As our van drove closer towards Nashville, I could feel my heart starting to race. So many people! As we got out and unloaded our tracts and Bibles, I wondered how I was going to make it through. I was so scared and nervous… what would people think? What if they got angry? I wanted to spread the Gospel, but now it looked so big.
Standing in front of twenty girls, hands shaking, I attempted to read off my carefully outlined, long thought out (and agonized over) lesson for vacation Bible school. public speaking isn’t my talent, I had reasoned, trying to get out of the task. But God had provided this unique opportunity for me, so in faith, I took it.
And now, my most recent (and scary looking undertaking) is being a prayer group leader for a small group of girls at a Bible school.
I love people. I want nothing more than to be able to touch hearts and lives to make a difference for the Kingdom. But some days, it looks so big; I don’t know how to relate, can’t think of things to talk about, and sometimes, just plain want to be alone.
As Christians, we want to obey the Great Commission , and desire to spread the Word of God …. But it can look so scary! So, the question I want to ask is this: Is there a ministry for introverts?
and the answer is, of course, yes.
Know Your Strengths
You might not like leading a large Bible study group, but are you able to relate better one on one? Are you able to empathize with others? Do you like children? Ask yourself questions to narrow down your interests. Pray for opportunities that match your desires, and step out in faith when they arise.
Take Time to Recharge
A burnt out introvert is a not a good one… This is where we differ from extroverts. While they thrive in a social environment, we are drained. The answer to this is to know your limits, stay encouraged with personal devotions and prayer, and spending time alone to process your experiences.
Think of Others
Something my mom said to me has proven very helpful… “You might not always need people, but what if they need you? You should look to be a blessing instead of always being blessed.” Right on, mom…
And this has come to my mind so many times. When I am feeling unmotivated to speak to a stranger, encourage a sister, or hang out with a younger friend, I wonder maybe they need a friend. Maybe they need someone to talk to and share with. And if not now, building relationships is never a bad thing.
You may be tempted to try to take on the persona of our bubbly, outgoing counter personalities. They are likable, have lots of friends, and easy to talk too. Extroverts are awesome – I love all my extroverted friends. But if you aren’t, don’t try to be one. Be yourself.
This one is hard… We fear making mistakes, overstepping, looking like a know it all… But if you see a spot in ministry that needs filled, and you think you are the one to do it, step out. Prayerfully and humbly walk through the open door. God will provide you with emotionally and physical strength if He gives you a task.
So to all my fellow introverts, I say – don’t despair. Ministry doesn’t have to drain you of all your emotional resources. In fact, when you find balance, you will discover that you are refreshed and spiritually edified by times of ministry.
He gives strength to the weary, and increases the power of the weak.
Isaiah 40:29 NIV