Influence

 the shape of leadership

Four Things to Remember About the Extroverts in Your Church

You may not know them as well as you think

Influence Magazine on November 1, 2018

Let’s be honest. Church — and much of culture, really — seems designed for extroverts. There’s singing, out loud in front of others. There are the constant commands to “turn to your neighbor” and say something. Then there are small groups and witnessing and public testimonies.

If you’re an introvert, you probably find this off-putting. And if you’re an extrovert, you’re supposed to find this opening and connecting. But that’s assuming every extrovert is the same. They are not. Below are four things church leaders should keep in mind when dealing with extroverts.

1. They Need Help With Witnessing

Just because the extroverts in your congregation enjoy talking to people doesn’t mean they are comfortable talking about Jesus. Outgoing and bubbly personalities seem like the best type to engage others in personal evangelism. But you might be surprised to find they aren’t as engaged as you think they are.

What they need is content and encouragement. Remind them that witnessing doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out theological discussion. A few memorized Scriptures and their personal testimony can be enough to help them engage in spiritual conversations. Once they see how easy it is to share their faith, they can be ready to speak up about Jesus more often.

Don’t assume outgoing people are already in community.

2. They Need Community

Extroverts may be friendly, but that doesn’t mean they have a lot of friends. There is an assumption that introverts have few friends and extroverts have a surplus. However, extroverts have about the same number of close relationships as introverts, maybe even fewer since introverts may prize deep relational ties more than extroverts.

Don’t assume outgoing people are already in community. Invite them to be a part of the life of the church. Stress the importance of close relationships, not just superficial connections. And highlight the need for participation in a discipleship group.

3. They Need Down Time

Extroverts may like to go full steam, but that doesn’t mean they never turn it off. Many extroverts struggle with saying “no,” so they may go until they burn out.

Emphasize the importance of setting aside time for rest. Talk about the power of engaging in quiet time with God every day. Provide guidance on how to build those down times.

4. They Need the Right Ministry Fit

Even though extroverts are often good with crowds, don’t assume they want to be out front. A lot of extroverts are put in positions of performing on stage, giving announcements, leading worship, or talking to groups because people assume they love that sort of thing. But that may not be their best ministry fit.

God gave each person unique gifts to use for His kingdom. That may involve an out-front role, but it could also mean being behind the scenes and taking care of small details. Make sure your church offers a class to help people identify their spiritual gifts, and then match them up with the right ministry fit.

Extroverts need introverts, and introverts need extroverts. And the Church needs both. Identifying their deeper needs is the first step toward making them feel wanted, cared for and engaged.

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