Friday, April 27, 2012

Fifteen Seconds of Fame

Last week I had my moment of fame.  But only anonymously, of course, because that’s how introverts like their fame.

One of the ways I wisely spend my time is reading blogs, one of which is Stuff Christians Like.  In a post titled Worship Leader Simon Says, the author wrote about the worship director throwing a “grenade of intimacy,” commanding everyone in the congregation to hug someone before sitting down. 

I commented, “Aaaaaand…. all the introverts run away.”  Apparently 100 people liked my comment.  Yes, I know that compared to the Huffington Post or, 100 clicks is nothing to write home about.  From my perspective, though, my words have never been so liked before in my life.  But when all this liking and feeding of my ego was going on, I missed it because I was at the Old Folks Home.

While I am belatedly drawing extra attention to my fame, I just have to say that I think my church does a pretty good job of including introverts at their own comfort level.  It starts with the children’s sermon.  The minister begins by saying something like, “Good morning, children.”  And the children can say “Good morning” back if they want, and then the minister goes on from there.  This is preferable to expecting the children to respond with a stadium-cheer-volume reply, and if they don’t, cajoling them with, “That’s not good enough.  You can do better than that. I said ‘GOOD MORNING, CHILDREN!’” thereby giving the kids the impression that loud = enthusiastic and loud = good, when in fact, loud is only loud.

At my church we only occasionally (about once every two months) have a time for “passing of the peace,” and we are never commanded to hug one another with the holy hug of Christian love.  I don’t mind shaking a stranger’s hand and saying, “May the peace of Christ be with you.”  In fact, I appreciate the chance to occasionally smile and be smiled at by the people around me in worship. Yes, some people turn it into a ten-minute love-fest or therapy session, but there is no shame coming your way if you greet three people and then sit down. 

But before I get lost in my introverted thoughts, I have to let you know that if you act fast, like, before tonight, you can enter to win a copy of the book “Introverts in the Church” by Rev Adam McHugh, by clicking through to comment on this post at Stuff Christians Like. 


Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Our pastor is Italian, from Jersey. He greets us by saying "How you doin'?" In return we reply, "How you doin'?"
Your comment on that was BRILLIANT! I like it, too!

Cassi Renee said...

In the Catholic church I grew up in, we also did the hand-shaking "peace be with you" moment. As a fellow introvert, I also really appreciated that you could just smile and shake hands, and take it no further. I found it friendly without being intrusive.

In the UU Church I currently attend, we have a closing circle, where we all stand in a circle around the chairs (usually 20 - 30 people), hold hands and sing a short verse three times. As much as I like the people in my church, I'm still kind of uncomfortable with this ritual.

Angie said...

Myself, also an introvert, and terribly OCD, I never enjoyed passing the peace in church. Didn't Hiland used to do that every Sunday? My present church stopped doing it in the contemporary service. I'm glad. Not that I don't love everyone. It just seems an odd sort of thing to me.

Adam S. McHugh said...

And that comment totally helped me connect with Jon and make the giveaway happen. Thank you!!