Life, Faith and Urban Farming

The life and happenings of an unconventional pastor and urban farmer living in the city with a family of five.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Introverts and extroverts

Alyssa wrote an really good couple paragraphs on her blog about her stuggle with being an introvert and the need for Christian community. The Open Door talks a lot about community, and we try to act upon it too. I think that's one of the best things about our "community." But read what Alyssa wrote, it's an important perspective for us to keep in mind. Sorry if you already read it at her site!

I (with the help of my husband) have been thinking a lot about what Christian community looks like for the more introverted person. Bear with me as I try to explain. I love the idea of community. I love the reasoning, thought and scripture behind it. But sometimes I feel that people who are more extroverted have a much easier time with it. When I say extroverted I am not using it interchangeably with "outgoing." I simply mean someone who draws the majority of his/her energy from being around people. (as my good friend Marlaena has taught me so well) So on the opposite side would be the introvert who draws his/her energy from time alone or perhaps more one-on-one situations. Can you see how it would be much harder for the introvert in a communal situation? I see the value of it and I am trying hard to be a part of the Open Door community which John and I sincerely love. But it is hard at times. We talk about hanging out with others in "third spaces" or sharing dinner with friends. And I like to do that every once in a while - but after I work 9-5 in a typical day and come home I am usually so tired that all I want to do is be by myself or just with my husband and just the thought of sharing those few precious hours with others makes me even more tired. Perhaps I'm just being selfish here. And I honestly do think that's a part of it. I am learning to understand that I am not expected to join in all the time, but joining some of the time is good and healthy. But I also think that we need make easy ways for people like myself to plug in, make connections and build relationships, but not feel so tapped that they become consistently uncomfortable or simply back out of any type of community.

I think it's a very hard thing to think about. But I do think it's something we have to take into consideration as we try to invite all types of people into Christ's community. Any thoughts on ways to do this?

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