“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: ‘In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it’” (Isaiah 30:15).
What an outstanding article! The message’s not so much a compromise, as it’s the other side to what’s generally a one-sided conversation. Indeed, there’s room in the Body of Christ for an introvert like me! I hope you enjoy reading Introverts in the Church, by Adam S. McHugh.
From Introverts in the Church:
However, my hope is that churches will begin to recognize when their worship services are communicating to introverts that their ways of living and relating and worshiping are inferior or unfaithful. Just as there is not one shape of discipleship, there is not one mold of worship. I would like for my fellow pastors to understand that hour-long sermons may overwhelm a sizable demographic of their congregations, and a two-second silence for personal confession may feel like a mere hand wave at people who want to interact with God in a quiet way. In fact, as we find more balance in our worship, it will not only be introverts who benefit. Extroverts too will learn to listen for God in the cracks of their speech and grow in understanding that “in quietness and in trust shall be your strength” (Is. 30:15).
“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: ‘In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it’” (Isaiah 30:15). Judah’s strength was found in quiet trust in God rather than a frenzied flight to Egypt, but Judah chose, instead, to fly against the enemy, and their flight ended in retreat and panic. Judah’s salvation was in returning to God and resting on Him.
With all the hustle and bustle and consequent distractions that come with daily life, just like Judah, our salvation lies in returning to God and resting on Him. One common description of an introvert is someone who needs time alone to recharge and re-energize. I think this description fits me pretty well, and it causes me think of Jesus who often went off alone to pray and spend time with the Father. Although I recognize the need to challenge my comfort zone, I also equally recognize the need for sanctuary. As McHugh writes: “When introverts go to church, we crave sanctuary in every sense of the word, as we flee from the disorienting distractions of 21st-century life. We desire to escape from superficial relationships, trivial communications, and the constant noise that pervade our world, and find rest in the probing depths of God’s love. We want to hear God’s voice, which comes to us more often in whispers than in triumphant shouts.”
Full disclosure, I am probably not going to attend every pancake breakfast or mens retreat my church either organizes or is in some way involved. There’s a reason why I only have a handful of close friends; that’s entirely by design. But all of us, introverts and extroverts alike, do need to be challenged in worship in ways that stretch us spiritually. I believe that we each have much to learn from one another. Let our conversation be two-sided and mutually edifying.
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