2013 Top posts #5 – How many introverts…?


26/12/2013 by Chris Green

20130225-151226.jpgWell, that was interesting. My piece on introverts and preaching generated more hits than any other piece on this blog. What does that tell us?

That lots of introverts use the web. Nothing to see here, move along please.

Or, that lots of us find ourselves caught in the odd place of being happy in our studies and our thinking, but also happy feeling that God has gifted us to teach and preach in public.

So relax. Embrace the fact that you enjoy reading books! Lots of us do! You’re not alone! Although we’d all rather be alone when we’re reading. Obviously.

And embrace the fact that you enjoy sharing the fruits of your studies, explaining things and making connections. And seeing other people ‘get’ it. Church needs you to do that.

It turns out that being an introvert who enjoys teaching is not an unusual combo, after all

But do whatever you can to avoid being a solitary Christian, because that’s where our God-given gift turns in on itself and becomes a sinful indulgence. Stay in a small group, if you can. Stay in a prayer-square with some people who know you well, if you can. Find ways to model how introverts can be great at relationships. Because we can.

Bring other-person-centred is another term for love. And introverts do that too.

How many introverts does it take to change a lightbulb?
As each takes up the place in the room furthest from every other introvert, the fifth will end up in the middle of the room near enough to the bulb to change it.

Just one, but another three will show up with extra bulbs because none of them talked with the others about their plans.

One. Why does everything have to be a group activity?

None. Having the lights on just encourages people to come and visit.

How many extroverts does it take to change a lightbulb? One. They hold the bulb up to the socket and the world revolves around them….

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2 thoughts on “2013 Top posts #5 – How many introverts…?

  1. Levi says:

    I’m going to be provocative and say that I think a lot turns on the phrase ‘seem to’ in your point about making small-talk. Being someone who would probably be classed as an extrovert (although I personally find the I/E labels about as helpful as classifying people by star sign) I don’t find small talk easy and I have had to make massive efforts to work on it. I really have no idea whether I ‘seem to’ find it easy to talk to new folk, but I do know that it is easier for me than it used to be… because I practised it. The same goes for public speaking, talking on the phone and skipping (the manly boxing kind, not the playground game). A lot of people might ‘seem to’ be good at doing something but on the inside be praying “God help me.” I know at lot of the time I do.

    My gripe (OK, one of my gripes) is that the ‘introvert’/’extrovert’ unhelpfully smooth over the complexities of our individual characters, which are shaped by our experiences, upbringing, etc, to tell me people what things they will find difficult or easy (much like a horoscope, in fact).

    I want people to help me repent of my sinfulness and grow in my ability to love someone-to be more like Jesus. But I want people to deal with me as me-Levi-not as ‘an extrovert.’ Is that too much to ask?

    • Chris Green says:

      I think it is a really crude tool, Levi -and one that,s too easily an excuse. But I do think our culture puts a premium on being outgoing, warm, convivial, and less so on being reflective, or thoughtful. That may be a more helpful observation than the Jungian E/I polarity.

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