Evangelism is Hard of Introverts

“The evangelical culture ties together faithfulness with extroversion,” McHugh explained. “The emphasis is on community, on participating in more and more programs and events, on meeting more and more people. It’s a constant tension for many introverts that they’re not living that out. And in a religious world, there’s more at stake when you feel that tension. It doesn’t feel like ‘I’m not doing as well as I’d like.’ It feels like ‘God isn’t pleased with me.’ ”

From outside the evangelical community, this seems an astonishing confession. Since when is solitude one of the Seven Deadly Sins? But to a fellow evangelical, McHugh’s sense of spiritual failure would make perfect sense. Contemporary evangelicalism says that every person you fail to meet and proselytize is another soul you might have saved. It also emphasizes building community among confirmed believers, with many churches encouraging (or even requiring) their members to join extracurricular groups organized around every conceivable subject—cooking, real-estate investing, skateboarding. So every social event McHugh left early, every morning he spent alone, every group he failed to join, meant wasted chances to connect with others.


Because there is so much at stake in the need for religious members to evangelize (the salvation of others), introverts feel they are failing their religious duties.

Folksonomies: evangelism introversion

/religion and spirituality/christianity (0.597319)
/society (0.308558)
/religion and spirituality (0.290450)

evangelical culture ties (0.948574 (positive:0.405489)), social event McHugh (0.947022 (negative:-0.262209)), introverts (0.763636 (negative:-0.225854)), constant tension (0.740890 (positive:0.266098)), astonishing confession (0.713235 (positive:0.506938)), religious duties (0.710616 (negative:-0.491953)), Deadly Sins (0.705391 (negative:-0.594489)), real-estate investing (0.694520 (neutral:0.000000)), Contemporary evangelicalism (0.692014 (negative:-0.410116)), conceivable subject—cooking (0.691942 (positive:0.222547)), religious members (0.684219 (neutral:0.000000)), extracurricular groups (0.681909 (positive:0.222547)), perfect sense (0.665294 (neutral:0.000000)), religious world (0.660834 (neutral:0.000000)), spiritual failure (0.655083 (neutral:0.000000)), evangelical community (0.628741 (neutral:0.000000)), stake (0.533396 (positive:0.205148)), faithfulness (0.417955 (positive:0.405489)), Evangelism (0.383643 (neutral:0.000000)), chances (0.382748 (negative:-0.690185)), Hard (0.375759 (neutral:0.000000)), need (0.375370 (neutral:0.000000)), salvation (0.375111 (positive:0.296814)), extroversion (0.373778 (positive:0.405489)), believers (0.373376 (positive:0.378171)), fellow (0.370246 (neutral:0.000000)), emphasis (0.369258 (positive:0.341830)), programs (0.368925 (positive:0.324779)), events (0.368865 (positive:0.324779)), meeting (0.368774 (neutral:0.000000))

McHugh:Person (0.793314 (negative:-0.344274)), skateboarding:Sport (0.324001 (neutral:0.000000))

Seven deadly sins (0.951905): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Evangelism (0.881793): dbpedia | freebase
Christian terms (0.826000): dbpedia
Christianity (0.778710): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Failure (0.742083): dbpedia | freebase
Evangelical Catholic (0.741406): dbpedia | freebase
Evangelicalism (0.731224): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Sin (0.722401): dbpedia | freebase

Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Cain, Susan (2012-01-24), Quiet, Random House LLC, Retrieved on 2013-10-14
  • Source Material [books.google.com]
  • Folksonomies: psychology