Do we all obey the Great Commission in the same way? Is there a cookie cutter mold for discipleship that we are all supposed to fit?
Absolutely not. Our God is creative and distinct and His Church reflect those characteristics to the world. Just as He cannot be placed in a mold, neither can the prize of His creation—His people. Just as each of our human bodies have unique parts, functions, and qualities, so does Christ’s Body, the Church.
We are all called to obey the Great Commission, but our creative and distinct wirings directly impact how we go about our call.
As God’s complex creatures, our personalities serve as hallmarks in our lives that bring Him glory. With ever increasing ways—spiritual gift tests, Myer-Briggs, Styles of Influence and the Enneagram among many others—to explore our God-given wirings, I want to hone in on where we find our energy to move forward in making disciples.
Extroverts thrive on being outgoing, talkative, and gain their energy from people. Introverts are typically more reflective, internal, and reenergize by being alone. If disciples of Jesus follow Him and fish for people, how do these two qualities affect our roles in obeying the Great Commission?
In Ephesians 4, Paul reminds the Ephesian Church that they are the Body of Christ. He reminds them that different giftings exist in the church—apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, and teachers. These people equip and build up the body to become mature in Christ. Our personalities are directly related to our spiritual giftings, whether that is an extroverted evangelist, an introverted shepherd, or any other unique pairing from God.
Our giftings and personalities serve and complement the Body as we all are on the same mission to make disciples. Yet, we won’t all look, speak, or act the same while we do it.
Your Special Work in the Great Commission
We these things in mind, how can you—as an introvert or extrovert—uniquely obey the Great Commission?
Rest as God’s masterpiece.
Christ chose you to be His. A part of that amazing truth includes Him giving you a special place within His mission to draw the world to Himself. He goes so far to say that you are His masterpiece, created in Jesus to do works that He has prepared for you (Ephesians 2:10).
Become aware and acknowledge your distinct personality with its own strengths and weaknesses. Then preach the gospel to yourself repeatedly. Remember that you are a valuable part of Christ’s Body, whether you are an eye, leg, or stomach. Rest in this truth and the fact that Jesus is with you, always, until the end of the age (John 16:33).
Be humble, willing, and available to play trial and error.
We can take every personality and spiritual gifts test known to man, but it isn’t until we practically explore opportunities that we discover how we can best live out the Great Commission.
Tests can give us a general idea of how we bend, but experiencing different things helps truly solidify our giftings. Don’t give up in the process because Jesus is with you in the process. Introverts, try door-to-door evangelism because you may learn something you never knew about God, yourself, and others. Extroverts, try taking it slower in a social setting and listening to the Lord.
Keep doing what you’re already doing.
Every person in God’s family is an ambassador to the world (2 Corinthians 5:20).
You’re Christ’s ambassador whether you are a nurse, bus driver, mother, friend, retired teacher, missionary, pastor, or any other title. As you’re at the gym, grocery store, or pharmacy, you are His representative with a message and ministry to invite people into His family. Leverage the tasks, hobbies, and interests of your everyday life to meet people where they are and where you thrive. You can make disciples wherever you are.
Thank God as you depend on and celebrate each other.
Together, we depend on and follow Christ as the Head of the Body and know that from Him the whole Body grows together as each part does its own special work (Ephesians 4:16).
We are dependent on Christ and each other in the task of making disciples of all nations.
So how do we live this out? Introvert, celebrate your extroverted brother or sister. Extrovert, celebrate your introverted brother or sister. You both have gifts that the other may not have and you need them all to fulfill the task of the Great Commission. Praise God for giving us the privilege of bringing others into His Kingdom—together as one Body!
If the goal is to become mature in Christ as His Body, then we need all giftings and personalities working together to faithfully follow Him. Maturity in Christ within the church is not an accomplishment of individual check boxes, but an ever-growing dependence on Jesus, and that dependence is deep abiding and obedience to Him … together.