Monday, August 19, 2013

Introverts in the Church

Amy, for my birthday, bought me a copy of Introverts in the Church by Adam McHugh. McHugh's book, part description and part guide, has been great so far. He comments that American Evangelicalism hasn't favoured introverts. "To put it most simply, the evangelical ethos is activitistuc, populist, pragmatic and utilitarian. It allows little space for broader or deeper intellectual effort because it is dominated by the urgencies of the moment." (p26) However the book isn't an extended critique of contemporary American Evangelicalism and focuses more on the strengths and weaknesses of being introverted in the church. Essentially introverts tend to get recharged by solitude, tend to prefer to process things internally and tend to prefer depth over breadth. I found this great checklist (p42):

  • Prefer to relax alone or with a few close friends
  • Consider only deep relationships as friends
  • Need rest after outside activities, even ones we enjoy
  • Often listen but talk alot about topics of importance to us
  • Appear calm, self-contained and like to observe
  • Tend to think before we speak or act
  • May prefer a quiet atmosphere
  • Experience our minds going blank in groups or under pressure
  • Don't like feeling rushed
  • Have great powers of concentration
  • Dislike small talk
  • Are territorial -desire private space and time
  • May treat their home as their sanctuaries
  • Prefer to work on own rather than with a group
  • May prefer written communication
  • Do not share private thoughts with many people