BrettBoe

equipping God's people for free and living Christianity

Category: Misc

My Pastor is an Introvert

If you are connected with King of Glory Lutheran in Shakopee, you can confidently say the title of this post is true. While it may come as a surprise to you, it is a reality that I have long known. First, let’s define “introvert.”
An introvert is someone who generally gets recharged by being alone. There is a t-shirt out there that says, “Introverts, Unite…Separately in Your Own Homes!” That statement captures well the essence of being an introvert. Extroverts, on the other hand, recharge by being with people. Introverts tend to be on the shy side, are unassuming, and quiet.

Introverts Unite

As one who has sensed the calling to be a pastor, I have wrestled with how my personality fits with a calling to be a “people-person.” Those around me have strongly encouraged me to fulfill the ministry to which God has called me. That has been my drive for a long time, but every now and then I wallow in the struggle. That struggle usually comes with a time of introspection. It is good to be thoughtful, but sometimes the thoughts tend toward the discouraging side. I have been doing some introspection lately. I even confided in a group of fellow pastors about my struggles in this area. They were extremely encouraging to me, reminding me of God’s grace through this battle. Now that I’ve come through that “valley,” I’d like to share some points with you regarding my introversion. It will give you a glimpse into my mind and heart and hopefully will help us grow together:

1) I struggle with initiating stuff

Hosting, planning, and carrying out of get-togethers are especially draining on me. I really struggle with inviting people to special events. Sounds funny, doesn’t it? I love that event and I love that person and I want that person to benefit from that event. What’s wrong? As an introvert, I often feel like I am bothering people. I need to keep reminding myself that I am not a bother (at least I hope not!!). As a pastor, I feel the need to promote and emphasize ministries. Perhaps I sometimes come across as not excited about a certain ministry. I have loved to join forces with others who are gifted in initiating. This is a reminder to me that one person cannot fulfill every aspect of ministry well. God has gifted all of us in different ways. Perhaps those of you who are good “initiators” can fill the gaps where I am weak.

2) I care deeply about people even though I’m not a “social butterfly”

An introverted pastor will most likely be found in a corner visiting with one person instead of floating around the fellowship hall. A pastor from my past exemplified this well. Though he seemed to not flutter around the room and be chummy with everyone, he was well-loved and respected. Sure, some people would like a pastor who can “talk your ear off” in conversations, but I’m afraid I won’t provide that as an introvert. But that does not mean that as a pastor I love you less than pastors who have that gifting. On the flip side, I have noticed that a strength of introverts is the ability to listen. In learning myself and how I work, I have tried hard to be a good communicator, a good listener, and good question-asker. Another thing I’ve noticed that I enjoy as a pastor who happens to be an introvert: people tend to approach me. By being a pastor I have a built-in benefit of people seeking me out to talk. That fits well with point number one above.

3) I will not use my tendency towards introversion as an excuse to not fulfill my duties as pastor.

I don’t want to appear that I am whining in this post. I am opening up myself to you and sharing what goes on in my mind and heart. Though I have certain strengths and weaknesses as an introvert, I refuse to use that as an excuse to avoid doing the tasks that seem hard to me. This weakness often leads me to pray, “Lord, give me strength and boldness to carry out this task.” And, I can confirm, God has been faithful to me. I have seen through the years how God has molded me and changed me. He has equipped me with what I need to serve in this role. Sure, it might mean that I need to crash after church in nap time by myself to rejuvenate. But, God gives me a love for His people, His flock that He has entrusted to me to shepherd. That is a great privilege and I will not hide behind my introversion. If it seems that I am, you are welcome to confront me.

It’s amazing to me that God uses me, and each of us, in our weaknesses. You know what? I believe extroverts can say the same thing. No matter how God has wired us, no matter what type of personality He has given us, all of us can say, “For when I am weak, You (God) are strong. For your power was perfected in my weakness.”

Thinking Biblically about Minimalism

It was 8:57 PM at the Boe household last Saturday night. Typically my wife and I would be winding down, doing something relaxing until bedtime. On this night, though, both of us were conked out, fast asleep. Our usual bedtime is around 10:30. Why were were so exhausted that we just couldn’t keep our eyelids open? We had just completed two full days of hosting a garage sale. For those of you who have had a garage sale, you understand what we were feeling. It was a ton of work. And, in the end, we got rid of a lot of stuff, big things and little things. We even made a little bit of money to boot. But, I don’t think we’ll plan on doing another in the future!

The motivation to have a garage sale came from our desire to reduce clutter in our home. Spring cleaning and my growing interest in the “Minimalist” movement provided the perfect springboard. While you could do a quick web search to learn all you might ever want to know about minimalism, a simple definition of a minimalist is this: he or she keeps the possessions that are truly needed to focus on the most important things of life while discarding non-essentials items. It’s not about having fewer than a certain number of possessions, but it does consist of using the items you have for God’s glory. (You can see I am already adding a biblical worldview to this lifestyle.)

The “Minimalism” movement has been picking up momentum in recent years. I have enjoyed reading and listening to what authors and speakers have to say on the topic. Perhaps certain stereotypes come to mind when you hear the term. For example, there is a major league baseball player who styles himself as a minimalist and lives in his van with all of his few possessions. While some concerning things, such as Eastern mysticism, appear in scattered bits of the literature, there is also a Christian community within this movement. Minimalism itself is not inherently right or wrong, it is simply a tool that some people choose to use.

Norris Van

Joshua Becker, blogger at BecomingMinimalist.com, writes about how he started along his minimalism path: He was spending one beautiful Saturday afternoon in his stuffy garage, cleaning and organizing. As he wiped the sweat off his brow, he noticed his son playing football in the backyard. It dawned upon him, “What am I doing?”
Another minimalist teaches this form of decluttering: Pick up each possession and ask yourself, “Does this bring me joy?”
The “Minimalists” are two guys who blog and create podcasts on minimalism. They have a 20/20 rule for those “I might use it later” items. If I get rid of this item, can I purchase it for $20 or less from a store or person who lives within 20 minutes of me? They have another helpful rule: Have you used this item in the last 90 days? Will you use it in the next 90 days? If not, it may be time to get rid of it.

While I am not asserting that you need to become a “minimalist,” I would like you to consider how you use your possessions, or how they use you. There are a number of Scripture passages that touch on this subject.
In Luke 12:15 Jesus asserts, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” I think we forget this. At least I do. I get easily wrapped up in what I want to buy next. Thinking carefully about this topic has helped me slow down in considering my next purchase. What purpose will this item serve in my life?

In the sermon on the Mount Jesus taught, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19–21). As we were preparing for our garage sale, I actually found a dead moth in the back of my closet. These verses immediately came to mind. We won’t take any of our stuff with us anyway. As a country song asks, “Have you ever seen a hearse with a trailer hitch?”

hearse-uhaul

We may be feeling guilty for having too much stuff, or for falling into greed. It’s in that moment that God graciously shows you His treasure that He gives for free to you. That’s better than any deal you can get at an auction or yard sale!

Surprisingly, we can and should think biblically about the “stuff” we own. Having that knowledge helps us keep everything in perspective and efficiently serve those around us in our vocations.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén