Nobody has ever accused me of being quiet. In fact, I am the quintessential extrovert. I am talkative. I am loud. I am Tigger on steroids.
Quiet people are a mystery to me. I am amazed at how they can just sit there and listen. Unlike me, they don’t seem to feel that overwhelming need to participate in the discussion, to share, to be heard.
I have often wondered what it would be like to be quiet and shy. I know I would save myself not a little grief. A wise man once said, “You can be quiet and let people think you are stupid or open your mouth and prove it.”
I have generally chosen the latter.
But being an extrovert does have its upside. As a pastor, I get to know people quickly. I am not easily embarrassed and am willing to take chances. I feel comfortable speaking in front of groups and taking the lead on projects.
Being an extrovert opens many doors for me as a pastor and allows me to share the gospel with a large number of people.
You can always tell the extroverts in a church. They are the ones raising their hands in Bible Class. They are the ones taking the lead in meetings. They are the ones who greet new people at the door and take charge when there is a crisis.
People look up to them. They are charismatic and aggressive. They are the ones who seem to be doing more in service to God and others. In fact, they sometimes get frustrated with quiet Christians whom they often perceive as lazy, unengaged or apathetic.
So please allow me, quiet Christian, to speak in your defense. In 1 Corinthians 12, the Apostle Paul compares the Christian Church to a body. We are all different parts of that body. Not all of us our mouths.
And that is a good thing.
Sadly, the service of quiet Christians often goes unnoticed. When I serve at church, everybody knows it because you can hear me a mile away.
Most people, however, don’t notice the woman who picks up the rags from the church kitchen every week to wash them. You don’t hear the silent prayers offered for you and others by the little old lady at the end of the pew. We easily fail to see the unassuming plumber who sits in the back of church – the one who always makes sure the toilets at the church and parsonage are in working order.
The mom who quietly cleans her home, raises her children and loves her husband. The father who stoically and faithfully provides for his family. The young, single woman who visits her grandmother every day at the nursing home.
Now, don’t get me wrong, quiet Christian. The devil is going to tempt you to use your quietness as an excuse to not serve, to not participate or to not speak when words need to be said. Sometimes quiet Christians need to speak up, just like sometimes us loud Christians need to close our mouths and listen.
But please don’t ever feel like your service to God is any less meaningful or important because nobody seems to notice.