The Sounds of Silence

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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An Excerpt from Glenn Packiam’s New Book “Worship and the World To Come”

Glenn Packiam (Doctor of Theology and Ministry, Durham) is the associate senior pastor of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He is the songwriter of more than fifty worship songs, including “Your Name” and “Mystery of Faith,” and the author of several books, including Blessed Broken Given: How Your Story Becomes Sacred in the Hands of Jesus and Discover the Mystery of Faith: How Worship Shapes Believing. He is also a visiting fellow at St. John’s College at Durham University and an adjunct professor at Denver Seminary.
Packiam preaches at conferences for pastors and worship leaders and has spoken at Wycliffe Hall at Oxford University, Biola University, Asbury Seminary, Calvin College, and Trinity School for Ministry. He lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with his wife, Holly, and their four children.


  1. So true. The awe of beholding Him in silence. Oh, that more were comfortable with this pulling back of the curtain to reveal more of our beautiful God. The rapture of experiencing without distraction or filters. More Lord.