[Fifth post in a series on the book Introverts in the Church.]
From chapter 7, Leading as Ourselves.
Page 148: The most pivotal preaching event in the Bible was not Moses and the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai, or Peter on Pentecost, or even the Sermon on the Mount; the most pivotal preaching moment was the incarnation, the moment the eternal Word of God, the wisdom with which the whole universe hangs together, became human. God's supreme revelatory medium was not words piped in or scrolls dropped from the heavens, but a living, breathing human being who walked and taught and ate and wept and loved among us.There you go - I agree completely. The whole book was worth it to read that.
Page 150: Christian leaders, even introverted ones, are called to enter into the worlds of others and allow others to enter ours. We let others see our strengths and our triumphs, as well as our weaknesses and failures and doubts, even our struggles as introverts (using discretion, of course). The greatest gift that we have to offer others is ourselves, because it's in our fragile and vulnerable humanness that people see the unconditional love and redeeming power of God most clearly. A leader showing vulnerability about his or her personal life, thus creating empathy with the pain and struggles of others, often has a greater impact than countless numbers of the most powerful biblical exhortations. I've found this to be especially true when I tell unresolved personal stories, meaning that the story hasn't ended in victory and personal heroism; this presents me as a fellow traveler in the way of the cross.Leaders don't have to have all the answers!
Pages 154-155: Many people are reluctant to express their deepest longings and hopes, so they project them into superficial, quantifiable gauges that give the appearance of success and vitality. They subconsciously hope that achieving those goals will bring healing and joy to their souls, which of course it never will. They might say they want church growth, but what they actually need is something much more profound and personal. Perhaps they may need to know that God's grace is big enough to reach them in the wilderness, or that he is present in the most vulnerable and dark places of their lives. The best leaders know to, sometimes, not give people what they ask for.Not give people what they ask for? Blasphemy! :)
Page 155: What a person in pain needs, on the deepest human level, is to not feel alone. What helps someone is people who will simply be there and help carry the burden without always trying to fix the situation. The best thing Job's "comforters" ever did was sit with him on the ground in silence for seven days. I'm sure he wished that on the eighth day they had just returned home, without ever opening their mouths. Words can trivialize, but silence is sacred.I loved this passage. Can you imagine what a different book, story and lesson Job would be if it had happened like that? Friends came, sat in silence with him, and then left. "Words can trivialize, but silence is sacred." There is true teaching of love and friendship in that!