pastor

The Art of Conversation… for Introverts!

crowd

I’m an introvert.

I’m also a pastor.

In my role as a pastor, I am forced out of my comfortable and solitary box to form genuine connections with people on a regular basis. Those of you that are introverts understand how seemingly impossible this is for us!

Being an introvert does NOT mean I’m shy.

Shyness is one of the characteristics introverts are given because we prefer to not be around a lot of people. Introverts are drained by people while extroverts get a boost of energy after having small talk with the 50th person in the room (that would be a nightmare for us!). On the other hand, introverts gain energy by being alone or with a very small group of trusted friends.

Most of the people who meet me automatically assume I’m an extrovert. Contrary to this belief, I am much more comfortable reading books written by dead guys about subjects most people aren’t interested in. I have been working on a paper all morning and feel incredibly energized and refreshed! On the other hand, every Sunday after church I am physically and mentally exhausted.

If you’re an introvert, I want to help you. Here are three things that will enable you to thrive in the midst of an extroverted world!

1. Play to your Strengths.
I can spend hours reading, writing, and doing research. Many introverts are known as “bookworms”. This is a GOOD thing! When it comes to thriving in conversation, use your research skills! I have spent hours reading about the art of conversation. Although it may not be natural to you, I would challenge you to attack it with the same tenacity as you would a research or writing project.

2. Write-Down Questions.
This may sound cheesy but I literally write down questions when I’m going out to eat with someone. I don’t bring my questions with and interview them (usually) but it enables me to lead the conversation and express a genuine interest in the other person. If you prepare before a planned conversation (which most introverts dread), you will earn the other person’s favor and they will think you are one of the most engaging people they have met!

This leads me to my third point…

3. Be Curious about People.
I’m a closet psychologist. I love to observe how people react in social situations, especially in large groups. I am also fascinated by the lives of people in general. I love to hear stories about what shaped each person to become who they are. In order to master the art of conversation, you need to have genuine interest in other people. This helps spark questions and earn favor from the people you speak with.

Excellent conversation skills boil down to one thing: asking questions.

As long as you can keep the person talking and express real interest in what they are saying, people will think you are incredibly outgoing. Just remember to read a book and sleep for a long time when you’re done so you don’t burn yourself out!


What are some things you would add to this list? Let me know by leaving a comment!

Peter Pan Syndrome

Never Grow Up

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” – 1 Timothy 4:12

There are times (more than I would like to admit) that I HATE being young. The fact that my age group tends to spend their days getting drunk, having sex with anyone/everyone, and playing HOURS of video games does not help. Unless you have been living under a rock, you have realized that 18 seems to be the new 12. NO ONE wants to grow up… I feel like my generation is in a screwed up version of Peter Pan.

What I love about Scripture is how practical it is. As a young pastor in ministry, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and looked down upon. Paul writes to a young pastor named Timothy and gives him five ways to set an example while he’s young. This applies to you EVEN if you are not a pastor. This is some rock solid advice.

  1. Set an example with your speech.

What are young people known for? Probably NOT speaking with wisdom and intelligence. Unfortunately, the vast majority of young people seem to breath vulgar and disrespectful language.

If you are young, people are EXPECTING you to be like that.

Prove them wrong. Speak life and not death. Be an encourager!

  1. Set an example with your conduct.

Once again, young people are known for getting drunk and being stupid (occasionally on video). DO NOT give into that stereotype. Be the type of person that when people ask your age, they are visibly surprised when you tell them BECAUSE of your maturity and conduct.

Set your eyes on eternity and pursue the joy that is found in Jesus. I can speak from firsthand experience when I say it is FAR BETTER than living for the next high!

  1. Set an example with your love.

If you are married, a great way to do this is by treasuring and cherishing your wife. I got married when I was 19 (which is considered almost crazy in our culture). My goal is to place my wife above EVERYONE except God.

Another way you can set an example in love is by serving people. Unfortunately, our generation is known as being self-centered and lazy. PROVE this wrong!

Put down the controller, get off the coach, and serve someone for FREE.

  1. Set an example with your faith.

This one applies ESPECIALLY to Christian teenagers and young adults. Most of us grew up in youth groups where Jesus nor the Bible were taught. It seemed that the focus was more on drinking soda out of a sock and less on worshiping the Living God. As a result, many people abandon their faith when they graduate high school.

Do NOT be that person. PURSUE the things of God! Yet be careful that you are known NOT by how much you know, but instead by how much you actually live it out.

Knowledge puffs up, love builds up.

Let your faith be the fire that enables you to set an example in speech, conduct, love, and purity.

  1. Set an example with your purity.

This one is completely counter-cultural to popular culture today. We are told to live our lives “young, wild, and free”. Have sex, look at pornography, and fantasize in your mind; everyone is doing it so you should join them.

PLEASE do not give in to the culture on this issue. MAKE WAR against sexual immorality. Every time you are tempted, God WILL provide a way out.


Being young may honestly suck at times but God has called YOU to live out 1 Timothy 4:12. Which one of these do you find the hardest to live out? What are some good resources YOU recommend? Let me know by leaving a comment, I would love to hear from you!