I am an introvert. With all my public appearances on Sunday mornings, this surprises many people. But in my private life and with those closest to me, there is no questioning that fact. If anything, the larger our church has grown, the more introverted I have become. I wish I were otherwise, but this is how I am wired.
Here are 7 pitfalls of being an introverted pastor:
1. People often think I’m arrogant, aloof, or unfriendly. Now, I may be a lot of negative things, but those are not really the main three. I sometimes have to go back and apologize once I hear someone thinks I avoided them. This happens especially with extremely extroverted people.
2. I sometimes hesitate to make the connections I should and miss opportunities to build my network.
3. I’m worn out after a long day of talking and need time alone to rejuvenate, which can impact my family time if I’m not careful. It also leads to people at the end of the day telling me I look tired…guess what? I am!
4. Crowded rooms, which I love in terms of reaching people for Christ, are actually intimidating to me as a person.
5. I’m not as quick-witted when in crowds, and when I try to be, I sometimes appear awkward on first impressions.
6. I realize the need to talk with people…it’s what I do, but wrestling through the introverted tendencies actually adds even more stress to my life.
7. If I’m not careful, and thankfully I’m fairly disciplined here, I will close out people from really knowing me, which subjects me to all kinds of temptations, anxiety and even depression.
How’s that for transparency?
Are you an introvert? Do you see how it impacts your work?