Worship leaders should never be afraid of silence. In fact, they should embrace it.
I took another look at silence recently. Like many others who have been on a “stay at home” order in all of April, one of the benefits has been rediscovering the sounds of silence. Our neighborhood is usually full of busy sounds — lawn mowing, pressure washing, wood chipping, cars, trucks, etc, etc.
But this past month has been so silent that the sound of a soft breeze or birds talking to each other have become, suddenly, quite loud.
Silence stokes imaginations. Can it be possible to feel the energy of the baking rays of the sun and discern the earth turning? The leaves on the trees are growing so fast, are they really getting bigger, greener, before the eyes?
Life is happening all around and this is God’s doing. And in the center of it all, is his best creation — us. Created in his very image, male and female, we are. This is what we are part of — what God made. To “Be still and know that I am God” is to invite the Creator to share with us his presence, to make us aware of his presence and whatever comes with it.
What comes with God’s presence? Everything. Wherever God is, whatever is in his character, he brings when he ‘arrives”. Peace, patience, perspective, understanding, calmness, assurance, inspiration and more comes with him. So much more.
In worship times, try easing off the pedal for a moment or two and let it soak in just how much God brings when he “inhabits the praises of his people.” A crowd can experience silence together and there is acute awareness of his character, it is impossible to ignore. And what worshipper wants to ignore God?
And these are just some of the benefits of silence.
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Patrick Butler is the former Religion editor of the Tyler Morning Telegraph, Tyler, Texas.