One of the exercises of the day was taking a personality "test." I know it is actually an inventory, but it feels like a test when you are marking the boxes. I had taken this particular inventory numerous times in the past so I knew where I would land in regard to the results. However, some of my co-workers were a bit stunned to find out that I am an introvert.
One of the things to remember is that the inventory seeks your natural inclinations. Do I prefer "this" or "that"? If I answer that I prefer "this," it does not mean that I will never do "that". It simply means my preference is "this." Being in ministry for 20 years, or any occupation for that matter, requires us to learn new skills based upon our responsibilities. If a person becomes a supervisor, there may be different skills needed to fulfill the duties of the position. Even if some of the job requirements are not our favorite tasks when we get promoted or moved around in various departments, we still have to learn to do them.
The one thing that people have commented on frequently during my years of ministry is in regard to my ability to speak in public. When they find out I am an introvert their first reaction is not to believe it. "You preach without using notes in front of congregations sometimes exceeding a thousand people. There is no way you are an introvert." My response is simple:
Public speaking is a learned skill. It's so easy that even an introvert can do it.
In all seriousness, public speaking is like any other task that requires skill. It takes a lot of practice and preparation. After decades of being in front of groups and audiences, I still prepare vigorously for each presentation. I owe it to the people investing their time to attend an event to give them solid content and a vibrant delivery style.
If I am attending a workshop, a retreat, a conference, or even a liturgical service listening to a homily, I have a right to expect that the person doing the speaking has faithfully prepared for the gathering. In the world of ministry, I also expect that the presenter has been praying during his/her preparations. This prayer should include a prayer of blessing on his/her own work, but it should also include intercessory prayer for those who will be in attendance at the event. That opens up the door wide for God's grace to move among us. Those are my expectations when I attend an event. Subsequently, I try to live up to those expectations when I am the presenter.
Please know that when I pray the Liturgy of the Hours each day, I hold all of you up in prayer. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the communion, fellowship, and power of the Holy Spirit be with you in abundance today!