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Posts Tagged "Introverts and Extraverts in Church":

“Extroverts and Introverts in the Church”: Jo Amey

Will you help Jo Amey by filling in her survey on whether our personality types affect our choice of worship style?

About me

My name is Jo and since 2007 I have been on the Foundation Degree in Ministry offered by Oxford Brookes University through the Diocese of Salisbury’s Learning for Discipleship Programme.

Extroverts and Introverts in church

For my final project I am analysing whether our personality types affect our choice of worship style.  Are charismatic churches full of bubbly extroverts?  Are introverts sitting silently in the back pews at Evensong?   Are these just stereotypes?

There are many things that baffle me about church.  Even after being a Christian for thirty years, or especially after being a Christian for thirty years.  One of them is the different approaches people have to worshipping the same God we all seek to follow faithfully.

Have you ever sat at the back of a charismatic meeting wondering why everyone else is wildly jumping and shouting and keeling over to the glory of God?  Have you ever sat in the third pew from the back in an Anglo-Catholic Eucharist wondering why people are carrying candles about, bowing in odd places and then worrying about the right time to stand, sit and turn around?   I have.

During my time on the Learning for Discipleship course I have met people from many different strands of Anglicanism which differed from my own experience.  I found that one of the deepest areas of mutual non-comprehension was that of worship style.    It started to interest me.

One of my fellow students remarked  ‘I went to a service at the Church of ….  I would never have known I was in an Anglican church at all!’   As I know that the style of this church is close to my own,  I was astounded to discover that there were people, quite normal people apparently, who regarded my own familiar worship experience as something  odd and  not typical.

I also became interested in personality types, especially after reading ‘Introverts in the Church: Finding our Place in an Extroverted Culture’ by Adam S McHugh.   He questions how much of our church experience is based around culture rather than the kingdom of God.  As a minister in the USA his church culture may differ from ours in the UK but he still raises some pertinent questions.

He challenges the assumption that extroversion automatically a valuable characteristic in a minister and that introversion is a handicap to be overcome.

So I thought it would perhaps be a fruitful area of study to see if introverts and extroverts differ in their choice of worship.  After all it could explain a lot … Are those frenetically  exuberant charismatics all expressive extroverts?   Are introverts sneaking into the back pew at Cathedral Evensong and slipping away before the end of the service so they don’t have to socialise? Are these just unhelpful and extreme stereotypes?

I have devised a cunning plan to help me find out in the form of a short survey.  The more people who take part, the more chance I have of finding out if there is a bias or if I’m barking up the wrong tree.  But I’m hoping it will add to our understanding of each other in some small way at least.

After all, one day the wolf will dwell with the lamb, the leopard with the kid, the introvert with the extrovert  …

What I would like you to do

Please complete the survey (powered by Survey Monkey)  here .

Your personal contact details are not collected. You don’t have to download a programme. There are ten questions which you can answer as briefly or expansively as you like.

Your comments may be quoted in the final assignment but I won’t know who said them. If you don’t want this to happen, then add ‘DNQ’ to your comment.

Ways We Worship: online presence

You may also like to have a look at my blog, ‘Ways We Worship’ or my Facebook page Ways We Worship.

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