What Would Jesus Do if He were an Introvert and Someone Tried to Hug Him at Church?

A Christian answers my survey about hugging and other introvert UNfriendly atrocities at church these days.

See here for the article and more responses:  www.theintrovertzcoach.com/church_for_introverts.html .

From a Christian reader:
“I have never hugged a stranger unless he/she initiated the hug and was extremely outgoing and genuine in the action. I am only a moderate introvert, so it wasn’t an aweful expierence, but I didn’;t feel exactly comfortable with it. As an INFJ and Jesus being the center of my life, I naturally felt that I should give and show as much love as possible because not only is that what I am called to do but because I want to. However, I would much rather have established a connection and identified who the “stranger” was about before physical contact, but I will never reject a hug, even if it was unwanted. Why be selfish and risk potenially harming another person just because they misunderstood that a hug might have the opposite effect than intended. Everyone just wants to be loved. Hopefully, as we mature we can better assess how said person best recieves love.

“They have a band, live music, video screen, microphone, children, coffee hour and sermon.

“I go once a week and I do see it as an opportunity for companionship.

“I don’t mind this additions because I feel as though they actaully help in focusing the service and limiting distractions. I like being able to hear the sermon well (louder than the people’s movements beside me. Then again my church has the option of two services. One traditional and one contemperary. Even though the traditional appeals to my introverted side with its many readings and quiet, the contemerary service stikes a cord with me as well because I seem to be able to better connect with the worship on a stronger personal level. I enjoy the band.

“The only time visitors are identified is if they are relatives of one of the main leaders in the church, such as the vicar’s (apprentice pastor)parents, who are from out of town and already have a church. Normal visitors are not singled out publicly, but we have special discreet greeters who look out for newcomers and try to make a connection, usually in the form of a polite sincere conversation, with very little physical touch that is not initiated by the visitor. I feel that this is a good approach because (following with this discussion) usually the extroverts will sometimes put themselves out there for conversation, in which he will find many willing partners, and the introverts don’t feel threatened and bombarded by the onslaught of the spotlight and excess attention. The visitors should feel like their presence was noted and that someone cared that they were their. They were of value enough to get to know. Hugs are definitely acceptable once a relationship has been formed where one knows whether or not they will permit hugs. As an INFJ I always know without fail if someone likes hugs or not. I at least try to respect their personal boundries when I detect them.

“It is hard when a person is so obvlivious to another’s desire to have personal space. When the hugs are sincere they are fine, but when they are forced I feel violated. When faced with the dilemma of whether or not to say or reject of hug, the only sound advice that I go by is the standard… what did Jesus do? He did not turn away someone that wanted to touch him, but gave more of himself out of love.and sometimes doing that doesn’t come naturally to us.

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~ by nancyfenn on September 23, 2007.

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