An Introverts Guide to Biblical Community
- August 29, 2018
- Tiffany McCrary
Contributed by Guest Writer Tiffany McCrary
Let me start by saying this is a work in progress. I don’t have it all figured out, but here’s what I’m learning.
As an introvert, I am recharged by being alone. It doesn’t mean I don’t like people. Most of the time, I enjoy being around others in low-key gatherings. But for every hour that I spend being social, I need another hour to recoup. I am also an Enneagram Type 5 aka: the observer. One definition of this personality type says “they seek self-sufficiency and are non-demanding, analytic, thoughtful and unobtrusive; they also can be withholding, detached and overly private”.
With all of that, I have wondered: what is the best way to be an introvert and still have impactful community with people? What does the bible say about being in community? Is it really necessary?
The answer: YES. Community is a vital part of living God’s best.
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25
Ouch. Called out. “As in the habit of some” – if I’m not careful, I could become the some that gets in the habit of not meeting together. Not going to church, not putting myself out there because it’s uncomfortable and awkward. But look what I would be missing – the opportunity to encourage one another and being encouraged by others.
So, introverts, if that sounds like you – here are some steps we can take to develop community.
- Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you up. He cares and wants to help in every part of our lives.
- Just show up! I know it seems so much easier to just stay on the couch curled up with a good book and flake on that invitation in your email. But just go! Get up and show up. More times than not, I find myself surprised at how much I didn’t hate going.
- Ask questions and listen. Yes, small talk for introverts can be weird. Instead, find someone and ask questions about them. Then listen. Surprisingly, those extroverts are more normal talking about themselves than we are. So, let that drive the small talk and end up having real meaningful conversations.
- It’s okay to talk about yourself. I am learning more and more that people actually care about the details of other people’s lives. They want you to share! So be crazy and talk about yourself a little.
- Plan recharge time into your schedule. This one take some extra effort. If I know I am going to have a social gathering, I look at the calendar and schedule a few extra minutes of quiet somewhere. I like to think Jesus was a little bit of an introvert at times. After a long day with people, feeding the five thousand it says, “And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.” Matthew 14:23.
So, here comes the pep talk: Get out there and experience what it’s like to lock arms with other believers in community. The body of Christ needs you and you need them. “For the body does not consist of one member but of many.” 1 Corinthians 12:14.