This is part two of a series of blogs about being an introvert excited about building Christian community in a big church context, without having to pretend to be an extrovert.
These are some things I find myself praying as I head to my big church on a Sunday morning…
Lord, please grant me the wisdom to know how much people-energy I have today. Help me to be peaceful after I have given it, knowing that you will multiply the little I have to invest, and that you don’t expect me to give what I do not have.
Help me to feel no sense of guilt or disappointment when events during the week are advertised from the front that I know I won’t have the people-energy to attend. Help me to trust that you have written my story – including my introversion – and you know what you’re doing!
Help me to feel real affection for the people around me this morning, and that they would sense (quiet) warmth from me rather than anxiety or unease.
Help me to overcome my fear of introducing myself: please give me an adventurous spirit so that I can walk up to someone sitting on their own, and say “Can I sit with you?” Help me to trust my body’s adaptable nature – that with practice this will stop being scary, even if it remains something I only have the energy to do a little of each week!
Give me faith to believe that I could be blessing to the people I encounter today, and the boldness to start conversations, (and to keep them going!).
Give me the daring to ask for people’s telephone numbers and to risk rejection by suggesting hanging out outside of church.
And of course, the greatest miracle of all, please help me to be on time today, so that I actually have time to chat before the service, when things are calmest and I have the people energy!
Thank you, Lord, for all the beginnings of friendships that you have already blessed me with! May today be a deepening of one or two of them, and the start of one or two more.
Help me to love genuinely and to be self-forgetful.
And may you get all the glory!