Thursday, November 12, 2009

Introverts of the world: unite! Extroverts of the world: read this book!

I heard about this book in Feb. 2009 and have had it pre-ordered for months; it just came yesterday and I'm very impressed.

After stating, “Evangelicals talk a lot,” McHugh summarizes:
“To participate in the evangelical church is to join the conversation. Introverts, however, spare our words in unfamiliar contexts and often prefer to observe on the fringe rather than engage in the center.

“Our spirituality may be grounded in Scripture, yet it is quieter, slower, and more contemplative. In an upfront, talkative, active evangelical culture, we can be viewed as self-absorbed or standoffish, and we can feel like outsiders even when we have faithfully attended church for years.”
Yes! I know that feeling!

He also explains how in mainstream American culture, which includes business, that extroverts tend to be more valued, while introverts are viewed as “enigmatic, antisocial, and passive.” This is, in reality, a subtle and insidious form of discrimination.

Given that introverts are in the majority (50.7% of the population) it’s time this kind of bias was bashed.

After all, if you’ve read Good to Great you know introverts were behind the success of many of the great companies. In fact, in many situations, it may be the extroverts getting all of the attention, but it’s the introverts who are quietly and methodically getting the work done.

In reality, it’s not about which personality type is “better” (neither is, they’re just different), but rather recognizing the value all individuals bring to the table, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or personality type.

This should be especially true inside the church!

This is a wonderful book that discusses the challenges of being an introvert in an extrovert world, whether inside or outside the church.

If you are an introvert, the book will truly speak to your situation and provide useful guidance on how to embrace who/how God has crafted you.

If you are an extrovert, you will gain keen insight to the frustrations and challenges we introverts deal with daily, and hopefully gain awareness into the strengths our quieter ways can bring to the table.

The truth is that regardless of personality type or style, we ALL are “God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph. 2:20).

Are you an introvert? What challenges do you encounter on a daily basis? What about in church? Are you an extrovert? How patient are you with the introverts around you? Share in the comments!

1 comment:

  1. Good find, Stephen. My wife and I will check it out in the New Year.

    I am a definite introvert but have developed extroverted tendencies -- in fact most mistake me for an extrovert in business and church family.

    I look forward to new insights from this resource. Of course, I will have to process by myself for a while before I can share my feedback with you...

    -- Jeff Stredney


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