Friday, April 11, 2014

The polarized church part 14: conclusion

I hope you get what I have been driving at during these last few months. That both extroverts and introverts within the body of Christ need to meet in the middle and help one another, not try to change others into a version of yourself; which only creates conflict. Within worship there is a time to be quiet and reflective, as well as a time to be exuberant and praising. Without the extrovert side of the contemporary heart focused church, worship can become dispassionate, legalistic, and ultimately insincere. Without the introvert side of the mind focused traditional church, our worship can become worldly, shallow, and ultimately selfish. 

In the end, we need to rejoice in our differences, not eliminate them for the sake of comfort. While this is but one aspect of where we need to bring unity in our diversity. Our failure to recognize it has allowed a division to faction off the church. It's a simple human failing of church leaders to try to recreate the church in their image and temperament. They always use the same argument when people resist too. "If you were faithful, you would do what I'm suggesting." Never recognizing that it takes little or any faith to just be true to their own temperament, as they are. The inherent diversity in mankind can be the biggest strength we have, if we embrace and honor it as instructed in scripture. However, it can be our greatest liability if we try to defy and fight against it, which humanity naturally tends do. 

Speaking as an introvert, the understanding I have found by educating myself about the spectrum has really granted me a lot of peace that I was lacking. It's helped me to understand myself, as well as others who naturally think, feel, and act differently than I do. Specifically why they react to me the way they do. It's really freed me from a lot of false guilt, and allowed me to accept myself as God truly made me, and not as the world would recreate me in it's so called ideal extroverted image. If you are not an introvert yourself, you are probably in relationship with one. Perhaps they are even part of your church family. They may even drive you insane on how they approach life. This information will certainly help you to understand them much better. In your case, study it because you care about them, not just yourself.

two diverse people connecting
The diversity  alga-rhythm 

Suggested reading

Friday, April 4, 2014

The polarized church part 13: Discipleship and the spectrum

Our final teaching method is apprenticeship, or if you want to use the Biblical vernacular discipleship. Technically speaking they may be slightly different, but I'd say there is more similarities than differences; especially as applied by Jesus. Sometimes I think we use the term discipleship today as a catch all term for teaching Christian values. Yet forget the specific hands on, interactive, and experience based methods Jesus actually used much of the time.

Both discipleship and apprenticeship are example based forms of teaching. Like when Jesus washed the apostle’s feet, he wasn't just telling them what to do, he was showing them how to serve one another in a real world application. Just as your mentor might in an apprenticeship. Jesus also assigned tasks to his disciples, he didn't just show them what to do, but he gave them opportunity to experience it for themselves; just as a technical school might, once they show you how, they give you the opportunity to put that knowledge to work in a real world application; not merely a theoretical one. I use that example, for in a lot of ways tech schools are a larger scale form of apprenticeship.

Which is another way all these concepts are similar. They can work on a wide variety of scales. Even Jesus had his inner circle among the twelve who were being set aside for special positions in the future church, and received special instruction that the others did not. As well as hundreds of other disciples who followed Jesus around, trying to take in everything he said and did. But over all, whatever form or scale apprenticeship or discipleship takes, it is all less mental, and more hands on. Which makes it ideal for the more extroverted student, for they much rather do than think any day. It is one of the defining characteristics that makes an extrovert what they are after all. It better captures their attention, and caters to their needs and temperament. Plus it's a proven fact that we remember what we DO to a much higher degree over what we hear or read, as much as three or four times more.

Introverts can manage fine with apprenticeship and discipleship as well. For the simple fact that even in a group setting, much of the negative aspects of competition is marginalized. Since extroverts are less likely to become bored and disruptive in said environment, and nobody gets left out of demonstration or experience like in a discussion based class. It's no wonder why more hands on type technical schools are on the upswing right now. It really is a far better option for an extrovert skewed society over a traditional lecture based education. Yet doesn't totally exclude the introvert either. 

Maybe that's why Jesus used a more active example based approach himself, it's more universal. Makes you wonder why churches aren't more Christ like in there approach in teaching that way, rather than rely so much on the biased sacred cows of lecture and group study that we've used for centuries. 

someone talking up their cross in a passionate way