Introverts of the world, disband. (It’s ironic, because introverts like to be alone and. . . oh nevermind). I’m an introvert, if you hadn’t guessed. I’m an introverted Associate Pastor, proving that God has a sense of humor. I am a low I on my DISC profile. Let’s be honest, I don’t like people. I like individuals, but groups of people are not my thing. I get overwhelmed by large groups, being with people drains me, even my closest friends. Like most introverts, I am surrounded by mostly extroverts who don’t get me at all. Their idea of down time is being together. My idea of down time is them all going away.
I think sometimes in our society and with our schedule, we don’t get alone time. The modern pastor (or associate pastor) runs out of time before everyone gets the piece of his time they think they need. Sometimes it seems like I am never alone.
This brings me to my point. If Jesus needed time alone, why do we assume we don’t? Jesus went off alone to pray often. During a big storm, the disciples were panicking, Jesus was by himself taking a nap. In Gethsemane, he tells the disciples, “Stay here, I’m going on alone”. Jesus took time for Himself.
Does that make Jesus an introvert? I don’t know, but it sounded like a good title for a blog. Regardless of your status as an introvert or an extravert, let me leave you with these thoughts.
First, take time to be alone. Get alone with a book, go fishing, play golf, drive someplace. This is a great lesson I learned from a great man who mentored me in college. He took me up to a place with a creek and a small waterfall, told me this was the place he went when he needed to be alone. I understood the message, sometimes you just have to get away. It’s for the sake of your sanity.
Second, cut your people some slack. If you see your church members 4 to 6 times a week, there is something wrong. If they spend that much time at church or with you, what is being sacrificed? Probably their time alone to recharge. We expect the people in our church to have the same standards and schedules as Pastors do, and the burn out rate for Pastors is through the roof. No wonder we can’t find people to serve, they have seen us torch all the other church members. Now we turn to them with a smile and say “it’s your turn”. Give me a break people, let’s take some meetings off the calendar. Send an e-mail and call it a day, the world won’t stop.
Finally, say no. Say no to events and programs that fill every day. Say no to those individuals who have an agenda and a torch, ready to burn you and everyone else to the bone for their cause. Say no to the stuff you can’t do anything about and you know you’ll spend hours working on and not get anywhere anyway. In a phrase “chill out”.
The world doesn’t revolve around you, you are not “more saved” if you work longer or harder. In a week, no one will remember anyway and you will shorten your life, ministry and list of friends if you go full steam all the time. Take a tip from the introverts, follow the example of Jesus. Take a break already.