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Gifts of an Introvert

by Julie B. Sevig

For more than 15 years I was in a vocation that required me to be more extrovert than introvert. I was a youth director.

To do that job I learned guitar well enough to make it through a handful of camp songs, I gave plenty of children’s sermons, and I routinely led groups and stood in front of people, tapping into as much rah-rah personality as I could muster. The job—at two different large churches—drained me.

I’m not saying I wasn’t any good at it. In fact, I was pretty good, and there was much joy in it. But as I reflect on several decades of work life (and sift through a file full of results from random personality invento­ries), I’m keenly aware I’m not suited for that job today.

Maybe you’ve had the same experience. Perhaps you’ve been encouraged to take your turn at leading the Bible study but the mere suggestion of it makes your palms sweat or your heart race. Or maybe you’ve been sentenced to church kitchen duty when you’d much rather be behind the microphone or working the crowd as part of a hospitality team. Whatever the assignment or job, you may have thought—or even said out loud (that would be brave)—“You can’t possibly be serious!” as the author of this issue’s Bible study ses­sion suggests.

My dear readers who consider themselves extro­verted, the next few paragraphs are directed to introverts—so perhaps you’d like to grab a cup of coffee and find someone with whom to visit—or better yet, a party.

Julie B. Sevig is an associate editor of The Lutheran magazine, and as such, feels more comfortable at a computer than a microphone.

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