Evangelism for Introverts: What You Need to Know
When you think about someone who is great at sharing the gospel, what comes to mind? You may think of a person who thrives in a crowd of people, can debate winsomely, and has never met a stranger. In other words, you may be thinking of an extrovert.
However, sharing the good news of the gospel isn’t just for outgoing personalities. In fact, as Seth McBee writes in his trending piece The Introverted Evangelist, introverts may actually have an advantage when it comes to forming relationships and sharing Christ with others. Seth argues that we need to stop training “extroverted evangelists” and rethink what it means to be a good witness.
He explains that, as an introvert, he struggled to fit the mold of what he though a “good evangelist” should say and do. “When I felt the call to tell others about Jesus,” Seth writes, “I thought this is who I was supposed to be, so I went out door to door, handing out bibles, went to community events and handed out tracts, etc. thinking that this is how one is deemed an evangelist and ‘have beautiful feet by preaching good news.’”
Seth encourages those who have a heart for evangelism to start sharing more examples of how introverts can use their own unique personalities and gifts to share Jesus with others. He shares this example:
“Allow the introvert to serve at events, parties, activities, etc. in a way in which they are comfortable. We have an introvert in our missional community who started by taking out the garbage, cleaning, and making the food at our BBQs and breakfasts. It was pretty funny because he was like a silent cleaning assassin. People would ask, “Who is that?” I’d let them know he was a friend of mine who was here to help, so I could spend more time getting to know my neighbors. Please tell me how that doesn’t speak to kingdom living! After a while, he started to build friendships and started to speak into them and felt very comfortable at our large events, because he knew everyone now. I wasn’t patient at first, but when I started to realize how God had made him and his love for Jesus, I allowed him to live out his identity. When we do this, we become a beautiful picture of the diverse body of Christ.”
In an article on the book Evangelism for the Rest of Us: Sharing Christ within Your Personality Type, Crosswalk contributor Whitney Hopler shares 10 practical ways that introverts can share the gospel with others. One of the most important things introverts can do to be an effective witness, Whitney writes, is to take the focus off themselves:
“Face your fears about evangelism: from being the focus of attention and wondering how you’re being perceived to being embarrassed after saying the wrong thing and risking rejection for what you say. Notice the common element that runs through all those fears – a focus on yourself. Shift your focus outward, toward the people you hope to reach for Christ and their needs.”
Crosswalk blogger (and introvert) Tim Challies notes that just because he is an introvert, doesn’t mean The Great Commission applies any less to him. He also warns his readers about making too much of personality types:
“I have no right to crave introverted solitude. Rather, the gospel compels me to deny even that trait and all its desires in order to serve other people. I am introverted, but this does not give me a different calling in life than the gregarious Christian… [I]ntroversion is what I am, not who I am. And this is where the discussion of introversion and extroversion often seems to go wrong. We elevate these traits too high and use them to justify selfishness instead of selflessness. I have to be slow to define myself in a-biblical categories. This is not to say that it is wrong to say that I am an introvert, but that this is a distinction the Bible does not make. With this being the case, I don’t want to allow introversion to define me or to dictate my behavior. Introversion is a useful description, but a poor definition.”
What do you think? If you’re an introvert, how have you learned to share the gospel effectively? Share your thoughts below!
Kelly Givens is the editor of iBelieve.com.