The Introvert and the Great Commission

Clutching my 4 Spiritual Laws pocket book, and nervously watching for someone who might look like a nice person. ‘Nice’ meaning someone who wouldn’t scream at my face for wanting to share the gospel.

That memory of Street Evangelism will always make my heart beat like crazy and soles of my feet cold. I was only 12 years old then. Inviting friends to church outreach programmes was easier but also a big challenge for me.

It didn’t get better as I grew older. People would say, perhaps you will grow out of the shyness. But it didn’t get better because in university, I secretly heaved a sigh of relief when I managed to wriggle out of Street Evangelism again because the truth is – I am an INTROVERT.

INTROVERT – a typically reserved or quiet person who tends to be introspective and enjoys spending time alone

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/introvert

I am commonly misunderstood as an extrovert. My best friend once commented, “You like to talk so much, you can easily make friends with a stranger.” I thought in my heart, “No, I only talk so much to YOU because there is no one else whom I can talk to.”

For 27 years, my introvert nature has been a thorn in the flesh for me. I felt lost and condemned for not having the courage to share the gospel during evangelistic programmes. After all, it is a commandment – it is THE GREAT COMMISSION. So how does an INTROVERT fit into the Great Commission?

Jesus is the Gospel

Last year, I read “The Great Commission” again. But this time my eyes focused on first part of it, verse 17:

When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted!

Matthew 28:17 (NLT)

Let’s see Jesus and worship Him. In whatever we do or say, it is for the audience of ONE – Jesus.

An Obedient Heart

And then I focused on the last part of it, verse 20:

Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

Matthew 28:20 (NLT)

Let’s live a life that’s obedient to His word. May our lifestyles glorify Him and those around us will see Jesus in our lives.

Be Strong and Courageous

I love how Jesus always hears our emotions. He knows we are fearful and assures us that He will be with us always. Whenever the disciples fear, the first thing he says is “Do not fear…” God will send help and support when we fear in public speaking, sharing in small groups or even one-to-one. Moses was so fearful of speaking to the Israelites that God sent Aaron to be his helper and mouthpiece.

Sharing the Good News

The gospel is the Good News of Jesus. And it should be shared from our hearts.

I have told all your people about your justice.
    I have not been afraid to speak out,
    as you, O Lord, well know.
I have not kept the good news of your justice hidden in my heart;
    I have talked about your faithfulness and saving power.
I have told everyone in the great assembly
    of your unfailing love and faithfulness.

Psalm 40:9-10 NLT

Let’s share the good news – about Jesus’ faithfulness, unfailing love and saving power in our lives.

The Introvert has a role in the Great Commission. That role may be sharing about God’s love through songs, serving the community through volunteer work or watching out for the needs of others in our comings and goings. That role can also be in the form of ‘writing’ – writing about the good news. I’ve never thought of myself as a writer, even during my days as a student who did well in English. But over the years I discovered that God has given me the opportunity to write stories for His glory. And in writing, I also discover more about my faith.

Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.

2 Timothy 4:2 NLT

A casual lunch-date with a pre-believing friend could be THE TIME to share the word of God. Slowly but surely, the Holy Spirit will teach us Introverts to be ever ready in season and out of season to share the gospel, and in our own special way that God has destined for us in The Great Commission.