If you’ve been to church a few times, you know that there are certain types you are sure to find. Saturday Night Live does a fun ad playing on these types. Especially around Christmas time.
Some types, like “The Church Lady” are legendary. But other ways we interact together are just as common. The thing about church types is that, while they are stereotypes, they also give a snap-shot of the kind of community a church is. Too many of one type is going to lean a church in a particular direction. So, while being a rather thin way of characterizing people, considering this helps us understand how we are creating a 'church personality' together. Read the list below and see if you find yourself:
The class conscious – makes sure their affluence and good manners are observed and known
The connector – makes sure the newcomers get introduced, the casserole ministry is activated, the funeral is attended
The committed young adult – values being at church regardless of generational trends
The doer – always doing the work, sometimes with grievance that others aren’t helping
The energizer - involved in current activities and ready for the next idea
The exhausted – need I say more?
The Jesus lover –genuinely wants to grow in faith and displays that commitment
The judge – keeps track of the mistakes and foibles of the church, evaluating performance
The justice advocate – committed to mission and inclusion and facilitating that in the church
The lifer – parents and even grandparents went to this church
The lost soul – often alone or disconnected but missed when they are not there
The marginal teen – doesn’t speak, make eye contact, quietly disappears
The nurturer – invested in the care of others more than self
The obliging teen – willing to help when asked, otherwise not well known
The specialist – knows how its done and makes sure others know
The speaker – willing to tell truth about personal faith, or about conflicts and concerns in the church system
Nobody is actually as simple as this. But we can make the mistake of thinking they are. All 'sorts and conditions' of people are a part of our community. The goal is not to exclude anyone, but rather to focus on becoming more whole as a vibrant and faithful community. I see St. Paul's as a place where the majority are Jesus lovers, connectors and speakers. Folks who put the life of faith and the well-being of others ahead of self are the leaven that cause community to grow and rise.
Rector's Corner posts written by Pastor Rebecca.