Back in 6th Grade, I wrote a speech entitle People. I can still recall lines in the introduction: “There’s small people, fat people, and smart people. There’s people who like Cheerios while others like Captain Crunch.” I am a born extrovert, which means I get fuelled by rubbing shoulders with people. Sunday morning worship is always a rush for me. People, people, people! I get all excited in crowds.
I love gathering together, especially for the purpose of worship, and I am fully aware that not everyone has the same sort of love. Not everyone has the same extroverted tendencies, and that’s completely fine. Many of my dearest friends over the years are introverts. Introverts fascinate me. Parts of me wishes I had their ability to think the way they think.
However, no matter if you are an extrovert or introvert, the Bible calls the church to gather together. The Bible says it is good for Christians to be together regularly for worship. The church, by definition, is the ecclesia. The Church is made up of called out ones to be together. Extroverts and introverts are called out from this world to rub shoulders and to encounter God in a special way in worship.
Right now I am meeting a slew of new people, and moving from ‘Hey, who are you?’ to ‘You want to join a Bible study?’ is a difficult one. There are others whom I am getting to know that put up a pretty thick wall the moment they find out I am a pastor. It is such an interesting and almost humorous thing to experience. Jokes change. Vocabulary is a little more nuanced. Guards are up, which means my relationship with them also changes, which also means I have to work harder at working at that relationship. That, of course, is not so humorous. Building relationships with those with guarded hearts is exactly what I need to be doing, but my heart hurts for them. I want them to experience what it feels like to be part of this ecclesia group now! Patience is a golden virtue in church planting because relationships take years to develop. What thickens things is that being someone who likes to be accepted, it is a tough pill to swallow to feel rejected, even if that feeling does not match reality. It’s the feeling that makes it feel real, right? It may not be right, but it feels real.
This is all to say that my extroverted side can feel somewhat lonely at times trying to connect with all types of people. Fortunately there is a growing community of Christians I am getting to know, and I am extremely grateful for those relationships and other relationships we had even prior to moving here. Of course, there are the relationships of family and friends further away that keeps us encouraged and fuelled for the journey ahead. Through the new relationships forming, however, I am learning to lean on Jesus and to keep trusting in the work he has called us to here. He accepts me every time with open arms no questions asked, and that is a great source of encouragement and joy.
If you are a Christian, does weekly worship keep you fuelled for the journey ahead? Why or why not?
If you are not a Christian, when do you get lonely and how do you remedy that feeling?