If you’ve read this blog for some time, you know that I’m an introvert. I’m also a Professor of Evangelism and Missions at Southeastern Seminary, which might sound almost like a contradiction. I’m convinced, though, that introverts can do well in ministry, including doing evangelism. Here are some steps that have helped me in evangelizing:
- Refuse to allow your introverted nature to excuse you from doing evangelism. I typically don’t mind being by myself. I’m not going to be the “life of the party” at the office gathering. I’m generally quiet in crowds. None of these tendencies, though, gives me permission to not tell others about Jesus.
- Be motivated by the reality of lostness, judgment, and God’s grace through Christ. That is, it’s my theology that compels me to get outside my introversion and reach out to people. My beliefs won’t allow me to stay in the corner.
- Make yourself see people not as intruders on your space, but as sheep without a shepherd. I like my alone time, and I fight to get it somedays. Anytime I feel overwhelmed by people, though, I want to see them as Jesus saw them (Matt. 9:36).
- Focus on a few people at a time. That’s naturally my bent—that is, I have fewer deep relationships—but that helps me focus in evangelism. I want to be ready at any time to name the non-believers for whom I’m praying, with whom I’m developing relationships, and with whom I’ve shared the gospel.
- Pray for daily opportunities to share the gospel. The apostle Paul requested the Ephesians and the Colossians (Eph. 6:18-20, Col. 4:2-4) to pray that he would have opportunity, boldness, and clarity to tell the good news. I surely need that kind of prayer support, too—and praying that way forces me to keep my eyes and ears open for opportunities.
- Listen well to others. Introverts are often good listeners, and I try to be. Inviting someone to tell his or her own story—and then genuinely listening with intentionality—often says, “I care about who you are and where you’ve been.” That kind of care can open the door to sharing the gospel.
- Ask for an opportunity to share the gospel with someone. I’ve written about this approach elsewhere, but it helps me avoid the sense of trying to slide the gospel in the side door of a conversation. If my hearer grants me space for telling my story, I’m ready to go.
Other introverts, tell us what works for you in evangelism!