The thing about being an extrovert (at least for me) is that it’s not just that I love spending time with people, or that I love chatting things through with people, it’s that I need to do those things. I process things out loud. Which is one of the main reasons why I can’t make a major decision without telling pretty much everyone I know. And it’s about more than getting advice. Yes, advice does help, but it’s when I say things that I process them in my head too. I think best when I’m talking.
Tonight I realised 2 reasons why this makes ministry difficult. The first is that in the middle of a hard conversation with someone thinking out loud is pretty unhelpful. The second, and more difficult, is after that conversation I really need to talk about it! In the absence of a husband its hard to know who is an appropriate person to debrief with. Tonight the answer is no-one. So during my very long drive home I tried the distraction method – listen to loud music, plan a Sunday school lesson in my head etc etc… anything but think about the conversation I just had. Because at this moment thinking about it just equals me running over everything I said or didn’t say trying to work out how badly I screwed it up. That’s probably not heathy right?
But on the bright side I have a new journey of self discovery – finding the art of processing things in silence.
from one extrovert to another.
talk it out loud with God. . I think it is funny we often only speak out loud to God when others are around but when on our own with God, its seems weird?!!? In a car is perfect as people in other cars won’t think you are crazy, they’ll just think you have hands free phone.
or prayer journal it. conversing with God on paper takes longer and often slows your thoughts down. this is especially good if you have heaps of thoughts about it, writing down streamlines your thoughts into something sort of coherent.
I tried journalling a few years ago but wasn’t much into it. I should probably give it another go though.
funny that talking out loud to God never crossed my mind. seems so obvious now – thanks hayley :)
Funny you should post this. I’m just in the midst of reading “Introverts in the church”
I’ve heard that’s quite good. I need a book on ‘Extroverts in ministry’ but this is really the first time I’ve though being extroverted is a disadvantage
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am only ever a phone call away :)
not sure if I’m extroverted, but starting to think I am because I need to talk things out loud with people. I know exactly what you’re talking about katierae. And I work in ministry too. There are times when I just have to cry because I’m not sure who is the person I can debrief with.
I definitely talk to God in the car. It’s definitely worth doing. my only concern with that is that if it’s the only type of debriefing you do you can caught up in self-analysis, and in some ways you can be so used to talking to God on your own that you forget how to do it with others. I’m experiencing that at the moment, so I think it’s always good to find a balance because it is important to work things through in community.
I agree with you on that – working things through in community is important. I wish all things could be done in community :)