the shape of leadership

Eight Strengths of Introverted Pastors

You don’t have to be naturally outgoing to be a good leader

Influence Magazine on February 14, 2019

What personality type makes the best leader — an extrovert or an introvert? Since leaders need strong people skills, it’s assumed that being outgoing is better than being introspective. But before you answer, there are some things you should know.

Like extroverts, introverts have their own set of strengths. Here are eight qualities that make them great pastors. These are generalities, so not every introvert will have all of these things going for them. But these traits can certainly help any pastor lead well.

1. Calm

Self-control is a gift of the spirit. Most introverts show a capacity to keep their cool in times of stress. No matter what’s going on inside, they can often respond calmly rather than reacting emotionally.

2. Thoughtful

Rather than speaking their mind, introverts will decide what they’re thinking. And they do a lot of it. Deep thinking allows them to see issues from many different sides and perspectives, not just their own.

3. Focused

Extroverts love to be around people. They’re looking for the next group meeting, get-together or party. Introverts shy away from the crowd, allowing them to keep at a task until it’s finished. That’s a great characteristic to have when your job requires plenty of planning and forethought.

Most introverts are
go-getters, even if they’re not outgoing.

4. Attentive

Just because introverts don’t like crowds does not mean they don’t enjoy being with people. These interactions are usually one-on-one and most likely involve deep conversation. Introverts may not talk much, but that doesn’t mean they’re not engaged. They are great listeners, a skill every pastor should have.

5. Insightful

Introverts know themselves well. They spend a lot of time on self-reflection. When they leverage those insights to improve themselves, they can help others around them improve as well. That makes them prime disciple makers.

6. Loyal

Introverts are loyal to their friends. They don’t leave them quickly or cut off communication on a whim. That type of loyalty comes from a deep-seated respect for individuals. Seeing others as God sees them is part of the way introverted leaders can endear people to themselves — and point them to Jesus.

7. Self-Motivated

Most introverts are go-getters, even if they’re not outgoing. They are dependable when it comes to a job because external motivators aren’t what drive them. Instead, they have an internal desire to give their best every time.

8. Serving

Rather than looking for what’s in it for them, introverted leaders are concerned about the group. Contrary to what some may believe, introverts are rarely isolated individuals. They have their own tribe and usually look for ways to help everyone in the group before themselves.

It’s hard to imagine a world where everyone is the same. Both introverts and extroverts have a lot to offer. Having both types of personalities in leadership positions makes for a healthier church. Learn the type of leader you are and the type of leaders around you. Then leverage those strengths to grow the Kingdom.


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