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Why some introverts avoid church

By: john weirick

You are different than the person next to you. That’s a good thing.
In a community, others won’t believe, look, or act like you. When it comes to personality types and temperament, the differences get even more distinct — especially between introverts and extroverts.

What Is An Introvert? What Is An Extrovert?

Studies and estimates place introverts between 33 percent and 55 percent of the U.S. population.

So how do you know the difference? Author Susan Cain describes introverts and extroverts this way: 

“Introverts are drawn to the inner world of thought and feeling, extroverts to the external life of people and activities. Introverts focus on the meaning they make of the events swirling around them; extroverts plunge into the events themselves. Introverts recharge their batteries by being alone; extroverts need to recharge when they don’t socialize enough.” 

Ambiverts display qualities of both introversion and extroversion, and adjust depending on their current surroundings. (To find out your inclination, take this brief quiz.)

Being Introverted is Not a Problem to Solve

Communication and community are essential components of the church, and no one is meant to live in isolation. But the way introverts connect and communicate may not look like our extroverted peers.
I am an introvert, and I used to feel bad about needing time away from people. It wasn’t until I became an adult that I realized I didn’t have to apologize for it.

Fellow introverts tell me they’ve felt underappreciated because they weren’t vocal, assertive leaders, loud evangelists, or talented conversationalists with strangers. If you’re introverted, maybe you’ve experienced similar discomfort, but there’s nothing wrong with you. Introverts are simply wired to recharge by calm, less-stimulating environments, limited time with people, and being alone — something even Jesus practiced (Luke 5:16).

Finding Connection

Though the world’s outgoing ideal often presents a challenge for introverts’ preferred style of relationships, introverts still need to connect with extroverts and ambiverts. Most of us would simply rather have a more in-depth conversation with one or two people in a less distracting environment. 

For example, if you’re trying to reach out to an introverted friend, consider inviting her to a laid-back evening with a few familiar faces from your NewSpring Group rather than encouraging her to make small talk with everyone seated in her row at church.

Self-expression and solitude work together to develop character and connection with God.

Do Introverts Need to Change? 

Neither introverts nor extroverts are healthy if they stay in their extremes. People are made for relationship as well as for reflection. Self-expression and solitude work together to develop character and connection with God (Psalm 119:59-63, Lamentations 3:13-33, 2 Corinthians 13:5, 2 Peter 1:5-8). Though introverts and extroverts may go about it in opposite ways, we can respect each other enough to recognize our personalities are not inherently right or wrong, just different.
Like all personality types and temperaments, there are strengths and challenges to work through. Introverts need extroverts like extroverts need introverts. After all, “there are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.” We can coexist and cooperate with each other for the sake of our personal growth and the growth of the kingdom of God, because “in everyone it is the same God at work” (1 Corinthians 12:4-7).

Differences Are A Requirement For A Growing Kingdom of God

The kingdom of God is described throughout Scripture as a diverse collection of people who respond to an invitation from God to belong to something bigger than themselves. The Gospel is good news that we can have peace with God and with others (2 Corinthians 5:18-21).
In the Old Testament, God instructed Israel to welcome foreigners from surrounding nations into their community (Leviticus 19:33-34, Isaiah 56:6-8). As the movement of Christianity spread, a variety of people joined in — Philip found an Ethiopian receptive to the message of Jesus, and Paul found Gentile believers in Greece and Turkey (Acts 8:26-40, Acts 16:11-15). John’s vision of the kingdom of heaven is populated by people of every race, nationality, and language (Revelation 7:9-10). Clearly, God intends to assemble a variety of people with different practices and characteristics to belong in His family. Diversity is God’s design.
Of course, differences surface disagreements, which lead to conflict. It’s no wonder Paul wrote to one early church to“be patient, bearing with one another in love.” The church is called to uphold unity in a community of different people with different backgrounds, ideas, and identities, brought together by God, “who is over all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:2-6).

Openness Together

What can introverts and extroverts do to help each other develop meaningful friendships? Listen to each other’s perspectives and be willing to embrace each other’s differences as evidence of God’s creative intention. Perhaps you’ll find more in common than you expected.

That’s something worth quiet consideration. 


Whether you’re introverted, extroverted, or somewhere in between, find a way to connect with others. Have a conversation in the Care Room, serve as a greeter, or gather friends to do something you love.

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