December 5, 2012

An Introverted Woman in a Social Media World

To introverts, it seems that extroverts get all the attention. The televangelist hobnobs with presidents. The highly-followed Christian blogger says outrageous things about her husband's congregation. People discuss the tweets of the nationally-recognized conference speaker. Meanwhile, the introvert looks at the ground and says, "Thanks for noticin' me."

God works through personalities and, as challenging as it is, women in ministry need to work in tandem with those who have different outlooks in order to advance His kingdom. There is no place for stating, "Because I am not an extrovert, I do not belong to the body." In addition, the introvert cannot say to the extrovert, "I have no need of you." Introverts have potential for positive contributions as well as pitfalls in their paths.

Positive traits
In general, introverts are good at condensing ideas. They are helpful additions to a ministry planning meeting because they summarize others' ideas in their heads while adding original thoughts. Because extroverts discover solutions by talking through all the possibilities, they may perceive introverts as not making a contribution. Introverts get frustrated, too, when they think the discussions will never end. So, both sides need to cultivate love for one another.

If an introvert never speaks up at a meeting, the ministry will not benefit from her clear insights. She needs to find ways to make her voice heard. For example, if an introvert sees an agenda in advance of the meeting, she will can begin formulating ideas right away. For the times that her thoughts do not gel until after the meeting, she can email the group.

Positive traits
In general, introverts are good listeners. They can have a valuable ministry of attentive caring in a time when people are paying therapists just to listen to them. In addition, because introverts are so tight-lipped, they rarely betray confidences.

A quiet woman can appear to be an intimidating, judgemental woman. An introvert should examine her heart to make sure that is not the case. If a misperception exists, a warm smile and genuine interest in others helps counteract it. Also, a more extroverted woman might assume that the introvert never faces struggles in her Christian life because she never expresses them verbally. In this case, an introverted woman could share some personal information with other women to show that she, too, is human and can sympathize with weakness.

An introvert has a unique perspective, which is useful in building God's kingdom. But, she needs His strength to overcome sinful tendencies and her natural hesitancy to be involved with others.  As a result, an introverted woman can assume an important place in ministry alongside her more outgoing sisters.


  1. I recently read about a study that found "introverted leaders typically deliver better outcomes than extroverts, because they’re more likely to let proactive employees run with their ideas. Extroverted leaders, who like to be at the center of attention, may feel threatened by employees who take too much initiative." I think this has application for the church--women who are introverts are more likely to give other room and encouragement to use their own gifts.

  2. I appreciate how you gave strengths and weaknesses to both sides. Being about to see the characteristics side by side in such a way helps me be content with how God made me and be more understanding of how He made others!

    1. Individuals are unique, but they share at least one characteristic. People find it so difficult to truly love those who have a different perspective. As Christians, we have a loving Savior who can help us in this life-long pursuit.


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