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Introversion in church

Discussion in 'Biblical Advices' started by laoxi, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. Introversion in church

    Hello everyone.

    Hope you're having a good Friday. I wanted to see if anyone can give me any input on something I've been struggling with. I noticed I have a lot of trouble "connecting" with people or making friends. I actually don't have a need to be around people all the time, on the contrary, I fully enjoy my time alone, being with people for too long wears me out and even makes me a little anxious.

    I know for sure I'm not the "loud" type of person who is the center of attention. I came to the U.S. when I was 12 and my English isn't that bad but sometimes I don't know what people are discussing, and they're very loud, witty and talk very fast so even if I know what's going on I can't get a word in unless someone asks me directly.

    I have very few friends that I can be myself with, we easily share problems, discussions, jokes, etc. but when it comes to socializing with anyone else I become toungue-tied, I'm not witty, articulate or funny, and even when I try, I still feel self-conscious. I notice so many of the people in my church become friends so fast, they go out on road trips, concerts, coffee...I'm not called to join them, which doesn't offend me, but it just makes me wonder what is wrong with me.

    I was recently asked to lead a small group by someone who knows me well, but I've been very nervous about it, I've been praying to God to show me how to lead it because I'm afraid that my lack of social skills are going to affect in a negative way.

    Does anyone else have introversion problems or such a hard time socializing? How would I know if it's normal or not? I do want to serve in church but I don't want to pretend I'm someone I'm not.

    Any input will be highly appreciated!! Thanks in advance!!
  2. I'd say arrive half an hour early to the small group and pray over the area and get ready as a vessel and see what God does . Also as encouragement :) :) God chose Moses and he had huge confidence issues regarding his social abilities .

    besides .. that you aren't that strong a personality can be an asset . as small groups are about everyone growing together . not one person talking all night . ;)
  3. I can totally relate. One thing I can suggest is to focus more on other people and less on yourself. What I mean is, focusing less on "I feel uncomfortable, I feel inadequate, etc." and more on what others are thinking, feeling, experiencing, and expressing. You can worry less about your own communication limitations if you encourage others to communicate and you convey a genuine interest in what they have to say.

    Take heart. There is a place for introverts in God's Kingdom. Allow yourself to face new challenges and learn new skills. I think this leadership opportunity will be a good start in that direction. I'll be praying for you.
  4. There's nothing wrong with being the introvert. I'm the most reserved person in church and really am not interested in socializing and draw away when people come off on me too much. It's a trust thing with me. If I'm not comfortable with you yet, I'm going to back up in the stall like a shy horse. I take my time warming up to people because I've been hurt way too many times by them.

    If you're comfortable, do it. Just be yourself. Never put your foot in a place where you can't see or are unsure of. There's nothing wrong with who you are. That's who you were made to be. You can't change it, and no one should make you feel 'guilty' and you shouldn't either.
  5. First thing I'd do is SMILE!! That says to people ' I like you, I accept you'. Next thing as Rumely said,ASK THE PERSON QUESTIONS ABOUT THEMSELVES, focus on them. You would be surprised to learn that many people feel the same as you about making friends and connecting with people, but they have developed a strategy for dealing with it.

    An example of questions to ask could be ; How long have you been coming to this church ? Where did you go before? Are you enjoying the praise, preaching ETC?


    Pray and ask God to help you love people. People are drawn towards others who have evidence of Christ's love in their hearts.
  6. I use to socialize all the time. Going here and going there. Visiting with this one and visiting with that one. Ministering to this one and ministering to that one. And, I enjoyed every bit of it; however a few years ago something changed in me. Why and how? I'm not really sure, but I don't desire to socialize the way I use to. I don't desire to minister the way I use to. I do still socialize and minister, but not to the point of exhaustion like before.

    I struggled with that for a while thinking maybe I was backsliding or something. I was thinking that as a Christian I was commanded to stay busy for God . . . you know like Jesus said . . . "Occupy till I come" (Luke 19:13). I thought that if I wasn't doing something for God every minute I was awake I must be disobeying. I thought something was wrong with me. Well, after much prayer and contemplation I have realized that there is nothing wrong with me. I also realized that much of my occupying was somewhat of a cover up for not wanting to be alone. Well, I am finally learning how to “Be still, and know that He is God (Psalm46:10). Being still is sometimes all God requires of us.

    Now, I enjoy my time alone without guilt or condemnation. When I get lonely or lonesome I just go visit family or friends. And, I must say that my visits aren't as long as they use to be either. I stay just long enough to get my hugs and a semi-quick update. Then, I return to my quiet home. Aaahh!

    So, all I can suggest to you right now is to just let God be God in you and through you. Don't beat yourself up; just be what and who GOD wants you to be. Change only if GOD wants you to change; not because man thinks you should.

    Love yourself just the way you are . . . God does!

  7. I could say the exact same words .
  8. Another thing to remember is...

    Why do we go to church? What is important when we go to church? Church is supposed to be about God. When we turn it to other things like people and socializing, we miss the point.

    Socializing can be done anywhere. Not just in church. Socializing is not edifying to your walk with God and is one of the most least important things when going to church. When we start turning our focus away from God we loose the point of going to church. If we're going to be sitting up in pews worrying more about whether or not we should have shook Sister Gray's hand harder or spoken to that hunched-back guy over in the corner, we might as well just go to the mall and sit down in the food court and have a good chat with some old friends.

    I used to attend, a long time ago, a church where more importance was placed on people than on God. Yes, the sermons were entertaining and lasted around three long, excruciating hours, but if I had x-ray vision, I bet ten cents half of those people in those pews were not even focusing on God. They were too busy thinking about other people and other things. Sure, I was guilty of not focusing either - but I was a five-year-old child and I had to do something to keep my interest, and I found the overlong sermons an overload on my patience and my faith. How long does it take for one to scream into a microphone about the same dang topic and God has not even be mentioned once during the whole thing? Or all I heard are randomly emitted words - 'LORD!', 'CHRIST!', 'SAVE!'. You get the point.

    Back on topic, it's nice talking to people, but to me, that's not important. I talk to people and socialize outside the church all the time so does it really make any difference? Not really, at least not to me.

    I'm not trying to come off as harsh. I'm just being real.
  9. hmm .. or .. the concept "i am the church" so the church is where i go ..
  10. Yes, we ARE the church; however we still must be the kind of church GOD wants us to be; not what man wants us to be.

  11. Mhhm which is why we must keep moving as He does . the march of history is equally as prophetic as the going ons of the gathering of Jesus Christ . Jesus said the children of darkness are wiser in their generation than the children of light . it is helpful to understand this learning gap . things change . and we must understand .. how to continue to be .. who God made us to be .. without becoming a fossil .

    .. and at the very least .. this will give us something to talk about .
  12. How do I know God hasn't called someone to be a fossil? That's not my call.

    So, we should keep our focus on God as to what HE wants us to change in our own personal walk.

    After all that's why I believe the Bible says, "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (Philipppians 2:12).

    We cannot condemn ourselves for what we are NOT doing that others think we should be doing.

    And, we cannot base our decisions on what we think others are expecting from us.

    It all boils down to what GOD wants from us.

  13. Agreed.

    It's between you and God, not you, God, and Tom. It's a personal thing.

    Is it not said that the runner must look forward to win the race? If you're too busy glancing over your shoulder, you will not see what's ahead of you, the most important thing of all.

  14. Amen!

    Look forward and progress. Look backward and run into things.

  15. Amen and correct - if you keep looking over your shoulder, you'll hit a telephone pole, fall into a trench, hit a cow...

  16. All i was sayin was (i was not saying introverts are fossils . just to make that clear)

    i was saying whether intro or extro . vert

    it is important to express ourselves in context of the times we are living in

    that's all . whether it be with words .. or without .
  17. and my concern was with people just being mean . and expecting everyone to be a fossil . even if they're not . but this is just odd . sorry if i offended . blah .
  18. You didn't offend me. I was just sharing my point like you.

  19. Well glad i didn't offend you . but it felt like someone was .

    but i'm noticing that i'm too sensitive today . so maybe i'm just imagining it then .

    it's time for a nap . lol .
  20. 'Depression hurts, Cymbalta can help...'

    Ha ha, just kidding!


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