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Dec 22, 2009

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Josh Rowley

Sounds like a book worth reading (I'm an introvert). Somewhere I have read that Presbyterian pastors are more likely to be introverted than are clergy of other denominations, but I don't remember where. It was suggested as one contributing factor in the decline of Presbyterian churches.

Michael W. Kruse

I don't know if that stat is true or not but it wouldn't surprise me. I've long held the suspicion that denominations tend to draw/repel certain temperaments. Our resistance to the stereotypical forms of evangelism, our deeply intellectual church culture, and our desire to worship decently and in order with liturgy all speak to things that would seemingly be attractive to introverts.

Travis Greene

This is one of many books on my wishlist.

I'm an INFJ (though the F is kind of borderline).

JMorrow

I'll definitely check out the book. I for one have seen myself change on the Myers-Brigg results over time. And it definitely effects the kind of ministry I want to engage in or at least where.

I think this statement you make:

"But it secondarily highlights how the church fails to effectively be a holistic community that brings together people of different temperaments because of deeply held assumptions about that see extroversion as the normative way of leading, relating, and worshiping."

has implications not only for diversity of temperament, but also of culture in the Church. If we can see temperamental differences and their effect upon the way our communities and institutions work, then it gives me hope that we can see other differences and tackle/embrace them in like manner.

Dana Ames

Travis! Me too! No wonder I'm always nodding my head at your comments, here and at Jesus Creed!

Dana

Michael Bird

Michael, I'm INTJ as well. In fact, two psychologists told me that I'm so task orientated, that I'm quite likely to commit acts of genocide if deemed necessary to achieve a goal or deadline! You're not alone!!!

Michael W. Kruse

LOL. One counselor told me that every organization needs one or two of our temperament in leadership ... and God help the organization that has more than one or two our type in leadership! ;-)

Jamie Arpin-Ricci

Wow, two other INTJ's visiting the same post. Let me make it 3! It is a fantastic book and I second the endorsement big time.

PEace,
Jamie

Pat

My copy has just arrived and I can't wait to dig into it. Make that 4 INTJs.

ceemac

make it 5... about to go order it

Travis Greene

Dana,

Ditto.

david

Here is an INTP saying this a book that I will be ordering. Thank you!

Pat

Loved it, loved it, loved it. Seldom have I read a book that had me exclaiming out loud, "Oh my goodness!" It was as if McHugh was describing me to a "T". Because McHugh is an introvert, and a reflective one at that, his insights are keen and will be liberating to the introvert. They should also be eye-opening for those seeking to understand introverts. The best chapter I thought was the one entitled, "Introverted Community and Relationships". There McHugh makes the case that not everyone participates in community in the same way and introverts actually operate on a spiral, moving in and out of community as a way to reflect and recharge their batteries. But, I've probably said enough. If you haven't yet gotten this book, I encourage you to do so. You won't be disappointed.

Dave Hackett

OK, I just have to write SOMETHING here (and process my thinking outloud) as a full-fledged extrovert. The book sounds like a substantive contribution.

I've long felt that we diminish the church by our not-too-subtle insistence that the "best" pastors are of one temperament or another. More commonly we bias, I think, toward introvert/reflective types.

As a strong extrovert Presbyterian, I often rebel at the push for pastors to deliver what I call somberness, solemnity, and quietness when the body is gathered. That's where I feel the strength of introverts in the church.

I can't "do" somber and never have been able to do it. (I'd much rather make a party, even out of worship.)

One result of this temperament differential led me to discover the freedom of parachurch ministry (non-profit) - a MUCH healthier place for me where people are encouraged to relate freely and be who they are, etc etc.

This comment is, of course, a jab at our pastoral notions that often (it seems to me) look for deep-wells-of-reflective-wisdom-but-introverted kinds of pastors. The better answer, of course, is that the body of Christ builds itself up best when we have a variety of temperaments in all the leadership positions.

Travis Greene

Dave, your point is well-made, and I don't doubt your own experiences. But I suspect outside of your Presbyterian circles, the strong bias is not for pastors to be introverted.

In any event, I agree that the main point is that we are all created differently in order to together make up the body of Christ. Shoehorning everybody into one kind of personality or style, whatever that is, is not helpful and in fact is downright harmful.

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