Many of you may read this title and think, so what. But this was the first time I had been around people, other than family and a few quick shopping trips in 13 months. So, for me, it was a big deal.
I am an introvert. And not just a person with some introvert tendencies. I could be a poster child for introversion. I am quite comfortable being alone for extended periods of time. For weeks and months at a time. I enjoy being around a few people at a time, for limited periods of time. But crowds make me uncomfortable.
I have attended worship services at a local church all my life, although generally smaller churches. The church I am currently a part of now is much larger than any I can remember. I have been a part of that body for about 4 years now, although the last year has been via Zoom and Facebook Live. I still have not found my place within the body. So mostly I participate in worship services and Bible studies, sing in the choir, and contribute financially. And, after 4 years, I still feel somewhat like an outsider.
I am not blaming anyone for that. It is just who and what I am. I sometimes wish I were different. But I am not. And I am mostly satisfied with being who God made me to be. But being an extreme introvert in an environment dominated by extroverts can be challenging.
Anyway, this morning I attended our worship service for the first time. I have to admit I was apprehensive about moving back into society, even within the safe confines of the church. It was tempting to put it off for a while. But I know that I need to be an active part of the church. And putting it off would only make it harder. So I went.
I wish I could say that the experience was good. While there were some aspects that I enjoyed, like singing with a crowd rather than in front of my TV, overall I struggled with the experience. The dynamics of the church have changed in the past year. That is not a negative, just the way things are. And it felt like I was starting over again. Apart from a small handful of people, I had no interaction with anyone. Again, I am not pointing fingers. I could easily have approached more people, but did not.
Will I go back next week? At this point I am undecided. If I am going to have to start over again, maybe it should be in a smaller body where I have a better chance to be more than just an attender. I will be praying about it all week.
If you have read this far and find yourself in the same position, I would encourage you to not drop out. Even though it is tempting and would be easy to do, we need to be an active part of a living and active body of Christ. Without that we will not grow as believers. Being a part of a local body is vital to our growth as disciples of Christ.
If you are not in the same place that I am, along with many others I am sure, and do not understand where I am coming from, I would encourage you to be supportive nonetheless. I believe you need us as much as we need you. All the parts of the body are necessary. God has put us together for a purpose, and he does not make mistakes. Introverts and extroverts are different in many ways. But we both bring something of value to the life of the body. You may not understand us any more than we understand you. But I would encourage you to utilize our gifts and passions as much as you do your own.
The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.
If you have found value in this post, please consider subscribing to A Clay Jar so that you don’t miss any other posts.