One of the biggest lies the enemy tells us is that we are not qualified to reach out. This lie seems to be prevalent among introverts. When people who would identify more with introverted characteristics think of outreach, they mainly think of people who have characteristics of an extrovert. This lie permeates in their mind, and it is easy for introverts to say, “Outreach/evangelism is just not for me….that is for extraverted people who like that kind of stuff” This; however, can not be further from the truth and church leaders need to start designing outreaches so that introverts and extroverts can equally thrive in outward focused ministry.
Let’s start with this: Outreach can be a very scary word! In fact in my time I have found that about 75% of Christians dislike the idea of doing anything outwardly focused. This I believe is because we have the wrong view and definition of what outreach is. We think of outreach as either a preacher traveling around spitting out Fire and Brimstone to a congregation or we think of the crazies that stand on street corners and yell at people to get saved. I like to define outreach as this:
Outreach = Anything that you say and do that draws not yet believers to Christ
Lets remember that Jesus told us that No one can come to Him, except those who God draws (john 6:44). This automatically takes the responsibility off of us and on God to draw people to Christ.However, with that said, God uses us as tools to reach people with the Gospel and no one is exempt from that calling. Now we can understand it is not us who saves people, but it is God who uses us in outreach (anything that is said and done that draws not yet believers to Christ) to bring people to a saving knowledge of Jesus.
Keeping this in mind and having a revamped definition of what outreach is, it opens the door for everyone to have endless opportunities and ideas for us to reach out and transform our community. We believe that through serving people with no strings attached just to let them know that God loves them is an extremely effective way for God to use us to draw people to Christ. Furthermore the idea of serving speaks to and motivates introverts. I have also found in my time that the same 75% of Christians that disliked the idea of outreach, like the word and idea of serving. So lets combine the two!
What i mean by this, is that you should design outreaches where there are those on your team who serve without speaking, and those on your team who are up front, telling people that you are serving them with no strings attached because that is what Jesus would do today. For instance when we go to businesses to wash windows only a few people out of a team of 10-15 will go and tell the business owners that we are washing windows to display God’s love in a practical way with no strings attached. When the store agrees to let us wash their widows, the entire team gets washing and when we are finished the same few people go in and give the person they spoke with an outreach card and offer to say a quick 10 second prayer with them. Everyone else on the team played an important part in allowing the “few” to speak and pray with people by simply washing the windows of the business.
This is something that we have found introverts identify with and thrive in: Reaching out through serving!
The pictures below of a free leaf raking team are a great example of this. Notice that everyone is simply serving by leaf raking, while one person took the time to speak, reach out, and pray with the homeowner of the yard that the team was leaf raking.
The truth is that God wants and can use anyone no matter who they are, what their age is, or if they identify as an introvert or extrovert. In fact we have seen God grow people from almost vomiting at the idea of sharing Christ with others into being bold Gospel presenters that I trust to share Christ with anyone in any situation. Don’t push your introverts too fast. Give them a towel and some window cleaner, or a rake and some bags and let them know they are a valuable tool that God can use even if they are not speaking or praying with people. I will guarantee you they will grow in their boldness through serving others!
In my next article I will write about which outreaches are best for introverts to serve on.