ANONYMOUS WRITES: Am I still called to evangelize even as an introvert whose spiritual gift is service? And if so, how do I go about sharing the gospel with others when initiating conversations is not one of my strengths?
In the New Testament, we are told that everyone has different spiritual gifts and that all are useful parts of the body of Christ. But Jesus’ disciples were also called to go into all the world and preach the gospel, and sharing our faith is definitely something that should be a natural outflow of our salvation and love of the Lord. So if I thrive working behind the scenes, should I continue to do so, supporting those who have the gift of evangelism, or should I also push myself outside my comfort zone and share my faith? Please base your answer on scripture!
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Q: Do introverts still have to evangelize?
A: Lol yes.
What are you confused by? =)
If I may, your tone sounds a wee bit on the harsh side, though I’m sure that is far from being your intention. 😄
Ay, don’t ya hate how tone doesn’t carry over on the internet? I fixed it #GoEmojis
It’s my own fault, I was rushing out the door for my EE class and didn’t have time to think about my comment enough =P
Haha! Like I said, I’m sure you didn’t mean it that way! The same thought did cross my mind though 😆
Definitely an extrovert lol =0)
Lol hi Bean, happy thanksgiving =P how does that make me an extrovert?
“Didn’t think about my comment”. Just a hint though. I dunno. :o) lol
Oh, and happy thansgiving to you too. I’ll be celebrating with chicken, as turkeys are (not exaggerating) 20x more expensive per pound than chicken here. Oh well. #disadvantagesoflivinginSwitzerland
Yes!! You should definitely still evangelize. Evangelizing doesn’t always mean that you walk up to someone and say, “Excuse me sir/ma’am, do you know the Lord Jesus Christ?” Evangelizing can be as simple as slipping a track into one of the purses on display, or inviting your cashier to church on Sunday. Projects such as helping out at a homeless center or cleaning up graffiti can cause people to wonder why you are acting the way you are.
Trust me, I know your struggle. I am an introvert too. I have the same problems. My biggest advice to you would be to boldly step out of your comfort zone and share Jesus. Imagine someone coming up to you in heaven and saying, “I am here because you shared Jesus with me. Thank you!” What a great feeling that would be!
Yes (: All Jesus followers are called to evangelize! I’m an introvert too. I know the struggle.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” -Joshua 1:9
“But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” -1 Peter 3:15
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” -Matthew 28:19
I commented on a post awhile back telling about when I was struggling through my own introverted shyness but also feeling called to witness to some people I was working with daily. Here’s the link if that might encourage you (:
Just remember, Jesus works through our weaknesses so that our lives shine brighter for Him!
Evangelism is a gift for the maturing of the church (Ephesians 4:11-14). The news of Christ is not a sales pitch (as some unconsciously treat it), but rather the basic nourishment that every spiritual newborn needs (1 Peter 2:2).
Every gift ultimately enables us to serve this newborn by presenting the gospel.
Service? What better way to serve a spiritual newborn than to give them the milk of the gospel?
Teaching? This is Christianity 101.
Pastors? A good shepherd will leave his flock to go looking for the one that was lost.
However, the other side that is woefully neglected is that it is inappropriate for the church to treat evangelism as the sole purpose of the kingdom of God. The apostles lamented the congregations that failed to grow up (1 Corinthians 3:2, Hebrews 5:12). We aren’t called to make converts only, but disciples!
We need to be ready to share the gospel as a way to serve the most immature among us. However, we also need to be ready to use our gifts to mature one another toward the fullness of the image of Christ.
Any congregation that neglects the former refuses to care for the most needing among us (Matthew 25:40), possibly due to partiality (James 2:9). Any congregation that neglects the later rejects God’s purpose for our brothers and sisters (1 Corinthians 12:14:20) and elevates one gift above the rest.
With all the error in extremes, it’s no wonder a Christian is called to be temperate (Titus 2:2).
It’s a biblical command with no asterisk. There are no exceptions. As an introvert I understand the struggle but over the years practice jas made it easier in some ways and whether you’re introverted or extroverted, everybody’s style is different.
May I just say that perhaps your gift of service IS your form of evangelizing. Just because you aren’t the loudest person on the block, doesn’t mean that you can’t show the love of Jesus. I recently watched a testimonial by a Cambodian woman who came to Christ through watching the actions of an American nurse who served in a clinic, even though she had never spoken to her before. She came to realize the love of Jesus through watching the acts of service performed by that woman and eventually trained to be a nurse herself in the States and then went back to her home country.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t stretch yourself, that’s important for us introverts, but also knowing your personal form of evangelizing is important. I know that I am definitely someone who loves kids and old people, so those are the people I put effort on, maybe not so much my peers. I know where my gifting lies, and it’s definitely not being the person who stands up and preaches to a crowd. It’s not me and it’s not how God created me to be. If everyone had the teaching gift and nobody had the gift of service, we would be seriously lacking.
So, my advice: Serve your heart out! Don’t worry about not talking a lot or being up front. Look for ways to stretch yourself and get out of your comfort zone, but show God’s love through what you’re good at, serving.
Hope this helps!! ~L
I would comment, but you put what I was going to say in words SO much better than I could have! Nailed it Liana!!
haha, thanks! 🙂
(Don’t have read the other comments, though I bet they’re good. Hopefully this will add something instead of just repeating. )
Jesus is Lord, so when he says to make disciples (Matthew 28) we do it. Doesn’t matter how hard it is, or how we feel.
One of my favorite things about that passage though, is that Jesus starts by saying he has ALL authority in heaven and on earth, and then finishes by saying He’s with them — and by implication, us — even till the end of the age.
So the same God who demands we go is simultaneously giving us strength to do it. I love that.
It’s an awesome thing that you can work behind the scenes and serve the people in your church that way, but we are supposed to seek all the spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 14:1). So while scrubbing toilets or serving food might come more naturally, you’re still called to the things that feel weird.
Last thing. This isn’t straight from scripture and I just thought of it, so this is just something to think about: but maybe spiritual gifts are more about the way we work within the Church instead of a way of picking which commands to personally obey. I think 1 Corinthians 12 could back this up if you want to check it out.
Some people are especially good at evangelizing. These people can do an extra lot of it! But we all as Christians, are called to evangelize, even if we aren’t good at it. The great commission doesn’t tell us “Preach the good news if you’re good at it!”. Evangelism is something that should be a part of believers’ lives.
In addition to al the good points here, I’d like to encourage you, and all the other introverts out there! Initiating conversations may not be an introvert’s strength, but introverts are usually quite insightful, perceptive, and good listeners. Those qualities can be incredibly helpful when evangelizing. Evangelizing may look different than that of an extrovert (maybe you’ll be talking with your well-known co-workers rather than preaching to a crowd from a street corner), but you can still do it! 🙂
I’d encourage you to really notice the people around you every day, and look for ways to apply to gospel to different situations in their lives and weave that into conversations.
Exactly. You nailed it.
Hmm. That’s some food for thought! I would actually say that introverts would be good at evangelizing, because they are much better at listening and understanding others than most extroverts (who generally don’t stop to listen too often) and therefore they can personalize and relate to the people they evangelize to.
Of course the answer would be yes. We should ALL share our faith and encourage others to come to Christ. If you meant it that way, then yes. But, don’t be scared! If you have ever read Do Hard Things, you will remember Heidi Bentley, the campaign coordinator for the twins in Alabama. She was extremely introverted and hated to even talk to people she knew on the phone. However, through a mix-up she was assigned to do a lot of things that were out of her comfort zone; advertising at large events and making hundreds of calls. The result? She grew immensely through the experience and benefited from having to step out of her comfort zone.
Now why did I say all that? Heidi was an introvert, just like you(I’m assuming you are an introvert because of the article) but God used that experience to help her grow. I heard a quote once that ran something like this: “God does not call the equipped. He equips the called”. Which basically means that if you are glorifying God in what you do, you will find that He is helping you every step of the way.
Do introverts HAVE to evangelize? No. No one will stand over you and make you do it, nor will they point fingers if you don’t. Probably no one will even notice except the people you talk to.
SHOULD introverts evangelize to others, even if it makes them uncomfortable? YES!!!! God will help us achieve what glorifies Him. And you will benefit from the experience too 🙂
Wow I really wrote a book didn’t I xD
There are a lot of really great answers that are true, and yet some of them seem to conflict with each other, so let me clarify a bit…
Every Christian is called to evangelize. God gave us each Spiritual Gifts that we are natural at, however, He often Calls us to step out of our comfort zone. For you, that might mean, He wants you to talk to an unsaved friend at school, for me, it might mean that He wants me to clean a restroom, or babysit someone’s kids for free.
The point is that you should never ignore the leading of the Holy Spirit, even if it means stepping out of our comfort zone. Here’s an example, I recently was talking to an unsaved religious friend at work. She told me some of what she believes and it was quite obvious that she’s very confused about the origins of the Bible and Jesus Christ. I was tempted to tell her that she was wrong and launch into the history of the Bible and the Gospel.
The Holy Spirit made it clear that my natural response, the one I wanted to give her, was not gonna go well and even could damage or destroy our friendship and the chance I have to witness to her, so I kept my mouth shut and just listened. That was very hard for me to do because my natural response is to defend God and The Bible, I mean, how could anyone say that the stories of Jesus are just “hearsay”?!
I know that I did the right thing by shutting up. Telling a new friend that they are completely wrong is not usually the best way to kick off a friendship. But, if you find yourself in a similar situation, and the Holy Spirit leads you to speak up… you should speak up even if it’s uncomfortable or hard. Make sense?
I hope this helps!
P.S. Something you can definitely do when you’re not speaking up is to pray for those who are… especially the “extroverts”. It’s extremely easy for an extrovert to accidentally rub someone the wrong way. Trust me, I know this from personal experience!
Also, there’s a really good post that was just published on the subject of stepping outside of your comfort zone. You should go check it out.
Anyone can live like Jesus to the world those who are introverts need to find who God says they are and not be afraid of man or man’s opinions. We can always do more than we think we can! I think your awesome your post encouraged me! Thank you
There are two main ways to spread God’s word and that is evangelically or relationally. Assuming you know what evangelically means, relationally is first building up a relationship with someone, and then pouring into them your biblical knowledge. Do remember that for both of these it is first important to have a growing relationship with God and a knowledge of the Bible, if not extent at least the yearning for a better one. I’m not sure how I feel on either way for sure, but these are some things to think about.
“Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19
Wear introvert as a strength not a label. Introvert does not define you or limit you.
They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jereimiah 17:8
Your season of service may be shifting to a new season planting seeds in a different way Go for it !!!
Hi Anonymous, I know this is somewhat late. . .but I just wanted to be an encouragement if I could.
I know it can be sometimes awkward to talk to people, and I personally don’t really evangelize that often. . .SO I’m not saying this in any way to condemn but to encourage.
Two thoughts. One Biblical. The other, me.
1. The Bible makes it pretty clear that it is not only cool, extroverted people’s job to evangelize. It’s everyone’s job! And sure being an introvert is one of many reasons why that work can be harder. But it also makes your evangelism so much more necessary and so much more beautiful when you do go for it.
Actually, just at a cursory glance most Biblical heroes were not extraverted, popular people. A lot were outcasts. Moses frequently tells God, “I have uncircumcised lips.” He didn’t feel like he knew how to talk. And he was an outcast in every way imaginable. He was outcast from his people Israel because he was not one of them. He was raised as an Egyptian. How could he know what they were going through? He was an outcast from the Egyptians because he clearly empathized with his people, Israel. He even killed an Egyptian, and Pharaoh wanted him dead.
Jeremiah was similar. He said : “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.”-(from Jeremiah 1:6)
But what did God say to each of them?
He told Moses, “Who made man’s mouth?” –Exodus 4:11 His response to Jeremiah was, ““Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.”
To Paul he said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”-2 Corinthians 12:9
At the end of the day it’s not about how you look anyway. It’s about how God looks, and you’re not the one who makes Him look good. He already is good, and when you let Him use you despite your weaknesses, that’s when you bring Him glory.
2. This is just me, so don’t quote me on it. I think sometimes we think of evangelism and we think we need to do all the talking, but in the Bible (ok. So not just me.) we see that people were usually sent in groups to evangelize. That’s the pattern that’s prevalent in Acts. Also, in the story of Moses, eventually, because of Moses’ failure to go to Egypt on God’s standards, God gave him Aaron. So, I don’t think we need to think of evangelism as something where we’re doing all the talking (or necessarily any of it.) All it really means is sharing the gospel.
Here’s one last verse that I found in Do Hard Things last night that might be encouraging to you.
Matthew 5:13-16: “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
Keep pressing on! Fight the good fight! Finish the race! God is on your side 🙂
You should definitely evangelize, Jesus said ” Go and make disciples” as for how to do it, find a buddy. The apostles were sent out in pairs, your friend won’t let you back down and may make you more extroverted. If you want to serve more then serve more, but evangelize as well
Ask God to help you. Jesus did not say,” Go all you people who are good at speaking and make disciples.” He told everyone to. God used Moses, who wasn’t good at speaking to be a leader for his people.