Personality and Spirituality
The terms "introvert" and "extrovert” were originally introduced by Swiss psychiatrist C.G. Jung in the early 20th century in his book Psychological Types. Most people easily identify with one more than the other when it comes to introversion and extroversion.
Those who consider themselves introverts derive their energy from within. They relish time spent alone in reflection. Those who consider themselves extroverts, on the other hand, derive their energy externally. They need to spend time with others discussing ideas aloud. Both are capable of enjoying social situations and moments of solitude. However, they differ on how much they can withstand of each.
When it comes to spiritual matters, our preferred study and worship methods may be influenced by our personality types. So, how do we find commonality through our individuality? We decided to share a few ideas that help us along our faith journey, based on our personality preferences. Then, we share ways that we have found we can live out our faith together. How does this look in your life? Do any of these resonate with you? Check in with yourself and your family and see what you discover!
Introvert: Reserved, Focused, Observant
- Books. Reading is one of my favorite hobbies, so using my alone time to digest books on spiritual topics is a great way to deepen my relationship with God. Although not discussing the ideas of the book with others, I find that reading gives me the chance to reconcile those thoughts within myself before talking about them with family or friends.
- Digital Sermons. Much like reading, listening to sermons is one of the ways I stretch my spirituality. The interconnectivity of today’s world allows us to go anywhere we want at the click of a button, meaning that almost any pastor we enjoy listening to can be heard any day of the week. Because of that, I’ll listen to some of my favorite preachers on long road trips and the time to myself gives me ample opportunity to internalize those ideas.
Extrovert: Talkative, Outgoing, Enthusiastic
- Classes and Book Clubs. Taking a class on a spiritual subject or joining a book club that is working through a Christian book can be rewarding. It allows me to study and share my thoughts and perspectives with others while drawing my own conclusions. I enjoy getting to know the others in the group and appreciate their contributions as they expand my worldview. I’m also able to mix up my weekly routine since these tend to last a couple of weeks or months.
- Journaling. This may seem like an introvert activity, but Bible study journaling allows me to get my thoughts out of my head and onto the paper. I have found myself both in tears and smiling widely as I write out prayer requests or praises. Journaling gives me an opportunity to slow down and ask God questions. I’m able to to share things I’m learning and discovering. Additionally, I get to look back on past prayers and see how God has blessed and led me.
Faith Merger: Studying and Serving Together
- Small Group Bible Study. Small is important here. The smaller the group, the more intimate and focussed the discussion will be. Introverts enjoy participating in these discussions especially when the subject is intentional and requires research. Extroverts enjoy hearing well thought-out ideas and learning from what introverts have discovered.
- Church Greeters. While this is a highly social enterprise, introverts can enjoy the quick friendly interactions while extroverts are energized by greeting and speaking to many people. We have really enjoyed doing this activity together. We even have a few minutes to just talk to each other, between waves of church goers, which gives us a quiet opportunity to share together.
By Kristina Pascual, Southwestern Union Associate Communication Director, and Jason Busch, Texas Conference Communication Director