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Where is the silence in church?

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  • Where is the silence in church?

    Hey guys,

    I've been reading through the Psalms lately. Have you ever noticed how much emphasis is put on being silent and waiting on the Lord?

    How often do we ever do that in church? it seems our services are jam-packed with a 25min worship set, 10 mins of announcements and a 40 min sermon.

    How different do you think our encounters with the Lord would be if we sent the first 10 mins in silence, just waiting and listening to that small voice within?


  • #2
    Silence would work in a group of mature Christians, but in the typical church, after 10 seconds of silence, people start trying to find out what went wrong.
    But, you are absolutely correct that there is great benefit in waiting on the Lord in silence, and our churches and the people in them would find their walk with God a lot more consistent if we could slow down enough to afford silence.


    • #3
      You can do it spontaneously in a small group of people who know and trust one another. Congregationally, I think it can run the risk of confusing and losing people. I've seen it work well in a service, but usually when someone explains beforehand what is going to happen. That way people understand where they are going.

      The more people trust their leader, the better it will work.

      I agree with the principle - usually when God speaks to me on stage, it's regarding shutting up rather than doing more. I agree that our services can become too structured, or too chaotic, or too much about our needs and programs. What a wonderful way to honour God - by giving Him a chance to speak. What a wonderful way to get refreshed - to let Him.



      • #4
        I do this pretty often. I'll just step off mic, which without any other signals would indicate that just me and the piano are playing. It's not silence in the room but all of the worshipers in the room are being silent and still.

        Have you ever noticed how much emphasis is put on being silent and waiting on the Lord?
        The body being silent and still and waiting doesn't imply silence. It's not like David was doing this and a dog barked and the spell was broken.

        It's easy to do and I never needed to explain it. This week between a couple of your softer songs stop and just play through the chord progression. If your schedule won't allow for this, then I would agree you are potentially "Quenching the Spirit" (1 Thess 5:19)
        I need pictures of your drummer in his booth/cage/room http://drummersbehindglass.com


        • #5
          Agreed- my pastor often preaches about being silent, listening intently and focused on God to reveal Himself. He will go for walks alone or otherwise make himself unavailable for a short time, such as 15-30 minutes. The phone is off, email is off, door is shut, etc. It's scheduled in so his staff know at the scheduled time, Pastor is unavailable.

          As fare as the psalms, many are a personal reflection of being silent. As far as a congregation doing this, it has to be deliberate and communicated well.

          It's a sign of discipline- are we going to shut up long enough for God to speak into the situation, or just dump all our wants on Him like a fast-food drive thru cashier and tap our foot impatiently waiting?

          The body being silent and still and waiting doesn't imply silence.
          Right. We also have to silence our mind- not thinking about our schedule, the next Idol, our grocery list, kids' practice, the issues at hand, all those thoughts have to be contained. That isn't always easy, especially for those with active thought patterns.
          If we want to go places we haven't been, we will have to do things we haven't done.


          • #6
            At a women's retreat where I'm doing music this Saturday, we are scheduling 30 minutes of solitude. The first 10 minutes will be "guided" with helps to prepare for it. Then it will be 20 minutes of complete solitude. It won't be completely silent. Because there will be a lot of people in the room, we are going to play some meditative instrumental music in the background to act as white noise, but it will be music that doesn't have words so people don't start mentally singing along.

            Our last worship minister packed every second of the service with multiple elements, and I found it to be personally exhausting.