Friday, October 2, 2009

Hesitancy #4: Extroversion

Welcome to the first post in October! The year is going so fast already!

We have come to one of my last main hesitancies (there are many more, but this is the last one I will look at with such depth), so let’s plow through it.

Quite a few of my friends will tell you about how I was when they met me. At first, when I’m getting to know people, I tend to be a little quiet, a little awkward, especially when I’m out of my comfort zone. It takes time for me to warm up to people.

But when I have warmed up, I tend to be really outgoing and energetic. I enjoy dancing and singing for any reason, or none at all. I can hold a solid conversation about a lot of things. I’m not afraid to be goofy when the situation allows. I’m really a gregarious person. It just takes me some time to get there.

The thing about youth ministry, though, is that I’m not sure how if that will work out very well. Being shy at first isn’t going to help me—first in the interview and then as I start connecting with the youth.

The first week at YouthWorks, for example, I was definitely not the same person as I was during week 4-8 as far as energy and enthusiasm go. I was hesitant, especially on Sunday when everyone would be arriving. But by the second week I was doing a much better job of getting to know participants and I was much less hesitant about being crazy and sociable.

Although I’m still working to get over my initial awkwardness, I am not nearly as shy as I was as a kid. And my comfort zone is continually expanding, so there are fewer situations in which I feel awkward, and I spend less time working to become outgoing in those situations. A lot of that can be contributed to my college experiences. I came to a university where I knew no one going in, and I made some of the best friends I’ve ever had.

Even with past and recent leaps toward all-around enthusiasm and conversationalism, I wonder if how well I will fair as a youth pastor. First of all, in an interview, the church is going to want someone who is engaging and passionate, so I will need to be able to overcome any shyness starting on the first day I meet these people in order to even obtain a job. And then once I have one, it is important to me that I work from the start to draw the youth out of their shells, that I am willing to be goofy as well as serious, that I can get up in front of them and laugh with them and not be afraid of their judgment of me in all my craziness.

Although this seems like something I can just force myself to get over—and in some ways I have been and can continue to do so—I still second guess my confidence and my gregariousness on occasion. For the most part, though, I know that once I am in that position, God will guide me to where I need to be, and He will give me strength for each day.

My aunt shared this with me the other day, and it completely floors me with its beauty and truth:

“Whatever God asks you to do, God enables you to be.”

So I will put my trust in Him with confidence that He is continuously refining me, polishing me, breaking and remaking me.

Today I turn around
Stop running away from Him.

Today I listen
And run toward.

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