What a wonderful book! As an introvert myself, I’m thrilled to report that introvert Adam McHugh has looked into who we are and explained it perfectly. Only a true introvert could have explained the feelings and perceptions of an introvert with such accuracy. Not only does this book contain what introverts have been waiting a long time to hear, but it’s also a perfect primer for extroverts to understand all of us introverts that they have always been clueless about. As the title suggests, McHugh brings this important discussion into churches. He seeks to guide introverts in “finding our place in an extroverted culture”.
I was hooked by the preface. When he explained that we would have to dig in this subject to the point that it might appear that he was “feeding the impression that we are misanthropic weirdos”, I knew I wanted to hear what he had to say.
He makes a case in the introduction that introverts can thrive in the church. As he will do throughout the entire book, that does not mean that we introverts must deny who we are or act like something we are not. He makes a clear case that local churches today are all geared toward the extroverts. He explains how our culture values extraversion over introversion, though without compelling proof that it should be so. As we said before, he explained so beautifully what life inside an introvert’s head is really like. He clarified how we feel at some social gatherings or settings. He encourages us to quit feeling like we are weird or of less value, and to seek healing from the bad misconceptions that we have lived with.
He explained what introverted spirituality is, and though it’s easily distinguished from the extroverted type, it still has great depth. He explained how we are in community and relationships. We don’t live without community or relationships, but we are different.
Finally the book turns to the subject of leadership and introverts. There is an unsubstantiated belief that only extroverts make good leaders. Fact and history both prove this to be untrue. Some extroverts succeed by being charismatic, dominant, gregarious, or even a superstar, and can even operate a cult of personality. In some cases, the company doesn’t glean anything from the tightness of the followers of these extroverted leaders. In other words, it’s only been about them. He gives wonderful thoughts about how we might lead without yielding the essence of who we are as introverts. He is very practical in how we might be a better leader, as well as thoughts about a subject that most all introverts find difficult: evangelism. He concludes with encouraging us to make sure introverts have a place in our churches.
This book spoke to me. I’m convinced that every Christian introvert ought to read it. Further, it would be quite wonderful if we could talk a few extroverts into reading it with us.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
6 thoughts on “Introverts in the Church by Adam McHugh”
Considering that introverts make up half or nearly half of the population, it never ceases to amaze me how we are still considered “broken” and in need of being helped to change ourselves. I guess that’s the power of extraversion (I prefer that spelling, as it is more accurate) in exerting its influence to the extent that introversion is considered weird or wrong.
And yes, US culture is _very extraverted. Every time I travel back to the States, I am overwhelmed by how everybody–and I mean _everybody_ is in your face, asking how you are, sharing TMI in lines at the grocery store, etc. It can take me weeks to adjust to!
This sounds like a good book. I “blame” you for all the money I’ve spent on books in the past couple years. 😉 Thanks! Seriously, thanks for all these reviews. 🙂
Ha! Sorry for hurting your budget! 🙂
You will love this book. He explains so much of what you’re saying!
You are also right about that spelling. Don’t know how that got by my spellchecker.
Extroversion is how it is typically spelled these days, that’ how it gets by. In fact, if you type extraversion, it is more likely to get flagged… but extro- as a prefix isn’t right. extra- is the opposite of intro-… and that’s why I prefer to write it that way, even if it is not common at all. (BTW, Jung also spelled it extraversion) 😉
The more I looked, I saw it could go either way.
Btw, if you’d have any interest in reviewing two books I have coming down the pike, please send me a private message.