Into Introversion #5 // Introverts and churches

Just as in the public life (politics etc), extroverts tend to dominate churches, and the cultural perception of how church people should behave tends to fit the extrovert mold. Bubbly, excitable, chatty, uber-friendly, going to every advertised event in the church bulletin. And I would venture to say that in many instances, this is as much an internal perception as it is an external perception. Historically there have been a lot of “expected” behaviours in churches, but I think that’s all changing with the rise of Gen Y (who have highly tuned BS meters and don’t tolerate fakes)…and the authenticity movement that is bringing a breath of fresh air and a healthy dose  of real-ness to modern churches. (In the words of John Burke…come as you are…no perfect people allowed!)

So what is an introvert to do? How does an introvert fit into a community that (whether they admit it or not) often judges your spiritual health by whether or not you come out to the whole-church potluck dinner, or by the number of other social events you attend?

I want to encourage you to NOT attempt to fit the cookie-cutter church-person-mold. Ultimately that will burn you out, you will be faking who you are to please people, and you will wind up resenting your community.

I want you to be who God created you to be, and to live up to the potential He has placed in your life!

I have found that there are two things that you need to understand to be able to be all that God created you to be and to function as a valued part of the body of Christ:

  1. understand and accept who you are as a child of God; and
  2. understand that God is in the people business. His whole plan for the salvation of humanity revolves around relationships.

Do not judge yourself according to what the people around you say or expect. Measure yourself against the standards that God sets. End of story. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters.

I have found that this approach has brought me a tonne of peace in my life. What have you discovered in your life?

Related posts:

The post that started it all

Into Introversion #1 // Do you know an introvert?

Into Introversion #2 // Introvert…Extrovert…Shy?

Into Introversion #3 //  Can Introverts and Extroverts Coexist?

Into Introversion #4 // What God can do with an Introvert?

Into Introversion #5 // Churches and Introverts

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11 responses to “Into Introversion #5 // Introverts and churches

  1. Pingback: Into Introversion #4 // What can God do with an Introvert? «

  2. Pingback: Into Introversion #1 // Do you know an introvert? «

  3. Pingback: Into Introversion #2// Introvert…Extrovert…Shy?? «

  4. Pingback: Totally Random Tuesday #3 - Making my way as an introvert «

  5. I’m learning alot from this. I know there are many introverts around, including my own sister. Knowing how to interact with them is extremely helpful 🙂

  6. Hi, interesting post. I have been thinking about this issue,so thanks for posting. I will certainly be subscribing to your posts. Keep up the good work

  7. Hey Michelle
    Been reading your blogs on introverts. I’m one too! Have a great weekend away – take your bible and notebook/pen or laptop and and ipod with some great music!

  8. I am a compulsive introvert. I hate being a introvert.

    I love meeting people, interacting with them…talking a lot.

    But due to childhood upbringing i became introverted. People usually find me boring…they just avoid me.

    Final result: I am forced to spend time with myself.

  9. HI, I AM THE BIGGEST INTROVERT, ALL MY LYF I HAVE BEEN HIDDING FROM PEOPLE AND AVOIDING EVRY1, I AM EVEN SCARED TO GREAT THEM AND MANY PEOPL DISSLYK ME COS IM SO SHY,I CAN EVN COUNT D AMOUNT OF FRIENDS I HAVE ON A HAND, I FIND THAT IM MORE OPEN IN CHURCH BUT I EVEN STRUGGL COMMUNICATING VERBALY TO GOD, I KNW THAT IF HE HAD A PROBLEM WITH IT HE WOULD HAVE MADE ME MORE EXTROVERTED,BUT I THANK HIM FOR EVEN THINKING ABOUT CREATING ME

  10. Thank goodness for these posts. I’m a very big introvert and I’m holding my saniny up by a string. See I’m not only introverted, but I’m also dealing with a completely different matter–I’m VERY apathetic. I can’t bring myself to care about others unless I try to use some sort of Justice or using my Judgement side to really identify when something is “not right”. I have a hard time feeling anything for anyone other than God. It feels like all my love is directed towards Him while everything else is non existent. I’ve gotten pretty good at pretending to care, but as an introvert, this only exhausts me further.

    The result is that exposure to people for too long leaves me extremely cranky and irritable. It also doesn’t help that I live with a family that’s literally nothing but extroverts. I can’t find a peaceful place to recharge and really converse with God and I honestly just want to drop everything, and just go out to the woods and be left alone with nothing but a Bible and God Himself (however I know very well God warns against seclusion like that for too long).

    These posts have helped me cope a bit. Thanks a bunch.

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