I am very much an introvert. I prefer to be alone. I love having (rare) moments to read, to write, to be alone. The idea of loud parties, or being with people 24/7 does not appeal to me at all. In the least.
There are times that I wish I was extroverted, but I don’t think that will ever be the case for me.
I wonder who in scripture was an introvert? Moses might have been, when I examine his personality and actions. How about Timothy? Thomas?
And what about Jesus? Yes, he was an extrovert in the way that he related personally and intimately with the people, and the way he handled the large crowds that followed him around. However, there were times when Jesus went off to be along. To pray to the Father. To rest. To be alone.
Here is a very interesting article about Introverts, written by Susan Cain and published in Scientific American. I love this answer:
Cook: What are some of the other misconceptions about introverts and extroverts?
Cain: One big one is the notion that introverts can’t be good leaders. According to groundbreaking new research by Adam Grant, a management professor at Wharton, introverted leaders sometimes deliver better outcomes than extroverts do. Introverts are more likely to let talented employees run with their ideas, rather than trying to put their own stamp on things. And they tend to be motivated not by ego or a desire for the spotlight, but by dedication to their larger goal. The ranks of transformative leaders in history illustrate this: Gandhi, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Rosa Parks were all introverts, and so are many of today’s business leaders, from Douglas Conant of Campbell Soup to Larry Page at Google.
Susan Cain has written a book about Introverts. While I’ve not read it, I have certainly added it to my Amazon Wish List. You can explore her book by clicking on the image below:
Update 2/14/2012: I love what Tim Challies, a self-professed introvert says below, because I find it so true for myself as well. And while I’m not a pastor myself, I do have ministry responsibilities that correspond to his thoughts on being a pastor below:
I find it interesting that in my life right now I have two main spheres of public responsibility and influence. Blogging is an ideal setting for an introvert. I can stay in my office and tap away on my computer all day long. A shy and quiet person, I can appear strong and bold from behind a keyboard—the quietest coward can be a hero in the blogosphere. Blogging is an ideal means of communication for the introvert. But then I am also a pastor and in many ways it seems like extroverts have a natural advantage in ministry. The ministry offers a special kind of challenge for the introvert when it demands spending time with people, loving people, serving people; it is a people-oriented calling. And as a pastor this is one of my greatest challenges, not to retreat into myself, not to run away from people. I have had to learn not to avoid opportunities that are difficult for me but which bring opportunities to teach and serve the people I love.