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Introversion and church-going (parte dos)

Want to know what I do during the linguistics class in which I could almost see myself falling asleep? Well…

This past summer I linked to an article helping introverts find their place in church. Guess what? There’s a whole book about introversion and church-going, called Introverts in the Church by Adam S. McHugh (Evangelical Outpost review here). It was on the new-books display case at my college library so I picked it up.

The paperback isn’t too big so it fits right on top of my linguistics notebook, and I read it for, oh, the first forty or so minutes of class, while the monotone professor goes over the homework. I got through over a hundred pages that way (while still participating in some of the class homework discussions). However, it’s now spring break and I can read it in more extended segments. I’ll likely finish the book tonight.

But before I forget (or get sidetracked by other parts of the book), I wanted to comment on what I just read a few minutes ago:

Some introverts decry the shallowness of contemporary worship songs and their repetitive refrains, which can feel emotionally manipulative. They say that loud music disrupts their internal dialogue with the Spirit. One member of a charismatic church lamented that when people showed emotion in worship, the pastor would proclaim "The Spirit is really moving this morning!" These kinds of churches tend to encourage spontaneous bodily responses--raising arms, kneeling, dancing--and many introverts are uncomfortable with these kinds of reactions and the attention they draw. And the more the expectation for this kind of worship grows, the more introverts consider it artificial and stifling....

For us, quiet is often the context for heartfelt worship…. We desire to escape from superficial relationships, trivial communications and the constant noise that pervade our world, and find rest in the proving depths of God’s love. We want to hear God’s voice, which comes to us more often in whispers than in triumphant shouts.

My thought: Perhaps this is why I am never quite comfortable in my Christian college’s chapel services. I once complained on this blog how uninspiring much of the music in chapel has been, and my opinion has not materially changed; and though I really do take Christianity seriously, and strive to know God more every day, I don’t think I’ve ever once so much as lifted my hands in chapel. I certainly don’t blame anyone who likes the music or loves to lift their hands, of course, but it’s not my thing….

Probably the most reassuring concept I’ve gotten from this book is that I can be an authentic Christian without all the hand-waving, emotional chapel-isms that seem to be requisite among collegians.

Now back to my linguistics class diversion. Which I recommend, by the way. Not necessarily as a linguistics class diversion; it’s perfectly appropriate to read in other classes, too. ;)


da_baum said…
Because professors don't mind at all when you read other books in their classes. I would never, ever do something other than pay attention in class! Nope...never, ever, ever, ever...

And you probably noticed, but my short existence has turned into a longer stay than I anticipated...
Sarah said…
Haha. You did see that I also texted in class once, right? Not this class, but another one.

I have noticed. Is it like a reverse Lent fast? :D
da_baum said…
I'm fasting from Lent, actually.

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