Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sacred Companions

I just finished reading David Benner's Sacred Companions and I would highly recommend it to introverts, especially those who fancy themselves as contemplatives and who are interested in spiritual direction. The second half of the book is a very accessible introduction into the discipline and practice of spiritual direction. I have said in other places, and emphasize in my book, that spiritual direction may be a ministry that is tailor-made for introverts, as it involves ongoing one-on-one interactions, deep listening, and quiet conversation.

The first half of the book, however, may be even more valuable for introverts. Benner presents his understanding of spiritual friendship which will resonate deeply with most introverts. He emphasizes journeying together, intimacy, depth, and listening. He places more focus on asking questions than on providing answers, which is very consistent with my sense of spirituality. I found myself moved by his picture of friendship and found my longing for God growing as I read.

I have added a link to the book on the right margin.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A less climactic, but more decisive moment

A few of you may remember a post about a month ago in which I announced my book title. You may have also noticed that that post disappeared a few hours later. The reason was that I sat with that title for a little while and I decided I hated it. Fortunately my editor had not yet assigned an ISBN to it, so we were able to reconsider it.

But this title is the official one, I promise.

Introverts in the Church: Finding our Place in an Extroverted Culture

By Adam S. McHugh

I'm hoping for a September release. Stay tuned!

Monday, January 19, 2009

MLK

Happy Martin Luther King Day everyone. Not only was Dr. King a civil rights leader, powerful orator, ordained minister, and prophet, but he was also an introvert.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Lauren Winner

I've become a fan of Lauren Winner recently. She is the author of Girl Meets God and Mudhouse Sabbath, among others. I was very excited recently to discover that she is an introvert. Here is a link to an interview in which she admits to being one of us!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Introvert specific groups

I received an encouraging email a few weeks ago from a seminary student who is leading a small group for introverted college students. It wasn't an intentional strategy on her part, but the group just formed that way. They meet together regularly and also have begun a service project, which I think is an excellent idea because many introverts feel more comfortable in a behind-the-scenes role that doesn't require a great deal of talking.

When I was in college ministry, a couple of my colleauges started a small group called "Faith and Friends" that was directed towards shy (and many of them were introverts) students who wanted to build relationships but felt intimidated by larger social settings. They read and discussed together Rich Lamb's book, The Pursuit of God in The Presence of Friends. I thought it was a very helpful and creative ministry.

What do you think about introvert specific groups? If someone were starting a group, what advice would you give them?