As an avid blogger and blog reader, I’ve seen so many suggestions for how a Christian can feel closer to God. I’ve read each one, almost dutifully, the same way I read books on living a Christian lifestyle. I hope to learn new things and be encouraged to grow through them.
I did learn from these articles. I’ve added things into my Christian life, sometimes daily. I began Bible journaling after reading a post about it and I’ve loved it. I began a gratitude journal. I’ve also learned somethings that do not work for me.
I’m an extrovert. I’ve talked about making it work with my husband before as he is an introvert on almost as much of an extreme as I am an extrovert. I am rejuvenated and renewed by time with others. Many of the things I’ve seen talking about reconnecting with Jesus or becoming a more faithful Christian seem to be aimed at introverts. Quiet prayer time, silent reflection, being still and alone with the Bible-all these things are great for anyone. But in my experience, they don’t reset my soul or jolt my heart back to life.
After spending some time praying over how I fail at being a good Christian I began reading a book by John Ortberg, entitled “The Me I Want to Be.” (As soon as I finish, expect a review!). In the book, it talks about how comparing our Christian walk to another’s or trying to be a Christian like another person will never bring you closer to the person you are supposed to be. It hit me like a revelation: maybe, just maybe, I’m not failing as being a Christian, I’m just failing at being a Christian the way others succeed.
I spent some time in prayer, listing what I do as an extrovert to become closer to Jesus and I wanted to share that for all my other extroverted Christians out there!
- Bible studies with other people. I don’t know about you, but for me, I love to talk it over and pick apart Bible stories with a group of people. It will help me focus and learn more than I would on my own.
- Join fellowship groups within the church. These groups also can use introverts! But for me, being surrounded by like minded people helps me and gives me a back board to bounce my thoughts and feelings on. Plus, I am huge on fellowship. Multiple groups give me the chance to create many friendships and have many people to talk to.
- Volunteer for those positions that deal with a lot of people. My husband recently worked on the computers at our church. He only had to talk to two people during that time; it was much more his speed. I on the other hand, thrive in positions with the children’s ministry or in positions where I am surrounded by people. I would hate to sit in an office in the quiet reprogramming a printer. But my husband would hate to be a greeter in the front of the church. Listen to your strengths and help there! Don’t try to force yourself into other places.
- Pray out loud. I’m going to say what I’m not supposed to say here-I hate silent prayer. When we have moments of silence in church, my mind wanders. At home, I pray out loud. Constantly. I shower daily, simply for that half hour of prayer time I can talk to God-and actually TALK to him. I usually end up leading our before bedtime prayer. For me, vocally praying is much more comfortable.
- Listen to loud, intense worship music. The louder the better for me. I listen to it, singing along(quite terribly) at home. The volume and the energy I get from the music relaxes me.
- Push yourself outside of your comfort zone. I know, this is about being an extrovert and allowing yourself to be who you were created to be without shaming yourself into trying to fit another person’s Christian walk. But God didn’t make us to sit inside our area of comfort! We need to try to explore and grow in our faith. For me, that means dedicating time to being still and knowing who God is. For my husband, that can mean attending a breakfast for the men of the church and interacting with other people for a few hours. We are not called to change who we are, but we are called to try and grow. So push that comfort zone fellow extroverts!!