Last week I shared Things Introverts Hate About Church. Admittedly, many things about church services can make us introverts feel uncomfortable.
But there are also some things about church that we thrive on. Here are a few of them:
Movie theater campuses or satellite locations. A lot of larger churches utilize these, and they typically get the introvert seal of approval because they’re less interactive. The lights are dimmed, there’s usually no greeting time, and there tend to be fewer people around in general. The one I attended in college even supplied free doughnuts. What’s not to love?
A predictable routine. We take comfort in knowing there will be three or four worship songs, an opening prayer, a 30-minute lecture-style sermon, and a closing prayer. And we don’t mind at all staying in our seats for the whole thing. Extroverts might prefer a more stimulating environment, but we introverts appreciate the lack of surprises, specifically when it comes to socialization. Spring a prayer circle on us and we may disappear forever (As I mentioned last week, I know people who have)!
Note sheets. Not only do these help us pay closer attention to the sermon, but they can also serve as miniature security blankets. They give us something to hold, write on, and look at instead of feeling vulnerable to unforeseen extrovert attacks! 😊
The church app (or notes posted on YouVersion). Same reasons as above. Plus the app gives us a legitimate reason to look at our phones!
Online sermons. Now, I am in no way saying these should replace actually attending church in person. Although my extremely introverted side would love to declare that’s perfectly okay, I don’t believe it is. Part of being a Christian, even for introverts, means being part of a church body and actually interacting with people in that community on some level. That’s just not possible by watching a video on YouTube once a week. However, it’s nice to have the option to re-watch a sermon if we miss something or just to absorb the message on our own. I’ve hardly missed a Sunday at church my entire life, but I learn best when there’s quiet all around me, and sometimes having so many people around steals my focus. I love being able to re-watch a sermon later if I know I zoned out for a while. I also enjoy watching sermons from other churches around the world that I don’t have access to in person.
Small groups.* Like, actual small groups, not just large groups that are referred to as small groups. We get to know people best one-on-one or in small group settings. It’s way harder for us to befriend others in bigger groups, and it’s very beneficial to us when churches offer these smaller gatherings – life groups, connection groups, or whatever they officially call them – so we have the opportunity to make friends in a more natural setting. *Not to be confused with prayer circles (a very important distinction)
Online giving. Some churches make attendees walk to the front or some designated visible place to drop off their tithes and offerings. Since we shun the spotlight in any way, most of us introverts prefer the subtlety (not to mention convenience!) of giving online.
Open seating. We like being able to choose a seat and stay there. Some churches ask people to move up or seat them in order to fit as many people in the sanctuary as possible, but these are not our kind of churches. Shout out to the churches who are cool with us sitting wherever we like, such as…
The balcony. We introverts are not the type of people you’ll find sitting up front right behind the pastor. No, those would be our extroverted friends. We prefer to stay out of the spotlight and out of the way, and any church that has a balcony is our kind of place. Balconies are usually less crowded, less noisy, and less visible. Everything we love in one place!
The back door. You know the one. Not everybody knows about it, but I guarantee you all the introverts do. It’s a dream come true: no crowds, no handshakes, no lines, and no greeters. We are willing to walk many, many extra steps to avoid doors with greeters.
The back row. Does this really need an explanation? It’s less visible, there are less people around to greet (only one row in front of you instead of one in front AND one behind), and it’s close to the door in case things get too crazy and we need to make a fast exit. 😉 I sat near the door in my college classes for the same reasons. While some people might prefer to be front and center, we introverts LOVE our back-row seats. I can’t tell you how many of my introverted friends and I have bonded over this!
Alright, what did I miss? I’m sure my fellow introverts have several key things (and probably a few funny ones) to add. I might even have to update the post if I missed anything earth-shattering. 😊
What about YOUR church caters to introverts and makes them feel at home?