Introverts in the Church

( 5 )

Overview

Introverts are called and gifted by God. But many churches tend to be extroverted places where introverts are marginalized. Some Christians end up feeling like it's not as faithful to be an introvert.

Adam McHugh shows how introverts can live and minister in ways consistent with their personalities. He explains how introverts and extroverts process information and approach relationships differently and how introverts can practice Christian spirituality in ways that fit who they ...

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Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture

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Overview

Introverts are called and gifted by God. But many churches tend to be extroverted places where introverts are marginalized. Some Christians end up feeling like it's not as faithful to be an introvert.

Adam McHugh shows how introverts can live and minister in ways consistent with their personalities. He explains how introverts and extroverts process information and approach relationships differently and how introverts can practice Christian spirituality in ways that fit who they are. With practical illustrations from church and parachurch contexts, McHugh offers ways for introverts to serve, lead, worship and even evangelize effectively.

Introverts in the Church is essential reading for any introvert who has ever felt out of place, as well as for church leaders who want to make their churches more welcoming to introverts. Discover God's call and empowering to thrive as an introvert, for the sake of the church and kingdom.

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Editorial Reviews

Anne Jackson
"For the longest time, I've considered my wiring as an introvert a thorn in my side. After spending time engaging with others, I felt so empty and overwhelmed . . . and lonely. With my calling as an author and pastor requiring me to publicly speak and consult, I wondered if I misunderstood my place in this world. In Introverts in the Church, Adam brings a voice to those of us who often trade ours in for a little bit of respite. This is not only a needed resource for introverts; all leaders need to read Introverts in the Church for a better understanding of how introverts can lead, how they follow and how they refresh."
Susan Cain
"As an author and consultant, I have seen firsthand the struggles that introverts face in a society built for extroverts. But I have also seen how powerful introverts can be once they embrace the gifts of a quiet and thoughtful temperament. In this deeply felt and beautifully reasoned guide for introverts in the church, pastor Adam McHugh shows the way for introverted Christians to find peace within themselves and their community."
Don Everts
"As an introvert who has experienced both the strengths and weaknesses of my temperament, I appreciate the way McHugh goes well beyond the facile stereotypes and conclusions of armchair psychologists. If you've ever felt vaguely sinful for not being a gregarious Christian I suggest you spend some quality time alone with a copy of Introverts in the Church."
Dan Kimball
"As a fellow introvert, I well know the tension, irony and even contradiction of being in vocational ministry where public speaking and being with people are major and vital parts of our roles. This book puts together extremely helpful thinking to better understand who we are and how to navigate and celebrate being introverted and in leadership in an extroverted world."
Lauren F. Winner
"Introverts, take heart! As an introvert myself--an off-the-chart 'I' on the Myers-Briggs--I find certain aspects of church life, like speaking to other human beings every Sunday, really taxing.McHugh thoughtfully explores the gifts introverts bring to the church, and he considers both how introverts can live well in the church and how churches can be more hospitable to us."
MaryKate Morse
"At last a book for and about introverts in ministry, and a wonderful book it is! McHugh unpacks the challenges and characteristics of the introvert leader in a ministry world designed for extroverts. He offers practical guidance for developing as a leader, evangelizing, joining a community, preaching and becoming spiritually mature in Christ. The book not only helps introverts, but it can serve as a great resource for extroverts who lead, coach, mentor or relate to introverts."
Marva J. Dawn
"This is a book that all leaders in the church should read! It made me realize that I owe an apology to all the introverts whose insights and contributions I have not understood or have overlooked. McHugh's perceptions are crucial for churches in our extremely extroverted society--we are missing some of God's best treasures for Christ's body. I highly recommend this book to everyone who wishes more thoroughly to understand the Holy Spirit's creation of a diversity of personalities and gifts."
Doctor - Mark D. Roberts
"What a timely and badly needed book! Introverts in the Church will encourage thousands of Christians who have felt as if they don't quite fit. It will help them find their rightful place in Christian community, so that their gifts might be well used in the work of the kingdom. This book will also help churches to be a place where all people can flourish as disciples of Jesus. Adam McHugh has given us a precious gift through his openness, theological soundness and godly wisdom."
John Ortberg
"Adam is addressing a huge number of folks in the church. Read it and heal."
Dr. Mark D. Roberts
"What a timely and badly needed book! Introverts in the Church will encourage thousands of Christians who have felt as if they don't quite fit. It will help them find their rightful place in Christian community, so that their gifts might be well used in the work of the kingdom. This book will also help churches to be a place where all people can flourish as disciples of Jesus. Adam McHugh has given us a precious gift through his openness, theological soundness and godly wisdom."
Library Journal
Pastor McHugh has served several churches and parachurch ministries and is currently on staff at the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. As an introvert himself, in full-time ministry, he examines closely this personality type in light of the broader culture and the culture within mainstream evangelicalism. He skillfully deals with both the strengths and the weaknesses of introverts in light of modern church programs. Personal and historical illustrations add to the readability of this book and give concrete applications to the concepts. In particular, he highlights the spiritual depth and devotion that introverts can experience and share with those around them. Two chapters also highlight the unique strengths that experts are realizing introverts bring to leadership and evangelism. Discussion questions and a bibliography for further reading amplify the usefulness of this volume. VERDICT Full-time and lay ministers within churches will enjoy reading this book to understand better the struggles and strengths introverts can bring to church ministry. Highly recommended for seminary and relevant academic libraries and where local demand for church management books is high.—Ray Arnett, Fremont Area Dist. Lib., MI\
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780830837021
  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2009
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 180,205
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Adam S. McHugh (Th.M., Princeton Theological Seminary) is an ordained Presbyterian minister, a spiritual director and an introvert. He has served at two Presbyterian churches, as a hospice chaplain and as campus staff with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. He and his wife live in California.
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Can Introverts Thrive in the Church?
1 The Extroverted Church
2 The Introverted Difference
3 Finding Healing
4 Introverted Spirituality
5 Introverted Community and Relationships
6 The Ability to Lead
7 Leading as Ourselves
8 Introverted Evangelism
9 Introverts in Church
Epilogue: Finding Our Place
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
Further Reading
Notes
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 19, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    McHugh skillfully reveals introverts' strengths, as well as the


    McHugh skillfully reveals introverts' strengths, as well as the way introverts and extroverts can partner together in the church. We need each other, though this is not always evident in the church. Prior to reading this, I hadn't realized how often the evangelical church caters to the "upfront, talkative, active" (p. 21) extrovert personality. Certainly, not every church does so but it's been true of the churches I've attended this past decade. It was like finding a missing puzzle piece: my disconnect at church suddenly made sense.

    Any church that leans fully in one direction or the other misses out on the opportunity to be a cohesive body of Christ. Extroverts have their gifts, as do introverts. When worship, evangelizing, and teaching styles and ministry opportunities cater to one side, people will end up feeling disconnected at best and that they're not "true" Christians at worst. McHugh offers great insights as to how churches can create more welcoming environments for the introverts in their midst. He also offers advice for introverted pastors and leaders. This is a superb resource for anyone in church leadership.

    McHugh paints an evenhanded portrait of introverts. They're not given a free pass or elevated on a pedestal. While he acknowledges their potential need for a healing, a section I found especially helpful, he also challenges introverts to adopt external spiritual practices and to step out of their comfort zone. He notes the goal is to "stretch our personality preferences without distorting them" (p. 60.) It is important for introverts to tune in to the relationships and activities around them no matter what they face.

    Because of the way McHugh describes the introverted personality and spirituality, it is a great resource for extroverts as well. We should all seek to understand one another and odds are good that you know an introvert or three. We're everywhere.

    Yes. I now accept that I am an introvert. Reading this book was incredibly healing for me and why I've said it's the most important book that I'll have read all year.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 27, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great addition to the growing literature about the introverted person- here the introverted minister and other church members

    I have read several books on the introverted personality that have been helpful and affirming. Introverts have gifts to offer our culture, even though we are a minority. Research tells us we are neither neurotic or anti-social but are in our brain structure "hard-wired" to gain our energy by inward activities and then share them with others.

    This volume is unique in that it applies this new knowledge to those who are in church ministry or belong to a faith community. It helps introverts to recognize themselves and their unique characteristics, learn what the implications are for their style of ministry, and accept and use those talents as a valuable contribution to their congregations.

    An introverted minister or church member will experience many "Aha" moments and have a feeling of "coming home" .

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Incredibly Valuable

    I found this book incredibly helpful, and not only because I'm an introvert involved in a church. Adam's book is full of wisdom, grace, and insight for introverts trying to find their place in the church, and for extroverts who are trying to reach out to their quieter brothers and sisters. I found Adam's thoughts, especially on leadership, to be incredibly helpful and reassuring, as I've just started facilitating a Bible study. I could really identify with his model of an introvert getting involved with a group. For the longest time, I thought the cyclical nature of my involvement with my church was just because I was weird, but when Adam makes the connection to introversion, and withdrawing to recharge, my own actions make a lot more sense. This is one of the few books I've read that I felt understood me in ways that I didn't even understand myself.

    Adam's book is useful for anyone, introverted or extroverted, involved with the church or not, who has a passion for growing a deeper understanding of self and reaching out to others.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 16, 2011

    essential reading for church leaders and introverts in church

    Excellent book! It is insightful, eye-opening, informative, practical, relevant, affirming, and challenging. It is also biblically solid and very readable. Introverts are called and gifted by God. But many churches tend to be extroverted places where introverts are not understood and are under-valued or marginalized. Some Christians end up feeling like it's not as faithful to be an introvert. McHugh manages to confront the extroverted bias in church culture without denigrating extroverts while encouraging introverts without letting them off the hook of their own responsibilities.

    I am an introvert, who is occasionally mistaken for an extrovert (but I'm definitely an introvert). I nodded my head throughout the book. I think everyone in church ought to read this book. "Introverts in the Church" is essential reading for any introvert who has ever felt out of place, as well as for church leaders who want to make their churches more welcoming to introverts, and for extroverts who wish to better understand their introvert brethren and value the gifts God gave them rather than seeing them as less committed. It helps extroverts understand introverts, and it helps introverts understand extroverts, and, if the ideas contained therein are put into practice, both will feel welcomed and respected/valued in the church.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted March 8, 2013

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