An Introverted Servant Leader Who Can Find?


Thern Newbell, my introverted leader

By Trillia Newbell

Today I stumbled upon two articles (you can read them here and here) about introverts and leadership. I was so excited! I could hardly contain myself. See, I have what you would call an introverted leader.  His name is Thern. He is my husband.

There’s much about Thern that is in secret. He isn’t a blogger, he’s never on stage for anything at my church, and he doesn’t lead small groups. He’s just not “out there” to be seen. And he doesn’t want to be. Thern is happy doing what he does and he does it well.

But I want to encourage all the introverted leaders out there by my husband’s leadership. I have been the recipient of great care, service, and love.  Here are ways that my introverted husband seeks to serve and lead our family:


Work: Providing for our family is one of his top priorities. But he doesn’t just work; he does it as unto the Lord. He wakes up every day to go and work for hours and hours at time. He rarely takes a day off during the five day work week (almost never). He is diligent and takes his work seriously. He is excellent at what he does and has been rewarded for his excellence through awards and acknowledgement.

Thank you to all of the hardworking introverts. Thank you for providing for your families. As Thabiti Anyabwile shared recently a man who will not work is not a man.

thern and sydney

Thern with our daughter Sydney

Play: When my husband is home—he is home! He is engaged with me and our two children. From the moment he walks in the door he is being mobbed in kisses (and sometimes tears) and welcomes it. He welcomes us. Wait, shouldn’t we be welcoming him? That’s what’s so wonderful about his servants’ heart—I know it’s real and it’s welcoming. He invites us in through his demeanor, his warm smile, and at times his lip, to come be with him even after a long day at work.

 Introverted husband, you don’t have to say anything at times and your wife knows you are with her. That is the case of my husband. He doesn’t have to say anything and we know there isn’t any place he’d rather be than right there with us.

God: I could write a separate post about the spiritual leadership of an introvert (perhaps I will). My Thern leads me spiritually. What that means is he simply helps direct me (and the kids) to God in everyday life and in trials. I have had a unique opportunity to see this on display during several trials in our marriage (miscarriages and financial hardship).

No, he doesn’t come home every night ready to lead a Bible study. He doesn’t use God’s name or pop out a Scripture verse every other word. We aren’t talking about Reformed Theology over dinner. He’s a simple leader. When we cry, he shares the gospel. When we eat, we pray. When my children need correction, he is the first to help them through discipline. When I’m fearful, which is often, he reminds me that God is my protector and my refuge. He encourages me to read my Bible and gives me time to do so.  He gives to the poor and needy in secret–I see it and God sees it. It’s beautiful and an example to me and our kids.

Be encouraged introverted leader- God is using you in your family. You don’t need fanfare or accolades. There are crowns being stored up in heaven for you (Matt 6: 9-21,  Matt 6:2-4, 1Cor 4:5).

Thank you, my introverted leader, for loving me, leading me, and serving our family as Christ loved the church.

 “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish,” (Ephesians 5:25-27 ESV)


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6 Comments to “An Introverted Servant Leader Who Can Find?”

  1. Sarah says:

    I resonated with this post, Trillia. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. amy maples says:

    very sweet!!!

  3. Mary Lou says:

    Thank you for writing this. This is also encouragement for the wife of an introverted leader.

  4. […] An introverted servant leader who can find? Loved this moving and encouraging piece from Trillia Newbell. You can keep track of all that Trillia writes via her lively Twitter feed. […]

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