised by how many of your favorite preachers, authors, musicians, etc. are introverts. Just think of Moses, who led an entire nation, and Jesus who is King over the entire universe! Don’t let someone convince you that you can’t take on roles that are typically delegated to extroverts. If you want to lead a small group, then lead a small group. If you want to join the praise and worship team, then join the praise and worship team. You do not have to change in order to serve God and help advance the kingdom of heaven! Here are a few ways I have been serving God as an introvert:
I am actually a greeter at my church; not something you would normally expect from an introvert. Even though I enjoy solitude, it’s nice to be able to welcome people to my church with a big smile and a kind word.
I was very resistant when God called me to women’s ministry; I never fathomed I would be teaching God’s Word to other women. But here I am, with my very own blog, ministering to hundreds of women each month. I am so very blessed to be able to use my own life experiences, both as a young woman and an introvert, to reach out and help others.
All throughout high school I co-led my church’s youth praise and worship team. I was up in front of my entire congregation every Wednesday and Sunday pouring my heart out through song.
In all honesty, I believe the greatest way I am able to serve God is by praying for others. While I may not be talkative, I am definitely a listener and I’m pretty intuitive when it comes to other people’s needs and feelings (one of the great things about being a reflective and contemplative person). It always brings me great joy to go before God on someone else’s behalf, to bring their needs before the Father.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a introverted Christian. Never let the lie that you are not “enough” to serve God keep you from fulfilling the purpose God created you for. Remember, God created you as an introvert and God doesn’t make mistakes.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert? What ways are you serving God?