If you dont know me personally I need to let you in, sorta.. a long time ago I was called to evangelize.
However., unlike a lot of people that I know Evangelism is one of my biggest fears, fear of failure but not because of the normal reasons ex; being challenged by someone, told off by someone, not knowing the angles etc.. I have always had this fear of having to engage strangers and try to pry into lives in order to help them to find Christ. When I was younger some of the men in our church would grab the younger men and go out street preaching and passing out Tracts witnessing to strangers about God. This scared me in a way that you cant imagine. I didnt have a desire to engage in conversation with total strangers to discuss anything for the most part and I didnt want them to engage me either. In a lot of ways I still feel this way, What I have heard said about this on many occasions is that I need to pray for Boldness, WHY????? So because I spend my most quality time alone I have more time to think than most(:) Here is what I came up with all by myself,..lol
Why would I want to pray for something that I really dont want, and who said I need to be bold? I am perfectly content among family and those closest to me and can engage them intellectually and at times joke with them, talk about religeous views and hold a great conversation with them. If I dont have these discussions with you well,..dont take it personally but you’re not in my circle. I realize that we all have been instructed to evangelize, and this is where my confusion comes from. Since anything that is not obedience is naturally disobedience then is not going out and interacting with others openly like an extrovert wrong? And does this mean I cant carry out the Mission that God has placed before me? I think that God being the creator has wired me this way and he knew what he was doing when he created me, There is obviously something there that says maybe I am not supposed to engage others in that same manner. Initially, I wanted to change not really for myself but because I thought and felt that I have too in order to do what I need to do in the Ministry. After seeing all of these Charismatic and outgoing extroverts in the Ministry and in the evangelism, and missionary field I felt confused on how to get myself from here to there and still maintain some resembelance of who I am . I had people pray for me to be “bold” and to “step out of my comfort zone.” I was going to kill my reclusive personality in order to fit a mold. After all, the world was perishing. Dont ask me why I thought I was the only one at the time that cared. I started going out every week, but no matter how hard I tried, I could not bring myself to participate in the community outreach, or street evangelism. I had seen the need in the world, and the world saw my failure to meet that need it was obvious, or at least the men that i went out there with did. I was frustrated and angry with myself for failing. The desire to help someone find Gods place in their lives never left, in fact it has continued to grow stronger.
I needed to remind myself of who created me, who I was and what I could be- regardless of my introverted personality. I was reminded by my mother that God had put His hands in my life at any early age, and it didnt matter what I wanted to be, there was already a plan in motion that I would one day fulfill. If I was made with specific intentions, and God planned to do great things through me I needed to embrace this was easy for her to say, I love my mother and thank God for her but sometimes I want to scream take it back…lol. I had to learn that, in fact, I do like talking to people—I just don’t like talking to strangers. I love discussion, especially about faith and theology. If someone wants to discuss beliefs, or running, soccer, or politics, I could probably talk for hours but I can’t force it on them.( two parts of conversation = sending + recieving.) Believe me, I’ve tried to start a forced conversation about running and people just aren’t interested.
Looking at myself I know I have to fulfill this calling, what I feel led to do, thats easy Evangelize in the way I was wired to do it.
Introverts have an advantage in that listening is a huge part of having a conversation. A lot of people like to hear the sound of their own voice in a world in need of more listeners. Not being great conversationalistallows talkers to automatically put introverts in a good position to listen. Everybody has a story to tell, and we as Christians need to have open ears to hear what people are saying. Everything is sacred and important to someone—there are no irrelevant conversations, and God can use all situations for the purposes of His Kingdom.
Since I don’t feel natural approaching strangers to talk about the Gospel, I will try another approach more suited to my personality and gifts. I Accept my differences and will learn to mark it off instead of wishing I was different- extroverted. I think it all comes down to doing what you are best at doing and love to do. God needs us all to do our own unique part in reaching and ministering to the world. There are too many people out there “doing work” for Jesus and taking credit for what they feel is their work for god, and not enough people out there giving God all of the credit for the work that he is doing through them.
Maybe we are not supposed to be the “bold” type, the life of the party or someone who feels comfortable talking out spirituality with strangers. I believe it takes an introverted evangelist to reach and introverted person in need. I also believe that although an introverted person may understand and extroverted evangelist, the extrovert may not be able to reach that person, and there is a good chance that the introvert will spend more time wondering how to get out of the conversation than on how to continue the conversation. If you’re an introvert, you may have a different opinion about this scripture than most, i guess you know my opinion about the meaning of the scripture 1 Corinthians 9:22: “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.”
Please respond to the blog, – or not your choice but if we dont engage in conversation all the time all the time at least you know understand why I still love you in Christ…:)
Send me 7/ Darrin