A friend on Facebook asked a question recently about shaking hands and welcoming people in church. Should we do it? Do we really make people feel comfortable that way? Should we do it?
I made a comment that, unfortunately, we have designed church for the extrovert. But the world is full of introverts who don’t like to jump up and down during the music, or shake hands and speak and hug. They don’t think that just because they clap their hands and raise their hands, they are not spiritual or in the presence of God.
I find it Interesting that we ask for the Spirit to fall and speak to us but never create space for people to hear the Spirit speak. We have programmed out the voice of the Spirit.
Or worse, we’ve delegated the voice of the Spirit to the pastor, and he becomes the de facto Spirit. Maybe that’s more of what’s happened. It seems the celebrity status of the pastor has grown, and what he says goes. As Susan Cain notes, “We morphed into a ‘culture of personality,’ which she says sparked a fascination with glittering movie stars, bubbly employees and outgoing leadership.”
But what if, instead of JUST jumping up and down during the music portion of worship with uptempo songs and shaking hands, we had people sit and listen to the Spirit with quiet music playing in the background? What if we create space to meditate on the scripture after its read? Introverts need that like extroverts need to be around people.
I hear pastors remarking that people don’t make time for the Spirit to move in their lives and don’t live in the power of the Spirit. But maybe that’s because the body, through corporate worship, has not demonstrated the need for listening to the Spirit. We’ve designed church to be fun and exciting and an event. Extrovert’s run to those things. Introverts, not so much.
So maybe we begin to interrupt our fun-filled services with times of quiet and meditation. Add time for the Spirit to speak. Maybe then, it becomes less of an event and more of a communal time, where people commune with the Spirit and others. And each can have “fun” in their own way.