Monday, May 30, 2011

Evangelical Preachers: Bane of the FIP (Faithful Introvert Pastor)

So, one of my mentors, Rev. Christopher Esget, writes a blog post musing on comments about the liturgy as a safeguard against Evangelical crazies (that's my term) - and Pastor Esget writes the following:

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.

I too am an introvert.

I don't particularly enough standing in front of large groups of people. I don't really enjoy talking. When I am tired and frazzed and bored, I want to hide. My mom would refer to it as "cave time" when I was growing up. Some people are energized by hanging out around folks - I'm not.

This is part of the reason why I (and I guess most of my fellow Faithful Introvert Pastors - or FIPs) get so ticked off by so many of the Evangelical preachers. As if preaching false doctrine isn't enough, there is that constant, background whisper (or sometimes blunt assertion) that if you were a "real" man of God, that's what you'd be like. Outgoing, flashy, successful looking - shaking hands and kissing babies - just the kind of guy that everyone would want to be like. When things are rough - can't you go out and do more of... that?


The question isn't whether I teach well, or constantly point people to Christ. The question isn't whether I open Scripture and proclaim it in its truth and purity -- it's am I hip enough, or outgoing enough, or what have you.

Actually, that's not true. That's not really the questions or the demands. Not really - from some, sure, but not from most folks. Most want simply Christ Jesus - which is what I preach, which is why I administer the Lord's Supper.

But that's what Satan tells me I need to be more like if I want to be liked, to be loved, to be successful or what ever other flavor. They draw attention to themselves, and I start to think that I need to as well.

And that is why they are my bane.


Mike Baker said...

And when it becomes about you and your individual performance... you are all the more tempted to cut corners, pull punches, and play to your audience. Everyone is a glory seeker who is seduced by pride in one fashion or another. Do not let sin have a foothold.

Mike Baker said...