Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

The Book: Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture by Adam S. McHugh

:10 — The Gist: Many churches—particularly evangelical churches—tend to be extroverted places where introverts are marginalized, causing some Christians to feel they are not being faithful. McHugh shows how introverts can live and minister in ways consistent with their personalities.

:20 — The Quote: “If human perfection, epitomized in the person of Jesus, includes extroversion then a large number of the population will always and irredeemably fall short. This adds a theological component to the already-prevailing cultural prejudice that extroversion is the superior temperament.” (p. 16)

:30 — The Good: Although the book is relatively brief (222 pages) it provides a comprehensive introduction to the role of introverts in the community of believers.

:40 — The Blah: Because the book covers the subject from so many angles and attempts to explain the subject to various groups—from introverted
parishioners to extroverted pastors—not every section will be valuable to all readers.

:50 — The Verdict: As an introvert who has always attended non-liturgical “sociable” churches, I’ve always felt my lack of sociability was a sign of spiritual malaise. McHugh provides a valuable corrective to this self-defeating mentality. Few books published this year will likely have as valuable an impact as this slim volume.

:60 — The Recommendation: While the book is most valuable to discouraged introverts, everyone involved in church ministry needs to hear McHugh’s message and implement his recommendations.

More on: Books

Comments are visible to subscribers only. Log in or subscribe to join the conversation.



Filter First Thoughts Posts

Related Articles