The last post touched on the idea that the five practices the UMC has embraced that mark 'fruitfulness' seem to imply fruitfulness is dependent upon being an extrovert. While I am not here to disagree with the specific practice I would push back and say the qualifier of the original five practice are heavy on the extrovert scale.
Bishop Schnase, the author of the five practices, comments that the important aspect of the five practices are in fact the qualifiers and they are interchangeable with the practices.
Do you see the influence of the extrovert here? The important aspects of the five practices are the qualifiers: Radical, Passionate, Intentional, Risk Taking, Extravagant.
And so, in an effort to subvert the extrovert-centric emphasis on the five practices, I would submit that the qualifiers be broadened to encompass the introvert in all of us. And in doing so I would submit that the most important part to the five practices are in fact not the qualifier but the actual practice. When the practice is the most important then we are then allowed to insert different qualifiers - some that are more introvert friendly.
So I submit for consideration the introvert-friendly five practices:
- Thoughtful Hospitality
- Contemplative Worship
- Consistant Faith Development
- Reflective Mission and Service
- Compassionate Generosity