I am an introvert. From all public appearances on Sunday morning that surprises many people, but in my private life and with those closest to me there is no questioning of that fact. If anything, I have become even more introverted the larger our church has grown. I can wish I was otherwise, but this is how I am wired. Being an introvert has its downsides as a pastor.
Here are 7 pitfalls of being an introverted pastor:
- People often think I’m arrogant, aloof or unfriendly. I’m a lot of negative things. Those are not really the main three. I sometimes have to go back and apologize once I hear someone thinks I avoided them. This happens especially with extremely extraverted people.
- I hesitate to make the connections I should sometimes and miss opportunities to build my network.
- I’m worn out after a long day of talking and need time alone to rejuvenate, which can impact my family time if I’m not careful. It also leads to people at the end of the day telling me I look tired…guess what? I am!
- Crowded rooms, which I love in terms of reaching people for Christ, are actually intimidating to me as a person.
- I’m not as quick-witted when in crowds and sometimes appear awkward on first impressions when I try to be.
- I realize the need to talk with people…it’s what I do, but wrestling through the introverted tendencies actually adds even more stress to my life.
- If I’m not careful, and thankfully I’m fairly disciplined here, I will close out people from really knowing me, which subjects me to all kinds of temptations, anxiety and even depression.
How’s that for transparency?
Are you an introvert? Do you see how it impacts your work?
(In THIS POST I share how I handle being an introvert without injuring my ministry.)