Scott McKnight highlights a new book from IVP titled Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture. The author, Adam S. McHugh, is an introvert himself and has some interesting observations about how introverts understand the word “community” — it is “entry, retreat, and reentry.” For someone like me who is zealous for my solitude I can relate.
I have also found the word “retreat” to be something presenting a challenge rather than something refreshing. At just about every retreat I’ve been to, I have broken off from the main group to be by myself. Whether it is going to bed early or sitting off to the side in a corner it always seems to happen. A lot of this can be chalked up to social anxiety, the unjustified need to have all communication happen on my own terms, or a genuine disinterest in certain group activities, but there really is a part of me that would like to be alone.
Is that wrong? That actually has been hard question to answer. Part of me says ‘no’ because that is just how my personality processes life. It’s a natural thing, not a moral thing. On the other hand, I feel like I can use that as an excuse to avoid people and be selfish.
In any case, McHugh’s book looks like an interesting take on a curious problem with regard to how people view themselves and minister to others.