My name is Steve and I’m an introvert. And I’m also a pastor.
Today, I listened to a great episode of the 200 Churches Podcast titled Yes, I am a Pastor and an Introvert! I was very interested in this as an introverted pastor. I have encountered skepticism that introverts can be good pastors.
I used to be an associate pastor at church where the senior pastor was an extrovert. I had a conversation with the other pastor and she told me that an introvert could be a good pastor as long as they acted like an extrovert. What she meant by that was that I needed to pastor with the same style as an extrovert but then recharge my emotional batteries like an introvert. I disagreed with her.
At a leadership event I had a conversation with one of the trainers and he told me that introverts will always be limited in their leadership potential in comparison to extroverts. I went on to give reasons why I thought Jesus was an introvert (e.g. getting exhausted after big crowds, focusing on small groups of people) but he strongly disagreed with me.
Can introverts be good pastors?
I truly believe we can. And it is not by pretending to be extroverts. Being an introvert doesn’t mean that we have to avoid all contact with people. I enjoy working with people, especially meeting one-on-one. I have a great board of deacons and I can interact with them as an introvert and not as an extrovert.
I actually believe that forcing introverts to act like extroverts is a recipe for burnout. God has created me in a certain way and I will pastor according to who I am.