Give Them The Silent Treatment

Got back last night from the High School Conference at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio.  It was well done.  One thing that I love about the experience is that it allows me to spend time with students in a new environment.  Out of their comfort zone they are forced to act and behave differently, which creates vulnerable moments.  These are moments when you can peak in and see what’s going on inside.  On Saturday night of the conference one of those moments emerged when we gathered for Eucharistic Adoration.  That moment was when:

We all prayed in SILENCE.

At that moment many of the students shared that they felt Jesus’ physical presence.  This lead to many of them committing to Christ and wanting to begin focusing more on God.  As a youth minister it was moving to see the wins and hear their hearts, but it also made me think.

As youth workers do we give them ENOUGH SILENCE?

I’m not sure that we do, because when I look at the agenda for our regular gatherings and when I look at small groups discussion guides they are filled with things and stuff.  Good stuff and valuable things; however, what’s missing is the margin for silence.  In a world filled with noise, we need to be reminded to:

  • Embrace The Silence (even when it’s awkward)
  • Schedule It Into Our Programs
  • Put It In Our Personal Lives

Because in the silence, God’s voice is revealed:

The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 

 1 Kings 19:11-12

How do you bring silence to your student ministry?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • CJ

    Outstanding post, Chris. Silence is a most overlooked worship tool in our churches and our student ministries. We not only don’t employ it, we are often afraid of it. Thanks for this reminder of the importance of “being still.”

  • thanks CJ. I think you are dead on about the fear of silence. It’s great when you give them time to grow and share.

  • It’s difficult for us ministers to encourage a practice we ourselves have a hard time doing. Doing a silent retreat recently has brought a whole new meaning to my prayer life. Psalm 46:10 Be still and know that I am God, could not have been a more appropriate start of that experience.

  • Eugene, Thanks for sharing your experience. We fill our lives with so much noise. It’s amazing what God will pour into the silence when we allow Him.