Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Brian McLaren, introvert

Here's an interview with Brian McLaren, reigning king of the emerging church, in which he confesses that he is an introvert.

Friday, July 25, 2008

New book

Here is a new book, called Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life is Your Hidden Strength, by Laurie Helgoe. I'll probably read it after I send in my proposal next month. It sounds a lot like The Introvert Advantage to me, but I'm always encouraged when introverted differences are publicly recognized and affirmed.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

9 down, 1 to go

Perhaps it's that all this writing over the past 9 months has made me a better and faster writer, or perhaps it's that my August 31st deadline is producing panic, but I have finished chapter 9! Introverts and Evangelism. Here's the first paragraph:

An introverted evangelist? Isn’t that an oxymoron?” That was the response I received when I explained this chapter to a 70 year old retired hospice chaplain who was formerly known for her sensitivity and gentleness. If the juxtaposition of “introverted” and “evangelist” does indeed result in an oxymoron, then it owes not to an inherent contradiction but to a caricature, a culturally distorted understanding of evangelism. In all circles, Christian and non-Christian alike, the word evangelism has an incredible power to conjure negative images, cringes, even guttural reactions. At its worst, the word is a window to images of hellfire street corner preachers spouting to passersby. Even at its best, evangelism summons pictures of animated extroverts armed with quick wit, apologetic skill, and the gift of gab.

Monday, July 21, 2008

An introverted hero

Here is a link to a Christian Century article about Eugene Peterson, written in 2002. Eugene Peterson is the author of The Message translation of the Bible and many important books about spiritual theology and pastoral ministry. In this Christian Century article he confesses himself to be "rather introverted and shy."

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Title Option

Those of you who have been following my blog know that though I'm writing a book that will be published next year, I don't have a title yet. In this post, people threw out some options.

Here's another one I've been tossing around:

Peace in Quiet: Introverts in the Church

Good? Bad? Meh?

Friday, July 18, 2008

More on evangelism

I have to say that I have really enjoyed Rick Richardson's book Reimagining Evangelism. He's convinced me that evangelism in a postmodern context is actually easier for introverts than it was in the modern era. There is more emphasis on more indirect, subtle, imaginative styles of sharing the gospel. Here is a quote about why people deal with guilt about evangelism:

One reason we feel guilty about our lack of evangelism, and tired when we think about doing evangelism, is that we tend to have a very individualistic concept of our responsibility. Most of us assume that if we got serious about sharing our faith, we would need to build friendships, talk to strangers, have people in our homes for meals and social events, study the Bible with unchurched people, explain the gospel, call them to Christ and then follow them up. We think we have to do it all. p.55


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Silence!

As research for my last chapter, I'm going to a Quaker church tomorrow. So far I've been to a couple of evangelical megachurches, five mainline churches of varying theological bent, a Taize service, and an evensong service. I'm most excited about this one.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Planting Churches

Can introverts plant churches? Here is a link to Chris Brown's blog where he discusses that very topic.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Spiritual Sales

"Many Christians think they have to dump their content on someone and then close the deal, or else they haven't really shared their faith. This basic paradigm of evangelism as individuals seeking to make the close on a sales call permeates the evangelical consciousness. Our image of the evangelist is the image of a spiritual salesman."

"This paradigm of evangelism is a barrier to Christians, for it leaves them feeling like they don't have a part to play in it. If they aren't extroverted, persuasive, an expert on their product, skilled at responding to the questions that will come up, and able to be pushy and assertive when it comes to making the close, then they don't identify with evangelism as part of their life and gifts."

~Rick Richardson, Reimagining Evangelism, p. 17

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Doing evangelism as ourselves

Becky Pippert, author of Out of the Saltshaker, describes an introverted friend who is a gifted evangelist:

"First, this is an illustration of the power of listening. Knowing my friend, I'm not surprised people feel loved in her presence. She has an unusual capacity to listen with depth and compassion - more than she is even aware of. Listening well is a powerful way to share the love of Christ. [!!!!] Second, this illustrates the power of prayer. When we ask God to let people experience the love of Jesus through us, something happens that can't be quantified or easily explained. That's because prayer involves mysteries that happen to the soul." p. 110-111

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Redeeming the language

When I first started this blog, in March 2007, the first page of a google search on "introverted church" displayed 8 out of 10 entries on "the introverted church" as the ingrown, closed-off, unfaithful Christian community. Today the first page of that same search results in 7 out of 10 sites that are talking about how to reach introverts and what gifts introverts bring to the Church. I love it!!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Best Jobs for Introverts

Courtesy of my friend and fellow Princeton Seminary alum Luke, here is a new book on the best jobs for introverts. What does the author list as the best job for introverts in the "human services" field? Look here.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

August 2009

That's when my book will be released.

Coming up in the fall: A title.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Hmmm

"When faced with difficult decisions, introverts worry little about what other people think of them." USA Today article on introverted CEO's

"Introverts care what people think, so they'll be sensitive in their approach to others."
Mike Bechtle, Evangelism for the Rest of Us, p. 48