Every time I am asked by my church to go out for street evangelism, a little part of my soul plunges.

As an introvert, I don’t even want to approach strangers for help if I need it – let alone stand on the street and witness to them. Even in the familiar context of ministry in church, it takes a lot of effort on my end to address the community or individuals on ministry-related issues and expectations.

Often, I wish I can just let it all slide and have someone else who I think is better-equipped do it for me. And there have been times when I’ve dropped them despite overwhelming evidence not to.

I’m not engaging enough. I’m not nice enough.

Awhile back, I saw the need to bridge the youth and young adult ministries in my church to minimise the number of youths leaving church when they transited over.

I got confirmation from leaders within both ministries that there was such a need, so I set aside time to pray and brainstorm for a solution. I had a working plan but I lacked the energy and momentum to put it in motion, as well as like-minded individuals for the mission. I chalked up the great inertia to my introversion and let it slip away from my priorities.

I only remembered my dream for a bridging space when I reconnected with a friend who had fallen away from God and church during her own transition. As I listened and encouraged her, one thought kept repeating itself in my mind.

How many more slipped away because you were passive?

“I cannot do it because I’m an introvert” is an excuse.

Successfully creating the bridging space was by no means a guarantee that my friend wouldn’t have backslid. But it would surely have given the community another opportunity to engage and journey with her.
It was not my introversion that prevented me from fulfilling God’s call. My passivity came from the insecurities I had for being an introvert.

I’m not engaging enough. I’m not nice enough.

These insecurities were rooted in the fear of failure. I feared that my leaders would look upon me with disappointment or that my peers would gently suggest that I let someone else take over if I was not successful in starting this. Yet the only person I need to please in ministry is God Himself.

Introversion may be a part of your personality, but passiveness shouldn’t be. I differentiated my introversion from passivity by asking questions: Am I stalling because I don’t know how to engage? Or am I stalling because I don’t want to engage? If so, why?

… the only person I need to please in ministry is God Himself.

Passivity is the result of unfounded fears, allowing ourselves to hide behind excuses. Passivity is what the priest and Levite showed when they did not stop to help the wounded man. Instead it was the compassionate Samaritan – a supposed enemy of the Jews – who stopped (Luke 10:25-37). Both the priest and Levite were fearful for their lives.

Passive is the “wicked and lazy” servant who hid the bag of gold his master had entrusted him with, instead of working and investing them like his colleagues (Matthew 25:14-30). Laziness can often be found in passivity – a fear of the effort required in hard work.

I can do it even though I’m an introvert.

Beyond just showing how God judges the passive, the Bible also tells us how God singles out characters who fulfilled His call upon their lives – people who didn’t let their character traits get in the way of their calling.

The kings of Israel in the Old Testament were summed up based on their reign – whether they did was right in the eyes of the Lord. People in the New Testament were singled out for their willingness to follow the Lord.
I want to be one of them.

Paul’s analogy of the human body as the Church (1 Corinthians 12:12-27) reminds us that every one of us has a part to play. We can fulfil God’s calling for us uniquely.

We don’t know what Myer-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality Jesus had. We know He would often retreat to quiet places to pray (Luke 5:16), but was also capable of flipping tables in the temple (Mark 11:15-17) to stand up for righteousness.

Whatever the Lord requires of us, He has equipped us for it regardless of our personality type. You are first a follower of Jesus Christ, then an introvert or an extrovert.

Don’t let your personality determine what you will do for the Kingdom of God.