For as long as I can remember, I’ve been introverted (shy, reserved, etc.). Sure, I am outgoing and myself when I am around people I am close to, but when I am around people who I don’t know, it’s a different (secluded) story. It’s not something I particularly enjoy, because I don’t necessarily want to be shy or reserved. I want to get to know new people, but being an introvert restrains me from that sometimes.
Moreover, this issue of being an introvert shows up in my fellowship with other saints at my local church. It’s one of my biggest struggles: talking with people I don’t normally talk to. It’s hard for me to get up from my seat and mingle with people I am not close with. It’s not that I think there will be awkward silence (there’s always something to talk about); it’s not even that I believe they’ll think I am weird. To be honest with you, the best reason I can give is that it’s something new:
New people. New personalities. New relationships. New everything.
Of course, when I write that, it’s a lousy reason not to approach new people. It will sometimes be uncomfortable. I am a Christian, so by default, my life is uncomfortable.
Typing that brings to mind this quote:
“God wants to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”
Don’t ask me who originally said that, because I don’t know. But my goodness, it hits hard. Like a ton of bricks. I am too comfortable sometimes. Because I am a sinner, I still lean towards what is most comfortable.
A Loving Push
My wife and I have been members of our church for probably around a year now, and we love it all: the people, the preaching, the music–everything. It’s perfect for us.
Our church–specifically our elders–know that I have an aspiration for pastoral ministry. They push me towards extrovertedness (among other things). I don’t like it sometimes, but I do it, because I know that in order for me to be a faithful minister of the gospel, I must interact with people. Sometimes I hopelessly fail; sometimes I succeed with flying colors.
Either way, I am eternally grateful to be under the leadership of men who’re faithful to the Lord in their roles as elders.
Ministry Involves People
Preaching makes up a lot of ministry, but it doesn’t compare to the amount of time one will spend with people: sick people, healthy people, hurting people, joyful people, etc. It doesn’t take a pastor to know that truth.
This is what I want. More than that, I believe it’s what God wants (for me). I have felt it for a couple of years now. The passion to preach. To get behind the big, wooden pulpit and preach the gospel of Christ. Loving people. Encouraging people. Having tough conversations.
This is why I need to break out even further of my shell. People need people who care, who love. It might be awkward sometimes; it might be scary sometimes, but Jesus is with me. He loves me; He cares for me. And He does for you, too.
He died for you. Now go live for Him.
Soli Deo Gloria