Monday, May 07, 2007

COMPLIMENTARITY

I was interested to hear Sweet Pete, during his leading of worship on Sunday evening (06/05/2007), quote from a book by Gary Thomas, a friend of Rick Warren. This is what Warren, in his book “The Purpose Driven Life”, says about Gary Thomas’ view (see page 103):

In his book Sacred Pathways, Gary identifies nine of the ways people draw near to God. Naturalists are most inspired to love God out-of-doors, in natural settings. Sensates love God with their senses and appreciate beautiful worship services that involve their sight, taste, smell and touch, not just their ears. Traditionalists draw closer to God through rituals, liturgies, symbols and unchanging structures. Ascetics prefer to love God in solitude and simplicity. Activists love God through confronting evil, battling injustice, and working to make the world a better place. Caregivers love God by loving others and meeting their needs. Enthusiasts love God through celebration. Contemplatives love God through adoration. Intellectuals love God by studying with their minds.

Warren concludes:

There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to worship and friendship with God. One thing is certain: You don’t bring glory to God by trying to be someone he never intended you to be. God wants you to be yourself. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in worship.

What can I say other than, “I’m extremely relieved to hear this”? I think it is the first time I have ever seen the complimentary role played by personality types amongst the ecclesia not only being acknowledged by prominent Christian leaders but also so clearly expressed. This is certainly not the message that has so often been thrust down my throat by a miscellany of Christian leaders who are apt to define authentic Christianity exclusively in terms of what is accessible to their own personality type. Very well said Gary, Rick and Pete.

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