Jump directly to the content

Already a subscriber?

Home > Issues > 2011 > Summer > The Introverted Leader

FirstPreviousPage 5 of 5NextLast

Mature introverted leaders have learned how to monitor their energy levels. They are experts in knowing how to save and restore their energy. Therefore, if introverts want endurance and joy in ministry and in their personal lives, we must be thoughtful about scheduling. When I was a hospice chaplain, I learned to space out my appointments with patients so that I would have recovery time between meetings. More importantly, I had to learn how to decline even appealing invitations when they interfered with my rhythms of self-care. To an introverted leader, the magic word may not be "please;" it may be "no." I know an introverted pastor and sought-after conference speaker who, during busy months, will preschedule "NOTHING" days into his calendar a few days per month when he bans himself from any events or meetings. He shares his calendar with a few trusted friends who hold him accountable to leave those days open.

However, even as we are intentional about our scheduling, we must leave room for the surprising work of God. Introverts can become so absorbed in our internal worlds that we miss the needs of others around us. Our scheduling and emotional boundaries must not preempt the divine interjections that shape so much of our identity and our work. We must remember that the events that form the foundation of our calling—the incarnation of the Son of God and his resurrection from the dead—were cosmic interruptions in a world that had grown callous to God's love.

This article was adapted from Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture. © 2009 by Adam S. McHugh. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, PO Box 1400 Downers Grove, IL 60515.

Adam S. McHugh is a Presbyterian pastor, spiritual director, and retreat leader. He lives in Claremont, California.

FirstPreviousPage 5 of 5NextLast

From Issue:Authority Issues, Summer 2011 | Posted: August 29, 2011

Also in this Issue: Summer 2011

Pastor in the Present TenseSubscriber Access Only

Your place and essential identity.

The Ultimate "No Brainer"Subscriber Access Only


How Prayer Transforms PrepSubscriber Access Only

Toolkit: Preaching

From Relevant Dude to Spiritual Father

Baby Boomers wanted pastors who were "with it," competent, efficient. A new generation is looking for something very different.

Not a Subscriber?

Subscribe Today!

  • Monthly issues on web and iPad
  • Web exclusives and archives on Leadership Journal.net
  • Quarterly print issues

Print subscriber? Activate your online account for complete access.

Join the Conversation

Average User Rating:

Displaying 1–1 of 1 comments


February 07, 2013  9:42am

Even "ambiverts" like me can get so much out of this article. Thanks!

Report Abuse
Use your Leadership Journal login to easily comment and rate this article.
Not part of the community? Subscribe, or on public pages, register for a free account.
Editor's Pick
Changing Notions of Community

Changing Notions of Community

Guiding church in a time of declining attendance.
Sister Sites