BY: GREG CAMPIRANO
I’ve been called many names throughout my life, some nice and some not so nice. I’ve grown to accept the compliments and dismiss the criticisms. However, in college I was called something that I had never heard before – INTROVERT!
As a college student, I was a little embarrassed by the fact I didn’t really know what that meant. I had never really heard of introversion before. So I began to look into what it meant. In my research, I came to the conclusion that I am an introvert.
For the longest time, I believed the lie that I was anti-social or even shy, but I knew deep down that wasn’t the case. I’m not shy once you get to know me and I actually do like being around people, I just don’t want to be the center of attention. I realized I needed to do more research to really understand what being introverted meant. As I did more research, I discovered a few things.
Small talk is a big turn off for introverts. We prefer deeper conversations about life and God and nature, rather than small talk about the weather or local sports. Deep conversations and deep relationships are key for an introvert to thrive.
Introverts are not anti-social. We tend to prefer smaller groups of friends with a more intimate feel - quality time over quantity time. Big groups drain us of our energy. We would prefer spending time with two or three close friends at home rather than go to a party full of people. This is why an introvert may need to be left alone after a big event. While extroverts draw their energy from crowds and activities, introverts are almost the polar opposite. They are not trying to be mean or anti-social, they just need to get away to recharge. I think Jesus did that, didn’t he?
Introverts are not shy. We will gladly do what is asked of us when given the opportunity, but we need time to prepare. Don’t put an introvert on the spot. Introverts need time to plan and think things through.
Introverts can play a vital part in ministry when they are allowed to do so. While you are planning your events, let an introvert take part in your meetings and, you have to be willing to listen to their opinions. Introverts perceive the world from the back of the room and not from the stage. They can give you a different insight on things that otherwise may not have been brought to light.
As an introvert in ministry, I have dealt with multiple personality types. I’ve learned to adjust my personality to handle whatever situation I may be in. I still don’t please everyone, I still get called names, but at least now, introvert isn’t an insult.
Greg enjoys playing his guitar ad his Xbox. He also enjoys eating and watching movies based on comics. Greg is a graduate of SAGU and is currently the youth pastor at First Assembly of God in Elk City, Oklahoma. Greg and his wife, Angela, have two dogs, Loki the Bulldog and Thor the Great Dane.