September 24, 2020

Disruption Stories: The Introvert (Part 1)

Colette's light has shone more brightly in her community during the coronavirus shutdown.

Colette is a middle-aged woman, a single parent, and faithful follower of Jesus who has persevered through many life trials. She loves going to church, singing, and meeting up with close friends there. 

Colette is also an introvert. 

That does not mean she is shy. It just means it takes extra energy to casually mingle among many people at coffee time after service. She is much more comfortable in small settings. As an introvert, she also prefers taking time to think before she speaks, and would rather compose something written rather than speak up in a group or crowd. 

At Colette’s church, the do a pre-recorded video of the church service and post it on YouTube at 10:00 on Sunday morning. People open the link a few minutes prior, and there is some casual chatter in the chat pane:  a lot of “good morning!” and “so glad to be together!” 

As the worship band performed their "brady-bunch" style ensemble, and as readers prayed and read scripture, more and more people would volunteer words of affirmation -- “love this song”, “amen” (a lot of these), “thank you worship team!” And, as the sermon message was delivered, people offered up thoughtful responses and questions. 

And then a funny new thing started to develop. Almost every time someone posted a hello or a comment, Colette would respond directly. “Good morning, Mikey!” and “Excellent question, Sarah -- I have had that same experience.” 

Someone mentioned to her that as an introvert, she was quite visible and vocal. 

“Oh, it’s easy for me to be social from the privacy of my own room,” she responded. And all the other introverts shouted, Amen!

A few months into the Covid shutdown, that same church had an empty seat on their board of elders. Colette’s name -- now well-known and more widely appreciated -- was put forth as a candidate. The lead pastor was delighted to discover such a breath of fresh air, and not just the ‘same old same old’ names. And, sure enough, Colette took the seat and is now in a leadership role at her church. 

The new way of doing church allowed her light, once hidden under a bushel, to be held high and shine more brightly.