Monday, 10 September 2012

Extrovert and Introvert

I've been reading a lot of things in recent months that talk about the church experience from the view point of introverts. Church, they say, is geared towards extroverts, who find energy from being with others, from expressing themselves, from loud music and colourful floral arrangements. The introverts, however, are those that find their energy from being on their own, quiet spaces and Gregorian chanting. Okay, my definitions may not be quite right, but you get the idea.

God created us all differently, we are all designed with different gifts and strengths, we are all different parts of one body. It's good to discuss this differences and to explore different ways in which we can worship God, in both the loud and the quiet. The gospel is not just for the extroverts, nor is it only for the introverts.

It's also really important to aware of how God made us. We can serve affectively is we know our strengths; we can see areas where sin is likely if we know our weaknesses. Perhaps some massive generalisations, but it could be said that extroverts may turn their need for love and affirmation into an idol, and introverts may put too much emphasis on their own space and time and not sacrifice it for the needs of others.

But, in amongst this debate we mustn't forget this: above all else we are children of God. If we need to spend time in quiet reflecting on God's word, extroversion is not an excuse. Likewise, the importance of corporate prayer and worship should not dismissed because you are an introvert. God's glory comes first. The needs of others come second. The needs of our own comes after that. We have presented ourselves as living sacrifices, Myers Briggs personality type and all.

If anyone is interested, I'm an ambivert, bang in the middle. I'm apparently an ENFJ Myers Briggs personality.

Quick Questions

  • Introvert or Extrovert?
  • Do you know your Myers Briggs profile?
  • Does it matter?

1 comment:

  1. Thomas, as a fellow NF (iNtuitive / Feeling) Theophilus, I understand what you are expressing.

    Though I am introverted, I have a bit of High Sensation Seeker in me. If it were not for this I would not feel very comfortable in many "church" settings. The contemplative and empathy that are my strengths allow me to connect in a small group setting and in certain one on one ministries.

    Yes, you are correct. We must follow our own strengths and serve from them. The passionate extroverts can present a compelling voice to enter their type of worship, ministry or "church" setting. Each of us must be willing to put the approval of other mortals aside as we seek only His.


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