The Introverts Struggle to Serve

introvert, ministry

I am an introvert.  I like quiet places and value solitude and tranquility.  Above and beyond that, however, I love the Lord and His people.

At times, this creates tension.  I honestly believe that God has called every single believer into ministry in some way.  We have all been given gifts that we are asked to use to glorify God and assist His people.  We have also been given the great commission which makes it clear that the responsibility for spreading the gospel belongs to all of us, without exception.

I enjoy reading.  I enjoy watching a movie or a good TV show with my wife while snuggled up on the couch together.  I spend a lot of time on my computer or my Playstation playing games.  Generally these are solo games or games with one or two other people that I know very well and am friends with.

I also enjoy a spirited drive on a curvy back road with the windows down and the sunroof open to better enjoy God’s creation.  The juxtaposition of wild woods, grassy fields and a huge blue sky being experienced through the windshield and sunroof of a sleek and sonorous automobile is one that I value.  And perhaps there is some irony there as well; I’m outside enjoying God’s canvas but I’m sitting in a man-made cocoon that is protected and somewhat insulated from the very thing that I have come to enjoy.

Come to think of it, that sounds a little bit like my life.  God has called me out.  He has chosen me and He has put His mark on me.  I’ve been asked to write and speak His truth and to teach and educate His people.  And yet I find it a struggle to consistently stay out of my self-created bubble of introversion and unchanging solitude.

Is it really supposed to be this way?  Wouldn’t it be easier if I were an extrovert overflowing with energy and enthusiasm?  A type-A personality who was a confident go-getter would assuredly be more useful to God, right?  Sometimes I think this way.

It isn’t that I expect God to turn me in to an extrovert.  I believe that God created us unique as individuals and I am who I am for a reason and a purpose.  But I also know that I shouldn’t use my proclivity for quiet times and quiet spaces to hamper God’s work.  That would be a very grave mistake.

So I find myself at a point in my life where I am praying for clarification and direction from the Lord.  I want to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and do what He asks me to do and go where He asks me to go.  Writing this blog and teaching for youth and adults at my church are part of that.  But I would be dishonest if I didn’t admit that there were opportunities for meeting with God’s people that I intentionally do not attend because I’m exhausted and would rather be doing something else that is quiet and solitary.

I feel guilty for not going but when I do go I’m usually yawning while my mind wanders and my body slumps as I try to find a comfortable position where I can both stay awake and pay attention.  I feel like a bad Christian but I also know that guilt does not come from God and that there is an accuser who is trying to make me focus on my weakness instead of God’s provision.  Instead I’d rather focus on how great and awesome my God is, how much He loves me and how He is my constant companion and friend.

But the struggle remains and I will continue to pray and ask for guidance and the strength to do what God would have me to do.

Sometimes there are problems that aren’t easily solved by human intervention and that don’t have neat and tidy solutions.  I’m ok with that because my hope and trust remains secure in the Lord and I know that He will guide me in all things as I stay submitted to Him.


  1. Hey Matthew from one introvert to another. – We are called to spread the Gospel or more specific to go and make disciples. So your role and mine may not be preaching on the street corner but maybe mentoring a small group. Yes we should all be ready to lead others to the Lord but I don’t think God has gifted us all to do that full bore. Some are called to be Evangelist. On the other side though we have to be willing to move out side our comfort zone. It is those times when we fully have to depend on the Holy Spirit. Our church frequently goes through several neighborhoods door to do praying for people. My wife and I initiated this ministry and I get nervous every-time. Once I knock on a few doors I loosen up and enjoy the ministry. However the main reason I first did this was to light the gift in someone else. Now we have an associate pastor who loves outreach. He would knock on doors everyday if he could. Yes I still need to go out from time to time, I know that is not my primary calling. – I pray that you will hear from God and he will give you the direction you seek. – Most of all relax, be at peace and don’t worry so much about what you are not doing.

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