How to share the good news if you’re an introvert

I have a problem. I want to tell people the good news, but I have trouble talking to strangers. Heck, I have trouble talking to friends. (Just ask my friends how often I call them.)

Like 50% of the human race, I am an introvert. I don’t have the gift of the gab. I will never hold your attention with my brilliant stories. My best party trick is leaving early without anyone noticing.

So how does someone like me tell others the happy news that God loves us just as we are?

Outdoor plays, street evangelism, tracts, concerts, special services. I’ve done them all, and I’ve done them badly. Because I’m not naturally gifted at these things, I’ve been spectacularly unsuccessful.

But I can’t stay silent.

People are starving for the love of our Father. I’ve got to share the good news. I want to bring joy and hope into the world. But how? How do introverts like me shine in dark places?

Like the Apostle Paul, I like to experiment. Paul said he became all things to all people so that by all possible means he might save some. All possible means. That’s a pretty open-ended statement. That’s an invitation to try anything and everything.

Including this…

Have you seen these boxes in your neighborhood? They are outdoor libraries, a.k.a. Little Libraries, Free Libraries, and Lilliput Libraries.

Normally you go to a library to take something, but over the past few weeks I’ve been engaged in a surreptitious mission to give something, namely the sweet good news.

On our travels we look for these libraries and when we find one we deposit a copy of The Chocolate Gospel. It’s great fun. Our hope is that these books will end up in the hands of people who need an encouraging word or a bit of hope.

We are totally indiscriminate about where we put these books. My kids and I have left books in rich suburbs and poor ones. We left one in a country town that had about two houses.

If you’re not comfortable talking to strangers or performing street theatre, this may be a great way to salt your community with the good news. Of course you don’t have to use my book. You can use any book you like. But please don’t use one of those religious tracts that tell people God is angry with them. Call me a heretic, but that’s not good news.

There is no bad news in the good news, and there are no price tags on grace. People don’t need to hear how bad they are; they need to hear how good God is! And it is our privilege to tell them.

If you would like to use my book, this may be a good time to tell you The Chocolate Gospel is available on Kickstarter for just one more week. [UPDATE: The Kickstarter project has closed. Thanks to everyone who backed it! If you missed out, check out these free Chocolate Gospel tracts.]

If you don’t have outdoor libraries where you live, maybe you can come up with other ideas for sowing the gospel seed. Let me know about them in the comments below. I’d love to hear them.

Remember the words of the Apostle. “By all possible means.” We should use every means possible to proclaim the good news. And leaving good news books in public spaces is a good way to do that.

Or maybe it isn’t. Maybe this is the dumbest idea since the Gospel Blimp.

But I’m not going to die wondering.

___________

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18 Comments on How to share the good news if you’re an introvert

  1. I think that’s a wonderful idea Paul! I am also an introvert but this inspires me to think more creatively about sharing Jesus with the world! Blessings to you…

  2. Paul Ellis, introvert? don’t have the gift of the gab? Not the Paul Ellis I know.

  3. I would love to get the Chocolate Gospel but Kickstarter doesn’t open. It says they have a problem connecting. Any suggestions?

  4. Michele Roberts // February 19, 2020 at 7:22 am // Reply

    Great idea! Keep it up!!

  5. Love any way a person can share the good news with others. As an evangelist I want to encourage others that I to grew up as an introvert, I almost failed English class in High school because I would not give a oral report. Yet, in 1981 I was introduced to Acts 1:8 and when I received the gift of the Holy Spirits power in my life and began to trust the greater one in me everything began to change in my witness to others. Yes it is still a challenge at times but I find that if I will trust the Holy Spirit and not lean on my own understanding Jesus gives me the words to say. Jesus said, I will give you a mouth of wisdom that non of your adversaries will be able to gain say or resist. The love of God & His overwhelming grace is so good I cant help but want to tell others. Use whatever means you have to share God’s love but don’t forget the greater one lives in us and will empower us to be His witness.

    • That’s certainly true, Tim. As a pastor this is something I experienced on a weekly basis. Every time I went to church to preach and engage with a large group of people – something I find very challenging – I would remind myself that “Jesus is a people person and he lives in me.”

  6. As an introvert, I’ve done acting and I love it. I’ve discovered that improvisation is NOT a strength of mines however. What works for me is developing a “script” beforehand, writing everything out one or two nights before, and sticking to it on the day of. This has helped me speak to a small youth church audience before. If I’m like other introverts, I’m also conflict-averse so I’m not sure I can do the same in the middle of the street. My comfort zone is one-on-ones so if I would listen to the Holy Spirit, I’m less likely to be in the spotlight and more likely to be having gentle one-on-ones with people who stop by. Having done canvassing for other causes I found a super effective technique is to simply hang near the outspoken one and be visible without saying a word, and a lot of people come to you with questions (in this case I had flyers and I ran out quick).

    I wonder whether there are introvert-extrovert relationships in the Bible. Would Moses and Aaron count?

  7. Brian Nisbet // February 19, 2020 at 8:20 am // Reply

    Excellent post, I’m both, quite extroverted & also like to take off & be on my own, also have had both great experiences sharing and at time’s feel useless in this as Bible seems to encourage us all to share Jesus, have noticed if we love well & creatively you can alter a life, my wife & I pick up bread at a bakery weekly, next day we help at a soup kitchen most times just talking to the homeless, provide them a simple pack of cough drops if they need it “ blows em away”

  8. Marjorie Keenan // February 19, 2020 at 1:27 pm // Reply

    It is my testimony and the prompting of Holy Spirit that enables me to share with confidence. Never am I rejected when Holy Spirit takes the wheel.

    It is sharing the UNCONDITIONAL LOVE OF GOD that draws people to Him,not threats of hell and unworthiness.

    Jesus said, “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto Me.”. The word for draw actually means drag. God is longing to bring people to Himself!

  9. Jenny Beauchamp // February 21, 2020 at 5:50 am // Reply

    Great idea Paul, we have a library just like this at our arboretum park. Another idea that you may have heard about is “painted rocks”. My grand-daughter and I paint them and leave them at kids parks where we go and play. We hide them and my grand-daughter (6) can hardly play because she’s waiting and watching to see if someone finds one. She gets so excited. We usually say something like “Jesus loves you” with a painted cross on the other side, or “ask God, He loves to hear from you”. It’s fun and inexpensive! I actually had been contemplating divorce in 2018 and I was walking and praying, asking for a sign from God and then sat at a bench and found a painted rock. It was a good message (do what is right not what is easy), but at that point I thought divorce was the right thing. Then a little further down the trail I sat again and found another rock. It had the message “your father loves you” and a picture of an owl on the other side. Now, I’m slow but my step-dad loved owls and collected owl stuff, so naturally I thought of him. 2 days later the Holy Spirit showed me that it was a message from my Heavenly Father and the 2nd rock confirmed the first (my heart was so hard toward my husband then). It was exactly the message I needed, my heart melted and I could see more clearly! Still married and doing better. So, you never know what God will use to show He’s with us and loves us Abundantly-Unconditionally! Blessings!

  10. Great post, and I just seen one of these little outdoor libraries yesterday and did a double take “what is that?…oh how cool!!” And now I’m seeing this post haha. Hint hint God? Lol

  11. Jenny Beauchamp // February 21, 2020 at 9:17 am // Reply

    We heard about it about 4 years ago, the Kindness Rock Project. If you google it, you will see amazing examples. It’s fun and lots of kids are doing it. They are left on the slide or a swing, or in a garden, etc. I believe God is orchestrating who gets what message, as He knows what’s on our hearts and minds every minute…. And yes, it has already spread to New Zealand.

  12. This is great, Paul! I love the rock idea too, Jenny! Thanks

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