Thursday, October 05, 2006

Evangelism for Introverts

What a week this has been. So much news to blog about, but instead, I want to draw your attention to something else of far more importance.

I am by nature an introvert. I don't do "public" well, something that might surprise you given that I have been in media for much of my adult life. But it's true. The following link will take you to an insightful article by World Magazine editor Marvin Olasky, actually an interview with author/speaker Mike Bechtle. While the advice therein is for would-be introverted evangelists, I think it is salient information for all of us as believers. It speaks of how real evangelism ought to be. Day by day, one by one, one on one in our everyday lives with each opportunity the Lord grants us. Rather than aggressiveness, or what is tongue-in-cheekily called "spam evangelism," Bechtle recommends the evangelism of a life lived, albeit being open and forthright with the Gospel. I highly recommend this article. Good advice for all of us who have been turned off by the plaid-jacket, cornpone, "spit-into-the-third-row" used car huckster mannerisms often displayed in TV-evangelist fashion...even when it's not on TV.

World Magazine

6 comments:

lee n. field said...

That is good. And I could probably "out-introvert" you.

"Introverts don't need to be 'fixed'"

Amen.

"but it takes longer to formulate their thoughts. That's why introverts often think of the perfect thing to say about 30 minutes after the conversation ends."

That also resonates.

Brian said...

I am an extrovert but am in the wrong branch of 'the media'. I do have to say that there is far too much televised evangelism in AMerica. For those who are truly religious to be stereotyped in with the chuckling and screaming stage-hugging, limelight loving hucksters is simply wrong. That being said, those types of 'preachers' are usually stuck between infomercials for RonCo's Rotisserie machine and the Scuncii Steamer which is their rightful place.

SolaMeanie said...

Brian,

I always appreciate the "quiet" ones such as Radio Bible Class' "Day of Discovery" (at least the way it was years ago), Ben Haden, etc.

Unfortunately, the more theatrical ones seem to have most of the airtime.

crownring said...

If it matters, I was once called a closet extrovert. (laughing) There's nothing wrong with being the strong silent type, Sola, unless the theater is on fire! ;)

There's an old saying I haven't heard repeated for quite a long while. ACTIONS speak louder than words. Popular or not, it would seem to be as true today as it was in yesteryear. Perhaps that's why I haven't felt compelled to post on IMDb lately.

Randy said...

Joel,
Most would see me as an extrovert. However I am anything but that. I can do the song and dance for the masses but I prefer solitude and only a very few close friends. In radio, I was behind a mic in an enclosed studio. I knew that many were listening, but I didn't have to see them. I always hated the beg-a-thons we did with all the crowds around.
As far as the evangelism thing, I never understood something. This church I went to when I first came to the Lord made a concentrated effort to knock on doors on Saturdays to tell people about Christ. But, did those same people share the gospel with those they worked with daily, came across with in public, etc? Always made me wonder. And...I cannot stand the television preachers. I don't see (or sense) a spirit of humility in these guys. There's an air of arrogance that proceeds from the mouths of the self-proclaimed modern day prophets of God.
As you and I mentioned before, crowds don't always confirm that God is blessing. He could be. But the litmus test is always if the true Word of God is being preached correctly.
Be well.

Joe B. Whitchurch said...

A high pressure 'christian cult' that emphasized baptismal regeneration and strong-armed discipleship techniques, also baptized "being an extrovert" as a sanctification must. I believe they even concluded that Jesus was an ENTJ from a popular personality test. You can imagine how thrilled I was to hear this as an ENTJ except for the fact that I think this group was totally off the wall. It is great to hear from the more reflective side about doing the work of evangelism and yes even the work of discipleship. The louder, public charisma types may draw crowds and some followers but I don't think they necessarily keep them. I thought the illustration of the public requested kiss and the desensitizing affect on the non buy-ins was an intriguing side effect to contemplate on a number of matters. Like emerging church, dumbing down the preaching, softness on eschatology and exegesis, the 'ugly american' loudmouth syndrone, etc. Thanks for promoting this article Joel.