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Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture Paperback – 1 Nov 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Non Basic Stock Line (1 Nov. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830837027
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830837021
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.8 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 235,133 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"What a timely and badly needed book! Introverts in the Church will encourage thousands of Christians who have felt as if they don't quite fit. It will help them find their rightful place in Christian community, so that their gifts might be well used in the work of the kingdom. This book will also help churches to be a place where all people can flourish as disciples of Jesus. Adam McHugh has given us a precious gift through his openness, theological soundness and godly wisdom." ----Dr. Mark D. Roberts, senior director and scholar-in-residence, Laity Lodge

"This is a book that all leaders in the church should read! It made me realize that I owe an apology to all the introverts whose insights and contributions I have not understood or have overlooked. McHugh's perceptions are crucial for churches in our extremely extroverted society--we are missing some of God's best treasures for Christ's body. I highly recommend this book to everyone who wishes more thoroughly to understand the Holy Spirit's creation of a diversity of personalities and gifts." -- --Marva J. Dawn, teaching fellow in spiritual theology, Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia, and author of My Soul Waits, Keeping the Sabbath Wholly and In the Beginning, GOD

"At last a book for and about introverts in ministry, and a wonderful book it is! McHugh unpacks the challenges and characteristics of the introvert leader in a ministry world designed for extroverts. He offers practical guidance for developing as a leader, evangelizing, joining a community, preaching and becoming spiritually mature in Christ. The book not only helps introverts, but it can serve as a great resource for extroverts who lead, coach, mentor or relate to introverts." -- --MaryKate Morse, author of Making Room for Leadership, and an introvert

"Introverts, take heart! As an introvert myself--an off-the-chart 'I' on the Myers-Briggs--I find certain aspects of church life, like speaking to other human beings every Sunday, really taxing. McHugh thoughtfully explores the gifts introverts bring to the church, and he considers both how introverts can live well in the church and how churches can be more hospitable to us." ----Lauren F. Winner, Duke Divinity School, author of Girl Meets God

"As a fellow introvert, I well know the tension, irony and even contradiction of being in vocational ministry where public speaking and being with people are major and vital parts of our roles. This book puts together extremely helpful thinking to better understand who we are and how to navigate and celebrate being introverted and in leadership in an extroverted world."
----Dan Kimball, author of They Like Jesus but Not the Church

About the Author

Adam S. McHugh (Th.M., Princeton Theological Seminary) is an ordained Presbyterian minister, a spiritual director and an introvert. He has served at two Presbyterian churches, as a hospice chaplain and as campus staff with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. He and his wife live in Claremont, California.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 9 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
Over 30% of the UK population are Introverts and yet they are often forced to operate within a system that is decidedly Extrovert and this goes for many in today's Churches. As the Church, faced with falling numbers, has sought to attract new members, many of its services have become more extrovert in nature forcing Introverts to make the unenviable decision, "should I go or should I stay." It's not that Ministers are deliberately forcing people out, introversion is simply not something that has appeared on their radar. Adam McHugh's book seeks to put Introverts back into that picture.

Written by an Introvert, I soon found that many of Adam's experiences mirrored my own, after forty years of ministry here was somebody putting into words many of the things I constantly felt and experienced each day. If that is all the book did it would be worth buying, but it does more - it says it all right to be an Introvert. The book also contains practical advice as to how an Introvert can cope, especially those called to minister, and that is its great strength, it is not academic it is practical.

This book will be of use to anyone in the Church who feels they may be introverted, but it is also of use to Extroverts in helping them both understand and cater for those of the congregation who may seem to them distant and aloof. I will go further and suggest that this book should be in the library of every major theological seminary. I also firmly believe it should be required reading for all Ministerial candidates. My own church has two ordinands coming for placement training this year - guess what they will be getting!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Meadows on 26 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback
I make no bones about the fact that any time I do a Meyers-Briggs type personality test I invariably come out as an INTJ.

Rarely do I read a book and start muttering words of agreement under my breath as I do so, but this was one of the few as I read through the first couple of chapters. One thing I had been wary of was that, being American in origin, the translation across the Atlantic would not work well. McHugh includes sets of questions at the back of the book, which I find slightly patronising, though it does seem to be a peculiarly British thing to find them as such. For the most part, though, it does translate very well. The kinds of characters and scenarios described are very familiar, and I could even have provided alternative names for some of them which would have fitted nicely.

The first part of the book really looks at the issues that introverts face in being part of a church. While I heartily agreed with most of it, I couldn't help but think that the key beneficiaries of reading this would actually be extroverts. The thing is, and one may guess this from my blogging, that introverts communicate better when there is time to stop, think and carefully choose the rights the words. So for an introvert like me, this read as a great encouragement, telling me "you're not the only one" and I think others may well read it in a similar manner.

McHugh admits that the most difficult chapter was that on introverts in community. This is very carefully and well-thought through with much to mull over as well as practical suggestions. Where the book got a little turgid was in the two chapters (which take up just over a quarter of the book) on leadership. This is just my view, as I have neither any position of leadership or desire to occupy one.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Jason D. Ward on 10 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback
The author of Introverts in the Church has tackled an important subject with helpful insights.
Unfortunately, though being a fellow introvert, I cannot endorse all his conclusions.

To my mind, the solutions to introverts struggling in an extrovert evangelical culture are not in here.

It may be because he speaks to an American context, but his default introvert seems to be a shy intellectual, and his extrovert is a party animal with no brain. Because he appreciates a silent monastic approach to Christian faith, he seems to think that all introverts would enjoy this. I can think of nothing that would make me more tense and anxious!

He raises good points in the first few chapters- that we sanctify extroversion during our coffee times, that we assume Jesus was extrovert despite taking time out regularly, that many pastors who shape our concept of great churches tend towards gregariousness.
However, I cannot agree that the solution he frequently returns to - to bring back mysticism and monastic worship - is the right one.

Simply because not speaking to each other solves a shy person's agoraphobia does not mean it is a theologically sound move. His affectionate quoting of some distinctly non-evangelical writers indicates that his thinking may be widely informed, but will not sit easy with a classic reformed position. Henri Nouwen is his favourite, and I cannot agree; such a theology prizes a broken heart or mind as a kind of window into a gnostic understanding of God. I could be wrong, but I thought the line between introversion and depression was also blurred frequently. Depression is a separate topic altogether; valuable, but separate.
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