Friday, July 31, 2009

A few random things

I'm on Twitter. I know, I said I'd never do it, but it's such a good networking and marketing tool. Follow me here

I'm going to be donating 10% of my book royalties for as long as it's in print to Opportunity International, which is an amazing organization that "provides small business loans, savings, insurance and training to over a million people working their way out of poverty in the developing world. Clients in almost 30 countries use these financial services to start or expand a business, provide for their families, create jobs for their neighbors and build a safety net for the future." Here is Opportunity's website.

Hypothetical Questioner: "Adam, why Opportunity International?"
Adam: "I thought that 10% of my book royalties would be consistent with Opportunity's emphasis on MICROfinance."
Hypothetical Questioner: [rolls eyes]

My book should be available to ship from Amazon in mid-October. Pre-order it here: Introverts in the Church And while you're there, scroll down and check the boxes for the relevant "tags" - the more tags a book has, the higher it will land when someone does a search. Especially important tags are "introverts," "introvert," "introverted," and for good measure, "shy."

Thanks for all your support and for spreading the word! I'm starting to get excited and a little nervous! I'll post another segment of my recent online interview soon.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tuesday Q&A

My friend Jamie Arpin-Ricci and I recently did an online interview about Introverts in the Church and its implications both for introverts and extroverts. Jamie was particularly interested in how introverts can engage in community, leadership, and mission. For the next several Tuesdays I will post one of those interactions, and I would love your reactions and input. They are really just teasers for what I hope will become a much larger dialogue in Christian communities everywhere.

Jamie Arpin-Ricci: One of the early chapters in your book is called “Finding Healing”. Why was that so important so early in the book?

Adam McHugh: Over the course of 3 years, I talked with and interviewed my fellow introverts, and I was saddened by how wounded many of us are from our experiences in Christian community and from life in our extroverted society in general. Our wounds have been inflicted both from without and within. Others misunderstand us or mislabel us as antisocial, loners, arrogant, unloving, or passive. Many of us have absorbed those criticisms and we are convinced that something is deeply wrong with us. Many introverts feel confused and ashamed of who they are, and with alarming frequency, struggle with despair and depression. I am convinced that until we find some level of healing and self-acceptance, as we pursue our identity as introverts in Christ, we won’t be able to live authentically in Christian community and to practice our faith as ourselves.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pre-Order on Amazon.com!!

I'm very excited to announce that Introverts in the Church is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com!!

As I said in a previous post, Amazon pre-orders are very important for wide distribution of the book, as other booksellers will use the number of pre-orders there to determine how many copies to order initially. The more Amazon pre-orders, the more likely it is the book will appear in your local Barnes and Noble and Christian bookstore.

So please consider pre-ordering and telling others to do the same! It's been fun to see people linking to the book on their blogs and on Twitter and Facebook. There are SO many people out there who resonate with the topic.

(Note: If you pre-order, Amazon will bill your credit card right before they ship it, in October.)

About the Book

Introverts are called and gifted by God. But many churches tend to be extroverted places where introverts are marginalized. Some Christians end up feeling like it's not as faithful to be an introvert.

Adam McHugh shows how introverts can live and minister in ways consistent with their personalities. He explains how introverts and extroverts process information and approach relationships differently and how introverts can practice Christian spirituality in ways that fit who they are. With practical illustrations from church and parachurch contexts, McHugh offers ways for introverts to serve, lead, worship and even evangelize effectively.

Introverts in the Church is essential reading for any introvert who has ever felt out of place, as well as for church leaders who want to make their churches more welcoming to introverts. Discover God's call and empowering to thrive as an introvert, for the sake of the church and kingdom.

Reviews & Endorsements

"What a timely and badly needed book! Introverts in the Church will encourage thousands of Christians who have felt as if they don't quite fit. It will help them find their rightful place in Christian community, so that their gifts might be well used in the work of the kingdom. This book will also help churches to be a place where all people can flourish as disciples of Jesus. Adam McHugh has given us a precious gift through his openness, theological soundness and godly wisdom."
—Dr. Mark D. Roberts, senior director and scholar-in-residence, Laity Lodge

"This is a book that all leaders in the church should read! It made me realize that I owe an apology to all the introverts whose insights and contributions I have not understood or have overlooked. McHugh's perceptions are crucial for churches in our extremely extroverted society--we are missing some of God's best treasures for Christ's body. I highly recommend this book to everyone who wishes more thoroughly to understand the Holy Spirit's creation of a diversity of personalities and gifts."
—Marva J. Dawn, teaching fellow in spiritual theology, Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia, and author of My Soul Waits, Keeping the Sabbath Wholly and In the Beginning, GOD

"At last a book for and about introverts in ministry, and a wonderful book it is! McHugh unpacks the challenges and characteristics of the introvert leader in a ministry world designed for extroverts. He offers practical guidance for developing as a leader, evangelizing, joining a community, preaching and becoming spiritually mature in Christ. The book not only helps introverts, but it can serve as a great resource for extroverts who lead, coach, mentor or relate to introverts."
—MaryKate Morse, author of Making Room for Leadership, and an introvert

"Introverts, take heart! As an introvert myself--an off-the-chart 'I' on the Myers-Briggs--I find certain aspects of church life, like speaking to other human beings every Sunday, really taxing. McHugh thoughtfully explores the gifts introverts bring to the church, and he considers both how introverts can live well in the church and how churches can be more hospitable to us."
—Lauren F. Winner, Duke Divinity School, author of Girl Meets God

"As a fellow introvert, I well know the tension, irony and even contradiction of being in vocational ministry where public speaking and being with people are major and vital parts of our roles. This book puts together extremely helpful thinking to better understand who we are and how to navigate and celebrate being introverted and in leadership in an extroverted world."
—Dan Kimball, author of They Like Jesus but Not the Church

"As an introvert who has experienced both the strengths and weaknesses of my temperament, I appreciate the way McHugh goes well beyond the facile stereotypes and conclusions of armchair psychologists. If you've ever felt vaguely sinful for not being a gregarious Christian I suggest you spend some quality time alone with a copy of Introverts in the Church."
—Don Everts, minister of outreach, Bonhomme Presbyterian Church, Chesterfield, Missouri, and author of I Once Was Lost

"Adam is addressing a huge number of folks in the church. Read it and heal."
—John Ortberg, author, senior pastor, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church

"As an author and consultant, I have seen firsthand the struggles that introverts face in a society built for extroverts. But I have also seen how powerful introverts can be once they embrace the gifts of a quiet and thoughtful temperament. In this deeply felt and beautifully reasoned guide for introverts in the church, pastor Adam McHugh shows the way for introverted Christians to find peace within themselves and their community."
—Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

"For the longest time, I've considered my wiring as an introvert a thorn in my side. After spending time engaging with others, I felt so empty and overwhelmed . . . and lonely. With my calling as an author and pastor requiring me to publicly speak and consult, I wondered if I misunderstood my place in this world. In Introverts in the Church, Adam brings a voice to those of us who often trade ours in for a little bit of respite. This is not only a needed resource for introverts; all leaders need to read Introverts in the Church for a better understanding of how introverts can lead, how they follow and how they refresh."
—Anne Jackson, pastor, blogger and author of Mad Church Disease: Overcoming the Burnout Epidemic

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Religious Activity as a Drug

I really like Anne Jackson's post today - "Are you hooked? The Christian Designer Drug."

I think Anne's description of Christian culture is accurate, that we often treat religious activity as something that will inoculate us from the pain of loneliness or spiritual emptiness. It's one of the reasons I think church culture can be so extroverted.

Anne is the author of Mad Church Disease, a book I've linked to in my recommended reading sidebar. She recently endorsed my book too.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Evangelism

Here's an introvert wrestling with how he can engage in mission and evangelism: Introverts and the Mission of God

I agree with the post that building relationships with strangers is probably the most daunting part of evangelism, but I wonder if perhaps that is the wrong strategy for us. One suggestion I give in the chapter on introverted evangelism in Introverts in the Church is to first look for the people who are ALREADY in your life and to ask how God is currently working in their lives and how you can come alongside your friend in his or her spiritual journey.

Friday, July 17, 2009

President Introvert?

Here's a post that speculates that President Obama might just be an introvert. What do you think?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Next stop: Paperback

My manuscript is winging its way back to Chicago, with my full seal of approval. Now several editors will do final edits, proofread it multiple times, and then send it to the printers late next month!!! It's gonna be a book, introverts.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Twittering I's

I've wondered for a while what the personality demographics are of people on twitter.

Here's an unscientific, but very interesting survey of the MBTI personality temperaments of people on twitter.

A quick preview: introverts far exceed extroverts in twittering, and the most common profile is INFP.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Introverts in church

Ever since I set a Google alert for "Christian introverts" I'm discovering just how many people are posting about the topic of introverts in the church. I find these conversations very exciting and hopeful. I am noticing, unfortunately, that most of the people blogging about introversion and Christianity are reporting negative experiences. I really hope that some day soon people will start having POSITIVE experiences in church as introverts! I want us to discover the gifts that we have to bring others, and for others to welcome us, and our gifts, with open arms. That's why I wrote the book.

Here's a great post from a woman living in Russia: Introverts in Church

My favorite section is her comments on the horrors of "ice breaker" games.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The latest (and probably last) endorsements

"For the longest time, I've considered my wiring as an introvert a thorn in my side. After spending time engaging with others, I felt so empty and overwhelmed...and lonely. With my calling as an author and pastor requiring me to publicly speak and consult, I wondered if I misunderstood my place in this world. In Introverts in the Church, Adam brings a voice to those of us who often trade ours in for a little bit of respite. Not only a needed resource for introverts, all leaders need to read Introverts in the Church for a better understanding of how introverts can lead, how they follow, and how they refresh."

--Anne Jackson, pastor, blogger and author of Mad Church Disease - Overcoming the Burnout Epidemic.

"As an author and consultant, I have seen firsthand the struggles that introverts face in a society built for extraverts. But I have also seen how powerful introverts can be once they embrace the gifts of a quiet and thoughtful temperament. In this deeply felt and beautifully reasoned guide for introverts in the church, Pastor Adam McHugh shows the way for introverted Christians to find peace within themselves and their community."

--Susan Cain, author of "QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking" (Crown Publishing, 2011).

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

One last crack

I received my typeset manuscript back today, which means I have one last crack at making minor revisions to my book. I was thinking today that it's been 4 1/2 years since I came up with this idea, in a moment of listening prayer during Christmas '04. The paradox in my mind is that it seems like a ridiculously long time since I began this project, but I still can't believe that I've reached this point. They will be printing my book late next month. Stunning.

I've got a couple of weeks to fix any glaring errors, to add a few brief ideas, and to convince my editors to make the changes I want.

Pray for me!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Be who you are

Here's another great post about the significance of discovering who you are in Christ, from the perspective of an introvert.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

An Old Story

I don't really know why, but I find this fascinating. This is an editorial from the Boca Raton News (it's somewhere in Florida) from 1994, talking about the struggles of introverts in churches.

What's still amazing to me is that no one has ever written a book about this topic, until well, October 2009.