What personality is needed for ministry? Interesting question isn’t it? Personally, I don’t really like it. And I’m not sure I’ve ever heard someone ask it aloud with such clarity, but I do know it’s on people’s minds. Therefore, I think it’s a question that should be addressed. Here’s why.
First of all, I think there are those who think they don’t have what it takes for ministry. Whether one is considering ministry as a vocation or just beginning to understand the role of ministry that all Christ-followers have, there can be a tendency to believe that we might not have the right personality for the job. This is especially true in regards to evangelism. There’s no way you can be an introvert and be an evangelist, right?
When I was younger and began thinking about entering ministry as a vocational choice, one concern I had was whether or not I could be like the pastors and other church staff I knew. I didn’t really seem to fit the mold (or so I thought). Over the past several years, I have had several conversations with others who felt the same. Specifically, they were youth ministers who felt they weren’t the cool, fun-loving, athletic-type person needed.
Second, I think this question needs to be addressed because of my understanding that God uses all people. In fact, throughout history, He has seemed to use the most unlikely. We need to beat this truth into our heads. Consider the words of Paul to the church in Corinth: Not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are (1 Cor. 1:26-28).
The ones that God chooses “are not just ‘have-nots'”, writes James K. A. Smith, “they’re ‘are-nots!’ And yet they are chosen and commissioned as God’s image bearers, God’s princesses and princes who are empowered to be witnesses of a coming kingdom and charged with the renewal of the world.”
So what personality is needed for ministry? Well, simply put, it is the personality that you have been gifted with. You might think you are too quiet and shy. Or you might think that you are too loud. But regardless, you should know that “you were made just as you are so that you can [minister] to a particular people” (see Get Real by John S. Leonard). No doubt there might be times when you have to speak up in spite of your shyness and listen instead of always talking, but make no mistake about it, you have the personality needed for God to use.
When Paul counters the argument among the Corinthians of whom they thought was best to follow, whether it be him or Apollos or someone else, Paul made it clear that they were being worldly in their thinking. Paul writes, What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers (1 Cor. 3:5-9).
God chooses to use all personalities and giftings so therefore, we should rejoice in all as each are given for the purpose of making Him known. So whether you are introverted or extroverted, you have the personality needed. Thank God for it and serve others with it.