One size does not fit all. I don’t even know how that works. Some of the people I know are bigger than a triple x shirt. They are more like Hulk size. Something that would fit them would be big enough for me and Ruth to camp in. The “one size fits all” is more like a “fits most” at best. I’ve done that with worship and church stuff.
I’m an extravert. I like worship services to go a certain way. Worship is worship when the music is upbeat and the speaker is dynamic. My wife is an introvert. She likes subdued music and time for quiet reflection. Basically, what I like in a worship service is not worshipful for her. What I find inspiring is loud and grating for her. My style is not her style.
I was not aware of my “one size fits all” mentality until my wife pointed it out to me. In short, my way was not the only way to worship. The moment I realized it was a game changer for me. My “one size fits all” mentality applied to evangelism and spiritual growth, too. I was imposing my likes and preferences on everyone’s spiritual life.
Each one of us is at risk of thinking that the way we were brought into the faith, were evangelized, or filter things through our personal filters are the only ways in which a person, any person, should be brought into faith, evangelize, or anything else in the church. One size does not fit all.
So what how do we handle the differences? Here are a couple of ideas that might work.
- Be inquisitive. Ask a lot of questions. Questions are a great way to find out what makes people tick and how they best understand the world around them.
- Read a book or two on personalities. One of the books that helped me most was “Personality Plus” by Florence Littauer. There were some “aha” moments for both Ruth and myself. We found out why we did the things we did.
- Remember: not everyone will experience spiritual growth or maturity at the same pace or in the same way. If you are frustrated it is possible that you are expecting people to like the same things you like for spiritual growth and thy do not.
- Accept people for who they are. They will grow at their pace and in their way. Enjoy the journey.
These are just a few things to keep in mind.
I think learning to care for people involves learning to see them as they are and not how we expect them to be or act.
While we have many things in common simply because we are human, we are different in so many other ways. One thing is for sure; “One size fits all” is a lousy way to help people grow spiritually.