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Jesus: Extrovert or Introvert?


So Jesus: extrovert or introvert?

Extrovert you say?

According to recent poll, well over 90% of evangelical Christians say that Jesus was an extrovert.  This is both unsurprising and a bit sad.  Unsurprising because evangelical culture tends to hold certain values in specific ways which tend to favour extroversion over introversion.  It is sad because 35-45% of evangelicals are introverts.

Now, if you are an introvert and you believe that the perfect Son of God was an extrovert, it is understandable if you see something deficient in your personality.  You may constantly trying to be someone you're not and wondering why you are exhausted and frustrated.  You may constantly be trying to be a bit more happy and clappy within the group in order to be more "balanced".  You need not.

If one actually looks at the gospel records it seems that Jesus was a person with both strong extroverted AND introverted tendencies.  While he did tend to be the centre of attention in a large gathering (extrovert) he also was constantly withdrawing to be alone with God or with just a couple of close friends in order to be recharged (introvert).  If you are an introvert, be at peace.  God made you that way; it is part of creation.

Can introverts be good leaders?    Well some of 20th century's most impacting leaders have been introverts: Winston Churchill, Adolph Hitler, Bill Gates, etc.  If you are an introvert, you do have much to to give to the modern evangelical church.  The need for leaders to take us into depth and reflection (natural tendencies for introverts) have never been more needed in our movement than now.

May both extroverts and introverts within the Church learn to appreciate the complementary gifts God has given us.  May you all have a happy Christmas.

I need to go be alone now...
    

Comments

  1. I'd like to respond to what you wrote but don't really have the confidence

    ReplyDelete
  2. I consider myself an introvert who loves people, which makes me seem extroverted at times--something I think a lot of people have a hard time understanding. But I think Jesus understands it. (Not to compare myself with Jesus, or anything. Eek.) I always found comfort in the fact that Jesus demonstrated the need for a balanced life that included loving and sharing with people but also recognized that he needed solitude to be with those closest to him as well as time with God, and not being afraid to INSIST on it.

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