Evangelism is a weighty task, and like it or not, we all have a responsibility to carry it out.
Jesus didn’t say,If you find it easy to talk to strangers, go, and make disciples of all nations, otherwise, feel free to just stay home and pray for the extroverts. We have all been called to make disciples of all nations (Mt. 28:19), whether we do that by approaching strangers to share the Gospel, by persuading skeptics, or by inviting our friends to listen for God’s still, small voice. No one is exempt from this responsibility, and it’s not just so that work is distributed fairly. It’s because it is necessary for the whole body to work together to build the Kingdom of God — each member using their unique gifts and abilities to the fullest.
Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it (1 Corinthians 12:15-19,27).
I am unabashedly extroverted. I enjoy being with people, and social activities really help me to recharge if I’ve been cooped up by myself for too long.
An interest in theology and apologetics means that evangelism (at least in an academic sense) has always been a passion of mine and it has come quite easily to me.
Engaging in corporate worship and conference-style religious retreats are where I have historically felt closest to God. On my own, I find it more difficult to remain close to God. After all, extroverts recharge by engaging in social situations. It makes sense that we would recharge spiritually by the same means, worshiping alongside other people.
Yet, it took the quiet evangelistic prowess of an introvert, Sarah, to show me what a personal relationship with Jesus really looked like. And, if I may be characteristically bold, it was my confidence in publicly declaring my faith that encouraged that introvert to reach out beyond her immediate sphere of influence.
I have known Jesus personally most of my life, but at a time when I got caught up in an academic and social expression of my faith, I needed someone to teach me how to be faithful and energized by God alone. Looking back, I might have won heads for Jesus; Sarah won hearts.
For all of my arguments and public declarations, when I was left alone, I felt painfully alone. I didn’t know how to be intimate with Jesus by myself. Sarah urged me to focus on Scripture and quiet prayer. She helped me stop seeking a middle man and sit quietly with God. It was then that I really invited Christ to rule over me completely.
Jesus called men from all walks of life to be his apostles. Let’s talk about the difference between Peter and John, for example: extroverted Peter was passionate, no one can deny that. He was hot-headed and on fire for the Gospel, often more like a warrior of evangelism than a peacemaker. Introverted John, the beloved disciple, rested his head on the chest of Christ, remained close to his heart both physically and spiritually, even remaining at the foot of the cross close to Jesus’ mother.
Who was the better saint? Who loved Christ more, or won more hearts for him?
We have no idea. But what we do know is that God uses both extroverts and introverts to draw people to himself.
If you’re feeling ill-equipped to share your faith, check out the Share Your Faith series.