The introvert pastor

One of my inspirations to start writing was an interview I read with Timothy Keller.

Tim Keller is the founding pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. In a highly secular and skeptical city, Redeemer has been flourishing in drawing in young, urbane, sophisticated professionals. This growth is in no small part due to Keller’s intelligent and informed sermons. He is the author of several books, one of which (“The Reason for God”) was on the New York Times bestseller list for March 2008.

Yet in an interview, Keller described his “painful introversion” and the strange irony that an introvert like him could become a megachurch pastor in Manhattan. Keller described overcoming a feeling “like nobody likes me.”

As an introvert myself, I resonate with Keller’s experience. Many times in my life, I have told myself that no one cared what I had to say. When I started thinking about writing, my initial response was: “People are too busy to bother with your words. Stop wasting their time with this nonsense.” Yet I found comfort in this interview. If Tim Keller, who has written many books and pastored countless people and preached fantastic sermons, has felt this way before, maybe it’s not so strange that I feel this way. If Keller feels this way, and I feel this way, maybe there are other people who feel this way too. Just as I drew comfort from knowing that I’m not alone in thinking these thoughts, perhaps sharing about them can help others as well.

I’ll have more to say about this later, but for now I’ll say to anyone who has felt that no one cares what they have to say and their voice doesn’t matter: It does. It really does. You have the wonderful gift of your perspective to share with the world. Now, just like any gift, you need to treat it with care, especially in trying to share it with people who don’t want it (especially so on the internet). Just like any gift, you don’t want to compare it to someone else’s gift and say yours is better than theirs just because. Having a gift isn’t a license for rudeness. But for those who believe that they have nothing important to say because their perspective doesn’t matter, don’t believe that.

The interview:
http://www.worldmag.com/2010/04/a_wave_came_in

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