Being an extrovert in church is awesome---if you're a man. You get to preach, teach and lead worship. If you're an extroverted woman, you get Children's Ministry. Which is fine. Thank goodness for women in Children's Ministry. But everyone knows it's the supportive role, not the leading role. The problem is that I've never been much of a follower. I'm the inspirer. The motivational leader. I like to champion causes and right the wrongs of the world! Unfortunately, in most churches, you need to be a man to do those things.
Kamille of "Redeeming the Table" wrote this thought-provoking post about extroverted women and how it's difficult for us to fit in at church. Um, YEP.
I've never felt like the holiest woman in the room mainly because I run my mouth and verbally process every thought and feeling I'm having.
Point is, the women who are held up as most godly are the ones who learn in all meekness and quietness. I used to totally think I sucked at being a Christian woman because I hated silent retreats and words like submission. I think my main problem was that I was an extrovert trapped in an introvert's environment.
Then again, entire books are now being written about how difficult it is for introverts to fit in at church. WHAT?! B-b-but I thought introverts were the GODLY people!! I thought church was easy for introverts.
So, if that book is true, does anyone fit in at church?
Or maybe it's hard for introverts in the modern, evangelical manifestation of church? Here in Southern California, it seems like new evangelical churches pop up every weekend. They're bursting full of hip, chatty young people and cutting edge worship bands. I'm happy to see such forward, free-speaking women in these churches. This gives me hope for the future of women in the church.
But for whatever reason, I have no desire to join them.
I think I've passed some point of return. It's like I broke my Bible Study metabolism. I can't rev it up anymore. The very last thing I want to do is sit in another women's bible study.
On the other hand, I'm beginning to see that I can't do this faith thing alone. I hate going to Mass by myself. I feel so alone in Catholicism. At the same time, I can't imagine going back to Protestant church full-time. The good thing about Catholicism is that it doesn't pander to ANY personality type. Since Mass is the same in every single parish all around the world, it doesn't matter if you're an introvert or extrovert. The same thing is gonna happen no matter whether you're a rockin' public speaker or whether you've taken a vow of silence.
And I have to say, I like that. I like it so much I can't imagine only attending Protestant church services where so much is dependent on the quality of the pastor's preaching.
So, I just do both: Mass at 6:30am and Presbyterian church at 8:45. It's ridiculously complicated and I wish there were some sort of solution. But I don't see one right now.
My husband--beloved little introvert that he is--finally found a men's small group at our local Presbyterian church. It took him five years of attending that church before he got comfortable with his peeps. But now he attends every Thursday morning, rain or shine. I've started teasing him about it because almost nothing keeps him from attending this group. I have to be honest and admit I'm somewhat jealous of him. He makes attending small group look so easy.
The very thought of small group makes me break out in hives--and I'm an extrovert!
Maybe I'll just become a nun.
Oh, wait. I think I passed the point of no return on that one, too.