An Evangelical emphasis on extrovertedness

If you have ever gone to church and felt left out because you are quiet, reserved, or introverted, you are likely not alone. Adam McHugh argues that Evangelical churches tend to privilege the extroverted and equate faith with outgoingness:

Even more dangerous is the tendency of evangelical churches to unintentionally exalt extroverted qualities as the “ideals” of faithfulness. Too often “ideal” Christians are social and gregarious, with an overt passion and enthusiasm. They find it easy to share the gospel with strangers, eagerly invite people into their homes, participate in a wide variety of activities, and quickly assume leadership responsibilities. Those are wonderful qualities, and our churches suffer when we don’t have those sorts of people, but if these qualities epitomize the Christian life, many of us introverts are left feeling excluded and spiritually inadequate. Or we wear ourselves out from constantly masquerading as extroverts.

This is insightful. This may be linked to the typical Evangelical church presentation: generally loud music, brashness about the message, highlighting people in the church who are doing things.

I’ve often wondered why churches don’t feature more testimonies/stories/insights from “average” or “typical” congregants who have often lived rich lives of faith full of troubles and triumphs. These would be people that others could relate to. Congregants can learn from ministers and church leaders but they can also learn from the people sitting next to them.

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