Kristen and Jessica both attend your church. They regularly go to women’s Bible study, desire to grow in their walk with the Lord, and are an important part of the life of your congregation. Kristen prefers small groups, quiet study options, and deep friendships. Jessica loves large events, likes to be on stage, and is the first one to volunteer to help with icebreakers.
While these two women aren’t real, they do represent two very real personalities you will navigate in ministry leadership. We commonly divide people into two categories—introverts and extroverts, those who can be exhausted by others and those who are energized by being around people. For most of the women you serve, they fall somewhere in-between, but it’s important to consider various ways you can reach all points of the spectrum.
Whether you lead a Bible study or an entire ministry, here are some ways you can minister more effectively to the introverts and extroverts you serve.
For introverts, those who tend to be more reflective or find they prefer smaller groups, consider the following:
- Offer smaller groups for Bible study and discussion. Introverts might not feel comfortable talking in a large group or need more time to process their thoughts. They enjoy deep connections, so consider discussion groups where they aren’t intimidated to participate. They might prefer meeting at a coffee shop or smaller, more intimate setting for Bible study.
- Provide opportunities for self-reflection or quiet spaces where they can journal their thoughts or pray alone. While most studies are written for group discussions, consider offering a specific time for introverts to write down their thoughts or prayer requests.
- Don’t push them to participate in loud games or icebreakers if they are uncomfortable. They might prefer watching others or doing something that doesn’t require group dynamics.
- Offer digital resources where they can participate at their own pace. Encourage them to participate in webinars or online courses like Lifeway Women Academy where they grow in their faith, but in the comfort of their own space.
For extroverts, who are energized by others and love social gatherings, consider these options:
- Ask extroverts to be a greeter at an event, to organize a group game, or be on stage at some point to pray. They might be a good table host or can facilitate conversation starters.
- If your extrovert is a good Bible study student, consider whether they might be a good small group facilitator or teacher. Many extroverts enjoy leading groups of women, so find ways to develop their leadership skills. Ask them to attend a conference or training event and put them in charge of organizing a team.
- Many extroverts want recognition or respond well to words of affirmation—especially in front of others. Find ways to celebrate your extroverts, especially in front of others.
- Encourage extroverts to share their homes. Many extroverts enjoy making space for others and can put the introverts at ease with their outgoing personalities.
Of course, most women will be a combination of both, so it’s important to offer a balance of both opportunities for women to find a safe space to be themselves and grow in their spiritual journey. Help each other understand one another’s differences and celebrate both personalities in your ministry. You need both!
ABOUT KELLY KING
Kelly is the women’s minister at Quail Springs Baptist Church in Oklahoma City. She previously served as the manager of Magazines/Devotional Publishing and Women’s Ministry Training for Lifeway Christian Resources. She is the author of Ministry to Women: The Essential Guide to Leading Women in the Local Church. She is a contributor to the Lifeway Women’s Bible, as well as the Lifeway Women Advent and Easter studies. In addition, she is the cohost of the MARKED podcast for Lifeway Women. She has a Master of Theology degree from Gateway Seminary as well as a Doctorate in Ministry degree.