Introverted, Christian, and Interested in Shaping Culture? Help!

Culture has been defined as “values, beliefs, systems of language, communication, and practices that people share in common”. It also encompasses cultural products, as they are called, such as books, films, radio and television programmes, and how these products shape culture, that is, the people’s beliefs and attitudes and vice versa. Sociologists believe that culture shapes social order, which is created through the repetitive publication of specific messages, ideas, values, and beliefs until they are collectively accepted as the standard. Christians must take an active role in shaping culture.

Christians and Culture Shaping 

You have a mandate to preach the gospel and save men in their numbers (Matthew 28:18-20). Influence is a valuable instrument in accomplishing such a lofty aim. Congratulations if you are Christian and an introvert, you have been challenged.  In your instance, Christ’s love compels you to come out of your comfort zone so that you can reach the world. You are expected to influence the world with the gospel. As an ambassador, you have a message that must be shared (2 Corinthians 5:20). 

This is why you must be involved in shaping culture. Moreso, when there are over 4000 religions with numerous ambassadors sharing ideas that conflict with yours! This is not to argue that Christianity is only for the extroverted. Many extroverted Christians, I suppose, had to learn to endure deep personal Bible study and prayer, both of which require solitude.

Culture-shaping is not for the faint-hearted or the introverted (in a sense)

I’d know because I’m introverted and shy when it comes to expressing myself in public. I don’t mind debating with friends, blogging on someone else’s blog, ghostwriting hundreds of pieces, giving my thoughts in closed meetings, or engaging in other interpersonal contacts. But getting in front of a camera, for example,  and speaking on burning issues as myself, haha…haha…no thanks. I once tried sharing my opinions in Instagram carousels, but I stopped because of work and because I didn’t think anyone cared what I had to say.

Now, I won’t pin all that on being introverted, I probably just need to grow some confidence in myself once again. Yet, the burden my Christian faith has placed on my shoulders to influence lives would not go away! Especially in ways that demand a level of public expression.

Personal interactions, although sweet, cannot shape culture . The numbers matter. If you hope to reach a large and targeted audience faster, you may have to publish your ideas be it through writing, speaking, acting, comedy, and so on using media channels. Social media, an internet-based media technology, is one of these media channels. The benefits of social media are in its easy accessibility, cost-effectiveness, and flexibility for the average person. Those who would normally be obscure if they sought exposure through traditional media are now popular and even known as influencers because of social media. 

Introverts are more inclined to value solitude over public interactions

After taking a test on Introvert, Dear website, an award-winning community for introverts, it was concluded that I am more of an introvert who “prefer[s] to look at life from the inside out”. According to them, introverts “gain energy through inner reflection and solitude, and they get more excited by ideas than by external activities”. As an introvert, you would rather build close relationships than superficial ones (sounds like social media relations, eh?) Although not every introvert is shy, or shies away from public expression, yet there are many of us who do. This piece is for you. 

Why do you silence yourself and not share your thoughts openly with the whole world? 

I have had some time to ruminate and pray over it. Here are my conclusions as to why you, dear introvert, would rather share keep your influence circle small: 

  1. You would rather be alone 

Let’s face it, it is more appealing to curl up and drink tea while drowning in your own thoughts than connecting with a faceless audience. Also, working behind the scenes is satisfying enough. It is also true that not everyone would be a public figure or find a platform. But if there is a purpose that burns inside of you and working behind the scenes for someone else  with the same dream is not enough, leave your comfort zone and build your platform.

  1. It is exhausting 

My husband and I have a running joke that I would rather “celebrate” my birthday on the night before than on the actual day so that I can enjoy a calm birthday rather than one spent giving sincere responses to individual well wishes. These folks have taken a minute of their valuable time to wish me well and they deserve a warm answer, is my line of thought. Now, how would I handle hundreds of well wishes as a person of influence? By posting a passionate thank you message on my social media pages! There is only so much one can handle. 

  1. You are scared of failure 

Haa…the joy of attaining perfection in our craft before sharing it with others. Only that we never do because we are human and perfection is God’s alone. We introverts still try to even when we are short of time, resources and manpower. It’s time to accept the wisdom of growing towards perfection instead. 

  1. Distractions 

Introverted or not, everyone is susceptible to distractions. Fight them! 

  1. It is easier to influence under someone else’s brand 

Similar to staying in your comfort zone, many of us don’t mind working behind the scenes. In fact, we pride ourselves in being good at adding value to others (in secret). But when it comes to promoting ourselves, we run in the opposite direction. You can lead and follow. Stop running. You don’t have to choose. 

  1. You don’t like conflict 

Not a problem for me because my reformation and confrontational hackles will rise in response. But some of us would rather avoid it altogether. Well, when issues are not so far away but in your home, family, children’s school, your workplace, perhaps then you would cast your supposed peace loving attitude aside and fight for truth. 

  1. You haven’t found your thing 

When you find that one thing (or when it finds you) that means so much to you and you want it to mean so much to others, you would be compelled to answer the call of influence, introverted or not.

  1. You don’t want to look stupid 

“Let this ground just open up and swallow me.”

There are some people that should pack up their mics and stop spreading their falsehoods in the name of podcasting. They are the ones who should be ashamed, not you, Christian introvert. You have a message that can change lives for forever and you must share it, no matter your perceived or actual censure of self by others. 

  1. You are more interested in pleasing yourself than pleasing God 

Personality quirks, whether altruistic or not, are centered on self-gratification. Some extroverts might be better people if they learned to listen instead of obsessing over the sound of their own speech. Some introverts would be happier if they allowed others into their space on occasion. If you obey the greatest commandment, you will realize that loving your neighbor often means disappointing yourself.  If you have a message that can improve people’s lives, you must share it, no matter how inconvenient it is for you. 

  1. Some mental models are holding you back

I believe I would have been more extroverted if my mother had allowed me to go out more than she did (which was rarely) during my formative years. Some of you would be more vocal in your office standups if your father hadn’t yelled at you for voicing opposing views at the dinner table. Investigate further — the reasons you act the way you do may be as a result of past traumas or negative childhood experiences.

  1. There is so much noise out there

The data speaks for itself — 2.35 billion monthly active Instagram users,  150 million podcast episodes, 51 million active YouTube channels, over 136 million published books, and so on. The other day, I became vividly aware of the avalanche of disparate and unrelated information that my YouTube channel was delivering to me. Different channels with various topics, specialties, and ideas that one may not require right now yet find quite appealing. Click! I exited the App. 

“Why add to the chatter?” you may ask. Is it possible that what you have to say has not been said before? Most likely not. Yet, I’d say that no one can share a thought the way you do. Furthermore, some people would rather listen to you on the same issue than others; why deny them this opportunity? Perhaps your presentation about the benefits of drinking water is what would encourage them to do so even after hearing it countless times from others. Who knows?

You Can Still Be an Introvert and Shape Culture

I enjoy my introversion. It has enabled me to participate in activities that make it possible for me to appreciate life to the fullest. However, I can’t help but think that there are certain advantages to being extroverted for a good cause, so I have to learn it. However, I want to maintain my personality. Gosh! I sound like a child who is unwilling to give up her toys. Anyway, if you want to remain an introvert while still shaping culture, here are some tips: 

  1. Choose your battles 

As I have stated, we do not all need to be platformed. You can be fulfilled working behind the scenes. But if you have to be at the forefront, rise to the challenge.

  1. Choose a niche 

Many introverts I know are quite informed about a wide range of topics. If you are one of them, pick an area of interest and develop confidence in it. Also, choose the best media possible to communicate your ideas. 

  1. Talk to one, not to all 

Jordan Peterson, a well-known Canadian Psychologist, encouraged introverts to speak to one individual at a time rather than the entire room when making a presentation. You can do the same thing with your book, YouTube Shorts, or Instagram Reels. Choose your target audience and communicate with them. It makes your work less daunting. 

  1. You don’t have to enjoy being extroverted but you can grow to like it 

As you act out of character so that you can effect the change you seek in your culture, don’t force yourself to enjoy every aspect of it. When you see the change your work has brought about, perhaps you would grow to like it. 

  1. Make your personality and strengths work for you 

Certain traits that define your personality can be quite beneficial to your goals of shaping culture. Make use of them. For example, despite being introverted, I am open to new learning opportunities. When I’m alone, I often read and watch videos on various topics that interest me. They come in helpful when I’m writing articles, devotionals, and blog pieces, among other things. 

  1. Stop overthinking it 

You cannot anticipate every challenge that will arise as you embark on new adventures. Do what needs to be done and deal with problems when they arise. Analysis paralysis will keep you from achieving your full potential. You don’t need it. 

This post was not intended to solve all of your questions regarding shaping culture or being introverted. However, if it has inspired you to put yourself out there, that is sufficient. Finally, if you, as an introvert, have been able to identify and overcome the challenges of introversion, perhaps because your ambitions, purpose, healthy desire for recognition and influence, and need to earn a living outweigh your personality’s proclivities, I salute you for gaming the system. I’m cheering you on!

What are your thoughts about being introverted, Christian and interested in culture shaping? Kindly share in the comments. 

Have you read “Our Creative Abilities Matters to God“?

2 thoughts on “Introverted, Christian, and Interested in Shaping Culture? Help!”

  1. I absolutely enjoyed reading this. I’m an extrovert but this still resonates with me. Especially the part of getting out of my comfort zone.

  2. This article is so profound, there’s a lot of similarities between the description of your personality and mine that makes it worth the read. Thank you for putting this out there, I needed to see it, as do others.

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