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Happy Bashorun: How Nigerian Churches Alienate Introverts & Why It Should Stop

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“Open your mouth and PRAY!”

If you only knew how those words haunted me as a child in the church. It did not matter if I attended my parents’ buttoned-up mainline congregation, or found my way to one of those young people churches where you’re allowed to wear jeans. Being in church required the courage to withstand an arsenal of pastoral demands I often felt ill equipped to meet.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines a bully as “someone who hurts or frightens someone else, often over a period of time, and often forcing them to do something that they do not want to do.” There is a form of bullying so prevalent in the church we have come to accept it as normal. I am speaking of church leaders condemning those who are shy, quiet, introverted, anxious, or just plain tired. It is a sad truth that many pastors in Nigeria, even in the so-called modern churches, don’t know how to lead a congregation without using weapons of hurt and fright to compel people to do things they do not want to do.

Recently, at one of the enlightened and supposedly hip churches in Lagos, I watched the pastor and a praise leader chastise the congregation for several minutes over a variety of actions that, unbeknownst to us, displeased God. We did not respond loudly to pastor’s Good Morning. Some of us were “cold” people, sitting in church and refusing to praise God. We should find a fellow congregant with an unhappy-looking face and tell him/her to give thanks, on and on it went. When the worship team ordered us to shake hands with at least 50 people in the congregation, I began to wonder if I had been transported back to primary school. But more importantly, why was the church so angry? Why take offense at those who would rather write a heartfelt letter to God than jump up and down screaming “that is who you ahhh”?

I can’t help but notice that many of the behaviors Nigerian pastors laud as godly correlate with the personality traits of an extrovert, which in turn match the qualities of most pastors themselves. Is that a coincidence? Think about what is welcomed in the contemporary church: audible, convoluted prayers; speaking in tongues; spreading the good news to wary strangers; shouting for joy; coming to the microphone and giving testimony; dancing up and down the pews; signing up for various “ministries” that involve interacting with hundreds of people. None of these things are bad. But when did they become the true mark of a believer, to the point where our sermons and praise sessions involve multiple reminders to do such things? Just once, I would like to hear a pastor preach on the importance of respecting other people’s boundaries, of listening well to others, of projecting a calm openness that draws people in… you know, the kinds of things introverts are good at.

In one of my favorite books, “The Brothers K,” a young man called Peter gives up a promising baseball career to instead study at Harvard. Then, to the admiration of his younger brother, Peter drops out of Harvard to explore eastern mysticism in India. Years later, his brother comes to admit that before India and before Harvard, Peter already possessed the behavior and personality of a monk. Therefore, his quitting the Ivy League to study Hinduism was not as remarkable as say Donald Trump choosing to attend a one-hour meditation class. As the book wisely concludes, “one man’s renunciation is another man’s piece of cake”.

I would argue that one man’s restrained clapping is another man’s pew-dancing. When the church shames the introverted and the contemplative, it overlooks the courage and faith such people demonstrate in showing up at a service in which they are constantly ordered to do things that oppose their natural inclinations. Introverts are notorious for hating meaningless small talk. Yet every Sunday we put up with the longest five minutes of our lives when we have to greet dozens of people with no time to have an intelligent conversation with even one of them. We accept this and other demands every Sunday because we want to worship God, we like church and even like Pastor. All we want is the courtesy of not being threatened from the pulpit because we were born quiet. Is that too much to ask?

Photo Credit: © Hongqi Zhang (aka Michael Zhang) | Dreamstime

64 Comments

  1. Cocolette

    May 2, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    ??????
    Everything now is an issue for civil rights movement.
    If you don’t want to greet your ‘neighbor’ in church ‘Happy Sunday’ or ‘Give thanks’, don’t greet! Nobody is there to flog you. All of that is just normal stuff to shake off any melancholy you might be having on Sunday morning. And if you say your own is not melancholy but introvertedness, then by every means, don’t greet anybody and let us see road.

    • Cmbo

      May 2, 2018 at 1:38 pm

      lol

    • Ada_ugo

      May 2, 2018 at 2:46 pm

      @Cocolette, me I tire o… everything is now an issue. If you like, don’t open your mouth and pray; whose issue is that? I am yet to see anyone marched out of church because they were not loud enough. so what’s the bullying there? incase you missed the memo, church = battleground, and if on the battleground, you decide to be silent, na your own issue be dat.

    • Ada

      May 2, 2018 at 4:15 pm

      Adaugo where in the bible was it written that the church is a battleground? The bible mentions church significantly as a place of fellowship among our Christian brothers and sisters. Please be guided.

    • Happy Bashorun

      May 2, 2018 at 4:48 pm

      Where did I mention civil rights movement in my post? If you tell someone to stop stepping on your foot, is that civil rights movement?

      Sha, thanks for making my point.

    • Joy

      May 3, 2018 at 1:24 am

      Speaking in tongues, shouting aloud to God are scriptural. Read your Bible and don’t do the ones that are not scriptural even if the pastor or prophet spills fire . It’s quite simple. As an adult, take responsibility. Taking responsibility has helped me this far. I can blame myself for being emotional or gullible sometimes. I also applaud myself for being ing strong, bold and wise other times. Above all, I ask my maker to deliver me from every evil. Take responsibility for your actions as a child of God, that is what we call humility, you will get required help from God but if you keep blaming your pastor for everything. You will remain stagnant. Study the word and listen to the Holy Spirit.

    • Larz

      May 6, 2018 at 3:15 pm

      Some ppl are naturally quiet, most church leaders make them seem like they must be the devils associates for doing so.

      Ever notice how not all of the top Biblical characters have recorded psalms. Everyone have their ways of serving God. David did his singing and dancing thing but Moses/ Joshua not so much but they both served God. Churches should embrace ppl as they are and not turn it as evidence of being anti-God.

  2. Tutu

    May 2, 2018 at 1:38 pm

    What did I just read? Total waste of my time. This is rubbish! Did they carry cane to flog you? The Bible says “God goes up with a shout!”, the Bible says with Joy we draw from the wells of salvation! You want to sit down and be explaining away your “coldness”. You’re praising God! When someone gives you 10 million Naira. How do you say thank you? On your seat, with a frown? We’re talking about the God who gives you life! Protects and prospers you and you’re saying what?!?! Mschewwwwwww!

    • Mama

      May 2, 2018 at 1:55 pm

      Really? Wow…so we must all share the same personality traits? Na wa oh! This is exactly the type of bullying she is talking about. We give no room for difference and make people feel guilty in church for not conforming to everyone’s standards of worship. Who says there is a specific/right or wrong way to praise God? Do yours noisily and let me do mine quietly, doesn’t make me more or less grateful than you.

    • Manny

      May 2, 2018 at 4:21 pm

      “No room for difference” …. you hit the nail on the head

    • Tina

      May 2, 2018 at 4:22 pm

      Sigh.
      You missed the part where God made us beautifully with different personality traits. God did not say you have to jump and shout all the time when you want to worship him. In fact, he considers what you do in public (i.e in church ) much less important as what you do when no one is looking. Don’t include your cultural bias into accessing how one worships God.

      Personally, I’m thinking strongly of becoming Catholic. I go to a well known church in Lekki but I’m honestly tired of screaming and shouting every Sunday. Sometimes I want the stillness and solemnity of being in the presence of God in quietness, and your average Nigerian church won’t give you that.

    • Happy Bashorun

      May 2, 2018 at 4:53 pm

      The bible also says in Matthew 6:5 – 15: “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

      The above was said by Jesus, who is supposedly your messiah. Was he lying?

  3. Cocolette

    May 2, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    What an irony that your name is ‘Happy’ ??

    • Happy Bashorun

      May 2, 2018 at 4:58 pm

      I know, right? What is the meaning of Cocolette?

  4. Mama

    May 2, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    You just put into words one of my pet peeves in church. I don’t consider myself an intovert but I tend to be reserved in public places, so I literally shrink into myself anytime pastors say things like, “turn to your neighbour and tell him or her blah blah blah”, or go round and shake x number of people. Like some of us just want to be to worship God quietly without being forced to socialize.

    • E.b

      May 2, 2018 at 11:15 pm

      Adaugo I hope you know that you are the church? The body of Christ is not a Battleground.

  5. olajumoke

    May 2, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    Please and please.. ..is the=is article written because you just want to write?? even the bible says rejoice, shout for joy etc… if you want to keep quiet, keep quiet..but believe me in the presence of God, there is fullness of joy.. .

  6. isaid!!

    May 2, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    Y”all are still……..bullying

    • Dee

      May 3, 2018 at 7:12 pm

      See ehn don’t come and be acting like they force us to shake and be joyful. This whole article is so unnessary. When I am in the mood I shake when I am not in the mood I don’t. When I am in the mood I shout if not I just speak from under my breath. Do you know what bully really means? You are forced to do it. Most new generation churches especially the Lekki ones you are talking about do not bully you into anything.

  7. Ola

    May 2, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    I love this article and totally agree with the writer. Then again, my favorite sayings, “To each his own” and “live and let live”. If you want to scream and bring the roof down, by all means, do it, you wanna shake everyone, please no one is stopping you, but don’t give me the side eye when the pastor says – everyone stand up and pray and i decide to sit down and pray in my own private way. Some people just want to quietly bow their heads and pray to God. He is God, He hears us all…

  8. Amaka

    May 2, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    @Ola and @Mama, you guys are just right on the money. Worshipping God did not say it should be in unison before God can hear us. But what do I know, I am just passing. I am one of those quiet ones, until my parent insisted I follow them to a Nigerian church that is close to the city where we live. It was the biggest mistake of my life. Here, they will literarily call you by your name and ask you to dance for your creator. OK, I am dancing is just that I am not making a fool of myself, carrying chair and running around with it screaming (as if living abroad turns you into something else…lol), @Happy, we are the introverts of the world. We know what we go through when we are in a public place. What you wrote is exactly why I started attending a young generation church, Pastored by a man I believe understood the teachings of the word, even though my parents do not like it. My mother basically said “we go there to dance rock and roll, music.” Well, at least they do not make your life a living hell, if you don’t dance. By the way my parents went back to their catholic roots, since they could not take the abuse from the pulpit anymore. So for those of you that want to quote the bible to justify bullying from the pulpit; I have nothing to say to you all, but I did not see it in the bible, where it said you have to be loud, or else no heaven for you. When you found it, please do let me know. Deuces

    • Happy Bashorun

      May 2, 2018 at 4:57 pm

      LOL at your parents. I notice that as my parents get older they have started to understand better my point of view on things. Sounds like yours are learning as well.

    • Mz Socially Awkward....

      May 3, 2018 at 11:56 pm

      El Oh El at your parents running away. That’s hilarious.

  9. Babym

    May 2, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    Buhahahaha ? this cracked me up so much. The joys of being an introvert. I can so relate ?. After church I’m just ready to run to the car and be going home but hubby who is an extrovert on steroids is ready to stay back and discuss the whole sermon again with everybody ? lol. Yes it isn’t the end of the world but I understand exactly what you mean. I swear I used to feel less spiritual when I see ppl praying with so much fire in their belly and when I try to copy that fire to conform it just felt fake ? and I just feel like God was saying ‘who sent you to do this one now you will not pray in the personality I gave you’?. I’ve come to realise there are many expressions of God. Just worship God in whatever way you are comfortable. so long as it comes from you heart. Whether you shout or not, God hears us all?

    • Mama

      May 2, 2018 at 4:06 pm

      I’m usually the first to bolt out of church, too?. It always surprises me when people see me about town and say they recognize me from church. Like how now? I’m a bit better now but stil…

  10. Mrs chidukane

    May 2, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    One girl in my school fellowship would actually stop intercession to give an angry lecture to people who felt they were too big to stand up,open their mouths aka shout, and pray. How I disliked that girl because of this and her holier than thou attitude. I’m sure the pastors intention is not too bully. They just want church to be lively and also for the members to make friends in church. If you have ever talked to a cold audience you will understand better.

    • Mrs chidukane

      May 2, 2018 at 3:59 pm

      *Pastor’s *not to bully

    • Manny

      May 2, 2018 at 4:20 pm

      Mrs chidukane, I think their intention is to bully. There are ways to rouse an audience without giving an angry lecture and trying to guilt people. Maybe I already praised God for 1 hour in my bedroom before church. If I then don’t dance vigorously in church, what gives anyone the right to call me out for it. These things can be counter-productive.
      My cousin told me she no longer goes to her church because the pastor spends a minimum of 10 mins berating people that came to church late. My cousin thinks that after working the night shift and getting home Sun morning, it is better to get to church late than not at all. But not when the pastor says turn to your neighbor that you know came late and tell them “God is not pleased with you”.

    • Mohammad

      May 2, 2018 at 5:26 pm

      Heo! This reminds me of one Kparobo Ikpera from my school fellowship. She would bully all of us the workers in church and instruct us to fast for a week because she didn’t feel the spirit during service. I’m desperate to say it to her face now. Bully agbaya.

    • mz_daniels

      May 2, 2018 at 5:33 pm

      you see, i had a girl like that in my school fellowship and I actually had her in mind. The day she brought her nonsense to me, I just said ‘assistant Holy Ghost, please leave me alone’. Some spiricoco people in church sha.

      but to the writer’s point, I don’t see the bullying oh. If I no wan hug or shout or whatever, I won’t but I guess, if it’s a church where there’s love, you’ll gladly do these things and your people will understand you’re an introvert and not bother you. They’ll probably just wink and smile at you.

    • Mz Socially Awkward....

      May 4, 2018 at 12:27 am

      Nne oma, the truth is that a lot of Nigerian pastors bully their congregation. And since we don’t like to question our authority figures (don’t even get me wound up on this particular social problem), men and women in church leadership roles have somehow gained some kind audacity which keeps growing unchecked.

      I visited a church in Lagos and the ministering pastor is very popular, I won’t mention names. Had been there on a previous Sunday and heard they were taking a seed for some project, which I even thought would be nice to support. On this second sunday of visiting, the Pastor started talking about the project and then he asked how many had given towards it. A few hands went up; he was upset by what he may have felt was a cavalier attitude shown by the congregation and started berating the people sitting down.

      At this point, I was perplexed – isn’t it a free will offering? Next, he told the givers to stand up so he could pray for them. After which, he told the general congregation that anyone who wanted to be blessed by that prayer can do so by giving also giving towards the project. Now, I’m getting irritated.

      Then we got into the sermon and it was a good sermon, actually, I was feeling my spirit getting back into the wholesomeness of being in church …. and then he announced a prayer session and commanded that we all sit in small circles and must all be speaking in tongues…. and, please help me understand this part – every circle must have a leader who’ll observe the “tongues” and pull out anyone who’s not speaking towards the front so they can receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

      My sister, which Gospel is that? The only thing that kept me from walking out immediately was not wanting to distract others who were praying but I started getting upset again and when he came in my direction to find the non-baptized, I just looked straight at him. Oga, why? Our eyes met and he walked on, still looking. *side eyes* And the heads I could see around me were bowed like they were being punished and not in worship.

      Left once I found a pause in-between, haven’t returned for another Sunday service since then.

  11. zzzzzzzzzzz

    May 2, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    Being an introvert I have come to realise something about Christianity, there is no room for timidity. We are commanded to be bold as a lion. One of the things I find difficult to do is working up to someone I don’t know and talk to them. But alas the Bible commands us to preach the Good news. How do you intend to do that if you are more concerned about being an introvert and other people respecting your boundaries. From the little I have experienced your boundaries are going to be disrespected a whole lot not by Christians but unbelievers.

    • Dami

      May 2, 2018 at 9:40 pm

      I don’t know you but from what you have said you may not be an introvert, you may just be shy or you may be both. They aren’t the same thing. I’m an introvert but I am not shy. People and social situations are just emotionally draining lol

  12. Dami

    May 2, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    I was closing my eyes and praying in mind in an RCCG church because that is the best way to collect my thoughts. Someone actually came up to me and yelled in my face “if you don’t want to pray to Jesus, that’s your business because I will pray!” Then people ask me why I watch Elevation church online. Lol

    • Happy Bashorun

      May 2, 2018 at 4:59 pm

      This cracks me up so much!

  13. Midelle

    May 2, 2018 at 4:45 pm

    It’s not just in Church….my aunt subject us to the same I “can’t hear you praying ” during morning devotion. I mean… I want to talk to God in a way that is sincere

  14. Ijebujesha

    May 2, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    I am not a christian so I don’t know what happens in the church but I can tell you that NIGERIA as a whole, church o, mosque o, babalawo shrine o, Banks, schools, garages, anywhere is very disrespectful to introverted people. In a country where the average person is overtly loud, vain and showy, it seems many cannot come to terms with the reality that there are human beings who just enjoy their own space and privacy more than anything else. Reason I tell people that I didn’t really leave Nigeria for ‘greener pasture’. I just feel like Nigeria is not for people of my personality-trait. I told a friend that it’s much much harder for an introverted person to thrive in Nigeria and he dumbly replied that it was the case for everywhere else. I challenged him to research into the personality traits of Top 100 Billionaires in the world and see. lol

    • Mee

      May 2, 2018 at 8:43 pm

      @ijebujesha, how apt you are! I couldn’t agree more.

    • Beebee

      May 2, 2018 at 11:45 pm

      You’re right. I’m a muslim,islamically,it is not good to shout while praying to the extent the person sitting next to you would hear your DUA except the Imam leading the prayer(They mostly uses Microphones). Whenever I attend churches with my sister,friend,I’m always surprise seeing people shouting,screaming,jumping up while praying or singing praise. My sister always complain that I don’t do like other members in church but rather sit down and look stiff.

    • Ify

      May 4, 2018 at 9:29 am

      This article does not have anything to do with you. You are not a Christian.This is not a civil rights matter. Stay in your lane

    • Wooshh

      May 6, 2018 at 12:04 am

      You have hit the nail on the head…..

  15. Alterego

    May 2, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    I don’t want to turn to my neighbors, I don’t wanna hug my neighbor. I also don’t want to shake my neighbor. Of all the things to do in church, I dislike that very much. People should allow people be.

    • Ify

      May 4, 2018 at 9:30 am

      Then don’t. Stop complaining.

  16. honeybelle

    May 2, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    Not forgetting how those of us who can’t dance are said to be forming. I honestly can’t dance to save my life. I always prefer the slow songs where I can worship my maker without fear of anyone judging my dance step. lol

  17. Spice

    May 2, 2018 at 6:38 pm

    I am also an introvert and I am one of those that run away after church.I think regardless of what my personality type is, the people sitting around me are my brothers and sisters. I believe its okay to express some love by a smile. an encouraging nod. a hug etc. the extrovert should not overdo it and the introvert needs to make an effort for extrovert. We are family at least we are supposed to be.

  18. Dr.N

    May 2, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    Introverts also attend music and comedy concerts. I wonder if they see the “stand up and make a noise” as bullying. ???

    Well…I think Church is imperfect so if something doesn’t work for you it may be best to look out for a more serene one where things are less noisy.

    I see it this way, you have the right to make a request I have the right to refuse or accept. But my self esteem is unaffected by your asking.

    Hope this helps you @poster

    • Wendy

      May 2, 2018 at 7:54 pm

      Technically, an introvert would likely not be at a concert or comedy show. And if they are, it’s their money… no one can force them to join the party. I know you want to protect the church but please don’t be flippant sis.

  19. Marian

    May 2, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    It’s not a naija thing, it’s a denominational thing. I have been to a predominantly white church with same practice and I choose what i want to do. Sometimes I go out of my way to say hi to people and there are Sundays when I only hi5 my hubby and maybe 1 or 2 other people next to me.

    I think using the word Bullying is extreme. Most people who go to churches like the ones you described do so because they enjoy the fellowship and prefer to praise God with their dance offering and loud off tune singing. If you check their doctrine they usually will have an explanation as to why they do things the way they do.

    I have been to a naija church without all the serenre. The only musical instrument they used was an organ and all they sang was hymns. It was a very chill, laid back no dancing or shouting service. Should an extrovert now go to a church like that every sunday and be sad they don’t get hyped or cater to his/her needs?

    All I’m saying is, there is a church for everyone. I love to dance and my favorite place to dance is in church. I love when people get all excited about praising God together.

    There is no perfect way to worship God and that’s why we now have different denominations because it’s impossible for us all to agree on the best way to worship God.
    Life is really too short to worship God in a place you don’t feel accepted especially when options plenty.

    • Mama

      May 2, 2018 at 10:46 pm

      It is bullying, sometimes it is subtle and other times overt. I’m all over this comment section because this is one topic that is dear to my heart. I never knew that anyone else shared my sentiments and I was always too afraid to complain because I know many will not understand as shown from the comments. I love God and consider myself a very religious person but i’m also very private person and I abhor public attention in most situations.

      I’m not the type to break out dancing in church because I don’t even know how to dance in the first place. At best, I will stand in one spot and move to the music but that doesn’t even seem to be good enough for some churches. It therefore makes in anxious in social situations. Let me give an example: My church in the abroad has a huge Filipino population. They are typically very loving and expressive people and in many ways just like Nigerians. We have this Sunday evening church service which I love and enjoyed attending because it is less formal than the sunday morning one. It is one time you get to pray and worship in whatever manner you prefer, if you like roll on tge floor, shout etc. But there’s also a segment during this service that is for freestyle dancing and praise. I really don’t mind the segment because I quite enjoy the singing and “dancing”, but what happens is , most members dance round the church in a circl, jumping and praising , which again is completely fine by me. But then while they are doing this, they would come over to me who prefers to dance in the pews and “drag” me to join their circle. At this point instead of worshiping wholeheartedly, I’m counting the seconds to when it would end or when I can leave. This happens almost everytime. While I like this service, i have become reluctant to attend anytime I remember this compulsion to dance. I know they mean no harm, and in their minds think they are helping but they are not. Why don’t you dance the way you want and let me “dance ” in the pews as I want? Infact, just thinking of how Naija couples are “forced” to dance/perform at every turn on their wedding day has made me certain that I want a very small/private wedding where no MC would make me feel uncomfortable. That’s if I’m even allowed to have my way.

  20. girlwithalbinorelatives

    May 2, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    funny this was something I was thinking about over the weekend…not exactly in your context of bullying though. Someone made a comment about how christianity and introverts did not really go together. I consider myself an introvert as well and all that noise, shouting and talking to strangers does not really go well with me. My conclusions are below sha:
    1. The christian lifestyle (following Jesus and being led by His Spirit) will require you to come out your shell. He called us to go into the world, that means talking to strangers and all that and reach out with His love. However, we need to talk to Jesus on how he wants us to do that. God made u the way you are; introvert and all. So ask Him, how he will want you to reach out and shine His light to the world. Ask for grace and boldness to do it as well, cuz it might not be comfy or what u will like but following Jesus involves getting over yourself, likes and preferences (dying to self). Point to note here is, I said do this personally…so if u are not up for the activities church is planning…by all means..don’t attend. However, u stand to learn a lot from those activities (iron sharpens iron). So…u can go along and participate at d level u are comfortable with (hopefully that increases with time)

    2. You can worship God in several ways and I think your personality affects that There are are loads of places in the bible esp the Psalms that talk about loud worship and dancing. Personally, that is not my style and sometimes…I feel so disconnected when that is happening around me. However, I believe God appreciates both loud and quiet worship and try to participate in whatever capacity I can. I however will not under any circumstances be pressured into doing stuff because someone said so or I want to join the crowd. That being said, church is also a place where you come in and join your spirit with other believers in worship. So ideally, as with everything and situation in life, you cannot really sit down and sulk because stuff is not going the way you want or like. So I put on my big girl pants and join together as much as I can. Its sha God they are worshipping.

    In the end sometimes, I just sit at home and watch church online. But when I go, I don’t give myself room for sulking and getting annoyed. I try to keep my focus on God as much as possible. Nobody can force me to do what I don’t want to. So, if I wanna sit, I sit, if i wanna jump, I jump, if I wanna shout, I shout, if they tell me to say hello, I try,……

    Basically, those are just the arguments and thoughts in my head sha.

  21. Lolo

    May 2, 2018 at 9:19 pm

    It’s refreshing to read this and know that there are other people out there who feel the way I do about the somewhat forceful or should I call it controlling nature with which worship is conducted in the church.I would like to add that this is not only a problem for introverts but extroverts like myself.I am very uncomfortable with all the third party proclamations we have to make in church every Damn time.I come to church to have solace with him not to scream out my lungs in prayer or to shake hands with strangers or jump the no of times I want my prayers to hit heaven’s gate.The house of God should be a place of peace.

  22. Adaora

    May 2, 2018 at 9:35 pm

    YESSSS. Please, Christians stop pressuring or forcing people to worship God in a way that is not genuine because it is regarded as the “norm”. It is a personal race. There is no joint entry to Heaven. The way I interpret the Bible is not the way you would interpret it. Why do you think there are soooooo many denominations of Christianity today? Respect and treat everyone the way you would like to be treated, to me, that is Christianity. The way they choose to worship is their way.

  23. Ajala & Foodie

    May 2, 2018 at 9:48 pm

    Reading this made me realize how yea some practices in modern day churches may appear to cater to extroverts. Nevertheless, I don’t agree that it is bullying, you are an adult, I want to believe, even as a child no one (but my parents) could force me to do anything in Church I did not want to do and that is no exaggeration. I was the kind that “strong face” even for pastors.No mummy or daddy rubbish in my world. So why would I be “bullied” as an adult to do anything? Unless, you are admitting to not having a mind of your own. I recently watched a concert in Nigeria where the singer was trying to manipulate the audience into carrying their chairs up, he even pointed someone out. I remember telling someone that if I was the person he pointed out. I will carry the chair and put it down so obviously and calmly, like a “come and beat now” statement!!!

    About turning around to greet people it is not only in Nigeria that is done, one of the best churches I have attended (not in Nigeria) the pastor actually asked that you go talk to someone you had never met before, the purpose is to help people connect and meet with people of like faith. At least that is based on my experience where i worship. You just never know what conversation you may strike up that may help you bond/connect with someone new. There are times I have also sat through the greet your neighbor experience, again I am an adult with a mind of my own in a place of worship , feeling bullied should not come into play.

    Churches seek to accomplish different things by asking you greet i.e connect people, pray out loud; to know “people are still with them”, if you asked people to pray and everyone was quiet, but it does not mean they are trying to bully introverts (of which I will be crowned queen). I have never prayed out loud in church before, not once!!! My dad is a pastor and does not shout or pray out loud either, So I get why some people feel what you have written may be an attempt at unnecessary controversy or attack against the Church.

    I remember when at work our company was trying to boost team whatever…again being an introvert many things that we were asked to do felt uncomfortable but unlike the church I had to do them just to prove I am a team player. We would never call that bullying, so labeling this bullying I feel is totally inappropriate.

  24. LemmeRant

    May 2, 2018 at 10:33 pm

    Okay. Try and see this from another perspective.

    Have you ever tried leading a prayer session and everybody is praying in their minds?
    You who’s leading the prayer will be confused. “Are these guys sleeping?”, “Am I this boring?” “I must really suck at this” those will be the thoughts running through your mind.

    Feedback is very important when it comes to things like this. It was just like that back then in school when my lecturer will ask for the 100th time, “Do you understand”, “Do you have any questions” and yes we will claim introvert and keep quiet. I didn’t understand until I also started teaching people and just like back then my students would give me a blank stare. I’d ask of they understand or if there were any questions and I get nothing. Then I get frustrated. Feedback matters a lot.

    For your pastor, whether leading prayer, taking a sermons etc. He needs feedback from the people he’s communicating with hence he doesn’t feel lost

    Imagine a comedian who goes on stage and cracks a joke but the entire audience is laughing in their minds… Yh that’s exactly how it is.

    • Naijalikita

      May 3, 2018 at 2:40 am

      Don’t forget that feedback is also nonverbal. I am a teacher too and I use my students’ expressions to gauge their understanding sometimes because saying yes or no doesn’t cut it. Students can lie to leave early. In the context of the post, if you are leading people in prayers and you ask them to pray, and they choose to do so silently, it doesn’t mean you are boring. It all depends on their understanding of how to pray. Sometimes when we pray loudly, some people say a short prayer. But when they hear others still going on, they ginger the prayer to keep up. Meanwhile, they have said what they wanted to o. Then everyone is waiting to hear In Jesus name we pray so they can conclude officially. If hearing feedback is important when you lead, then you pray and let them punctuate with amen or let each person get a turn. Sometimes, this our crowd-pleasing mentality, rather than God-pleasing mentality, turns prayer into a fitting with the Joneses session. My biggest issue was the requirement that everyone had to speak in tongues on cue. Bia, while everyone is speaking, who is translating? I refused to fake it and one woman told me it was because I wasn’t holy enough. I thanked her that at least I was holy small then asked her why her own spirit spoke an unknown language. Her look? Priceless.

    • Nah

      May 3, 2018 at 9:30 pm

      Its not about but All about God, don’t play God.

  25. randommer

    May 2, 2018 at 10:43 pm

    hahha that’s why I am very happily Catholic – no time for jumping around please. Even better the days I want to be vocal in my praise and dance around – I got to last morning mass. If I’m not trying to talk to anybody or do the most, I go to 6.30am or evening mass. This whole turn to your neighbour and open your mouth and pray makes me incredibly uncomfortable.

  26. The real dee

    May 3, 2018 at 8:04 am

    Why do you always do this to yourselves? Christains why?

    Except your church is peculiar, I’ve never seen a church where anyone is forced to do what they do not like. If you don’t like being encouraged to pray or sing and consider it bullying, by all means stay in your home and follow service online.
    How will there be one accord in the Body of Christ when we are always fault finding? There is always something to criticize about the church that I wonder if we are truly practicing Christainity like the saints of old. Other religions are even more respectful of their religion than Christains respect theirs.

    Tor!

    • Jola

      May 3, 2018 at 1:25 pm

      @ the real dee: Thank you, You couldn’t have said it any better..sometimes I wonder if its the liberty that the testament church affords to the grace dispensation Christians; that’s why Christians are constantly having an opinion, fault finding & calling each other out -when we should actually be about ‘our father’s business’ …and recognise that any other thing that takes us away from that major call is a distraction from the pit of hell.
      Like I would always conclude to any issue raised against or for Christianity : At the end it won’t matter how you chose to communicate with your God, if you paid tithe or not, went into church early or late, fasted lent or never did – what will matter is : are you bearing fruits? and are your fruits abiding? John 15:8,16 & Gal 5: 22-23.

      Its well.

  27. Chief Lots of Dough

    May 3, 2018 at 10:54 am

    You have only succeeded in putting together a good grammatical composition, the message is biased. There are different congregation and churches that suit individual personalities if you research properly, you want a congregation where everyone mind their business try Jehova Witnesses their worship is calm and cool, God still answer their prayers, the Catholic too can be very calm and Godly.
    Another angle to this is, isn’t it because of sanity the pastor ask you to speak to God silently during the service and he says just wave to God in appreciation.
    Look for the church that suit your personality and you’ll be fine for it.
    I never see where dem force anybody to church or force to praise God. You do both for your personal reasons.

  28. Aunty

    May 3, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    But the shouting out prayers is distracting shaaa… so many times, I’ve had to step aside or stop my own prayer because the person beside me is yelling at heaven.
    One time, I stopped and started saying amen to one aunty’s prayer… lol… anyone I really liked, i’d Say “amen and me too” loool

    Lets not get into the part where the prayer leader prays their own personal prayer really loudly into the mic as well.
    I’m always like “God pls insipire this person to move the mic away until it’s time to conclude”

  29. E.b

    May 4, 2018 at 9:25 am

    This article is quite childish and unnecessary. You are an adult na. Why are you complaining?

  30. Nelo

    May 4, 2018 at 10:13 am

    Maybe you should look for a church that suits your personality and still praises God. I am Catholic and there are different forms of worship. First of all, I’ve been saying this for ages “God is not deaf” so stop shouting. You can still praise God anyway you please. In the blessed sacrament, you have to be quiet and respect God’s presence. It takes discipline to praise God in silence. But that is one way you can listen to God talking to you. Other times you may feel like dancing and singing and doing the most, that is fine as well.

  31. ENO

    May 4, 2018 at 9:05 pm

    that’s why I go to a catholic church jeje.

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