Saturday, June 4, 2011

For Introvert and Extrovert

As an introvert, that’s [doing the duties of the Pastoral Office] what gets me through Sunday morning (albeit exhausted by the end). I am terrified to be up in front of people, and I want to run from a crowd and cower in isolation. I have to tell myself each Sunday, “The people need the liturgy, the people need the sermon; I’m not important, Christ is.” That’s the only way I get through the terror of all those people staring at me.  So wrote Chris Esget and was quoted by Eric Brown...

I am not an introvert.  I am an extrovert.  The liturgy may be the way an introvert gets through Sunday morning but for me the liturgy is the way I keep from making Sunday morning all about me.  My confession is this:  I want to be a superstar, to MC Sunday morning like the Oscars, to do my monologue like Jay Leno, to improvise like Colin Mochrie, and then to end it all with a theme song that brings tears to the eye (Thanks for the memories)... I do not need to liturgy to prompt me but to contain me.  I need the liturgy to fence in my personality (too much of it already gets through in the announcements and sermon).  I need the vestments not to encourage my priestly service but to reign in that which would take its place and detract from Christ in His Word and the gifts He has given (Sacraments)... So, the liturgy is a benefit for both (introvert and extrovert).

Now I know some of you will rush to comment that it is not vestments or liturgy that pleases God but the sincere heart  --  you are just as predictable as I am.  So do us all a favor and do not react so predictably (anonymous) but think about what Chris Esget and I have said and to be thankful that the liturgy is there to work on both of us...


Anonymous said...

The Brothers of John the Steadfast
Website/Blog has a slug-fest going
on the topic, "Where is the Love?
Introducing Liturgical Innovation
and Breaking Uniformity"

Would love to see Pastor Peters try
to umpire that game. That is a major
league contest between some heavy
hitters on the liturgical playing
field. Any comments Pastor Peters?lo

Rev. Allen Bergstrazer said...

I'm an introvert married to an extrovert. It's important for extros to understand that there's really nothing wrong with us per se. I can be just as outgoing and talkative as anyone, I delight in large gatherings and visiting with people I know, or complete strangers. Introversion does not mean I am 'shy' or 'bashful' it means my batteries aren't charged by being around people, but rather in peace and quiet. My wife comes home from church full of energy, I come home joyful but exhausted.

As Dr. Rosenblatt used to teach us (and I'm sure he still does) 'the liturgy and lection protects the congregation from the pastor's folly.'