I posted recently 7 pitfalls of being an introverted pastor. (You can read that post HERE.) In that post I indicated I would share how I address each of these pitfalls to keep them from adversely impacting my ministry.
Here are 7 ways I work with my introversion to protect my ministry:
- I discipline myself to be extraverted on Sunday mornings. Years ago, in my first full-time church, an elderly deacon pulled me aside and said, “Son, if you will make these people feel welcome, they’ll be more likely to return.” I realized that it wasn’t enough to preach a good message, I needed to engage people on a personal level.
- I try to handle correspondence by email as much as possible to cut down on verbal conversation. Just point of information, you will always get a deeper, more engaged answer from me if we are communicating online.
- I see networking as a large part of my success in ministry. As a purpose-driven person, I’m more likely to do that which brings results. Networking has become a leadership value for me.
- I try to capitalize on my strengths. There are some benefits to introversion. I think before I speak. I am less likely to put my foot in my mouth (although it still happens). I usually meant what I said. I am able to spend countless hours in my own thought world, which give me tons of ideas; which, by the way, is a big reason you see me online often.
- My family knows who I am. I am very protective of family time, but they know that I need downtime before I can engage fully. They are respectful of this time, knowing it will be rewarded as we enjoy each other more when I am mentally rested.
- I value my wife and her partnership in ministry even more! Cheryl is an extravert. She loves people and when she is with me I am much more comfortable in an extraverted setting.
- Recognizing the need for people to be involved in my life beyond surface level for my protection and the protection of my family and ministry, I have consistently solicited and allowed a few men to know me into my heart and life who can hold me accountable.
Are you an introvert? How do you keep it from adversely impacting your ministry?