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An Extrovert In A Room Full Of Introverts

One of the coolest things we do in our summers is called LEAD Team.  This is an opportunity to take some of my older students, many from my student leadership team, and serve as volunteer staff with Generate Camps by YM360.  (shameless plug, visit generatestudents.com to see more about this great organization.)  They give my crew opportunities to serve and lead but also give them opportunities to be poured back into and discipled.  Before we arrive each summer they have each person on a LEAD Team take a spiritual gifts assessment and a personality assessment.  This is so they know how to team up each person but it also gives my team a chance to learn how they are wired.

They personality assessment they use is the Briggs-Myers model which gives a series of letters to describe a personality.  The very first letter is either an "E" or and "I" which means extrovert or introvert.  (disclaimer: at it's simplest form, this describes how a person is poured back into, fed, or rejuvenated.)  Something I knew but was clearly confirmed for me was that I am an extreme extrovert.  I enjoy and am poured back into in groups of people.  That doesn't mean I'm the loudest and outgoing person around, although many times I probably am.  What this also means is that an introvert isn't this shy, impersonal, and quiet person that lacks social skills.  It just means their brains process information differently.

I currently have fourteen students on my student leadership team.  This is the largest team I've ever had.  Some of what this team does is lead small groups, bible studies, lead worship, run lighting and sound, etc.  After all, we are a student led, student fed ministry.  But another big thing this team does is helps me plan events and our calendar.  We are currently finalizing our summer calendars for this year.  Out of those fourteen, I have one extrovert.  ONE!  I think God probably has a little smirk on this one and is saying, "see what I did there..."

More than that, I truly believe that God gave me this team for this season of life and ministry.  It's presented immense challenges for me as an extrovert leader trying to get things done "my way."  In this instance, my way isn't the right way.  It's forcing me to learn to lead and do things differently for the benefit of my team but more than that, for the benefit of our ministry.  I've been forced into more smaller group conversations, which I'm capable of doing, but it's also forced me to listen a little differently.  If I am truly going to be the leader they need me to be I'm going to have to learn some introvert tendencies.

My question for you is, do you know if you have a team of introverts or extroverts?  Do you know what you are?  The answer may surprise you.  (if you're not sure, go here: truity.com/test/type-finder-research-edition)  What are some ways you've been forced to change the way you lead?

As leaders we must remain students.  When we stop learning, we stop leading.

Eric FosheeComment