It’s been a while since I posted anything on our blog (actually longer than that, I think). Nicolette and I have this ongoing conversation; her reminding me that I’m more than welcome to post something, and me moaning about just not having much to say that isn’t somehow connected to politics (local) or some other non-topic that is better left unwritten. So, I haven’t posted despite taking a moment or so each week and thinking to myself, “Do I have anything to say…nope, don’t think so.”
Well, for whatever reason a couple of ideas popped into my mind yesterday. So, I’ll post the first one and we’ll see how things go. Ha!
Now, the book review. I guess it’s a little ironic that my first step towards not being a blog recluse is to post about a book entitled, Introverts in the Church. I leave it to Freud and Jung to decide if there is any significance to that.
It’s probably a good thing I forgot to grab a pen or a highlighter when I sat down to read this book, because there are significant sections I would have turned into a big highlighted mess.
The author, Adam McHugh, explores his thesis that introverts should be able to thrive in the church. Although he explores this primarily as a problem for North American evangelicalism, the bent towards elevating extroversion as the ideal for leadership is a much wider issue. Anywhere that the theology of the Second Great Awakening has influenced culture, I think you’ll find the personality characteristics of introverts viewed as negative, and the characteristics of extroverts considered positive. Really, this issue shows up in nearly all evangelical expressions of Christianity.
McHugh discusses the psychological understanding of the introvert-extrovert personality scale. He also explores some examples of characters in Scripture that demonstrate introvert tendencies, demonstrating the importance of introverts in the biblical record, and reaffirming their place in the Body of Christ today. McHugh also has some helpful advice for introverts to recognize and use their unique, God-given personalities for the “building up of the Body.” The last few chapters contribute some very helpful insight into ways to craft times of worship, teaching, and ministry with introverts in mind.
Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, I think this book is worth a read. How might it change things in your church if being an introvert wasn’t a bad thing?