How to Take Care of the Introverts in Your Ministry

How to Take Care of the Introverts in Your Ministry

Recently, Susan Cain recently released a new book: Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverts (A guide for KIDS and TEENS).

It landed on my doorstep and I made the clumsy assumption that I could crack it open and read a few pages without wanting to stay up until 3 a.m. reading the rest of it.

It’s a good thing I’m a mom and my kids prefer a human parent over having a sort of human that resembles a zombie to wake up to in the morning, so I didn’t stay up all night devouring it. I did read a good chunk of it in between putting a new couch together with my husband and putting our kids to bed repeatedly.

The point is: I wanted to read the whole book all at once. I wanted to ditch everything to do it. Because being able to tell a kid that they have a hidden superpower is something I want to do more often.

Reading the words “we should be scheduling daydreaming into the extracurriculars” are words I want to wrestle with. How do we do this better in youth ministry—touching all of the ways a teenager is growing developmentally?

I want to connect Susan’s ideas with the youth ministry context because one-third to one-half of the students in our youth ministries are introverted. And in my ministry experiences, three-quarters of our programs and ideas nurture the extroverted nature. Think worship, think loud, think games, think camps, think…think…think…what are the ways we are intentionally giving introverts access to things that light them up and energize them?

How does youth ministry as a function and as a group of loving leaders empower a quiet one in…

…the cafeteria

…the classroom

…group projects

…in leadership

…in friendship

…at parties

…with extroverted friends

…with creativity

…in sports

…with adventure

…in changing the world (there is a quiet way!)

…in the spotlight

…in their restorative niches (home)

…in their family

(These are the chapters of Susan’s book! So, we have answers! Praises and more praises.)

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Brooklyn Lindsey
Brooklyn recently founded The Justice Movement, a church youth movement that helps teenagers help others. Her priority is to inspire and resource youth to break cycles of poverty through faith in action. An ordained pastor, Brooklyn has served in full time youth ministry for the last 16 years, authored numerous books, contributes and communicates for Orange Leaders, and speaks at camps and conferences. She, her husband Coy, and daughters Kirra and Mya live in Lakeland, FL where they like being outside, playing with their dog Marley. www.brooklynlindsey.com @brooklynlindsey/ www.justicemovement.com @thejustmove

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