Part 01: Silence
Thanks to Christine Longhurst and my mom, Anita Warkentin for directing me to these thoughts. Really I am just relaying them to you, plus whatever is inspired in me, through my prayers and thought process.
Sally Morgenthaler writers in her book Worship Evangelism that leaders / ministers are often responsible for inhibiting people’s supernatural interaction with God. I do agree with this somewhat. She says “leaders get so busy with…technique and so consumed with how much information we can dispense, we miss the very needs that bring most people through our doors…In our ignorance, we do not give God the holy, silent space in which to do the holy, silent work that only God can do’.
This was written over 15 years ago, but as I sit and reflect on that thought, I know that I could be called to account on this in my past leadership, and probably in what I am yet to do in the future in worship services and music leadership. Even using pure silence in a service, what would be wrong with that! Not silent prayer with music underscoring the moment. I mean holy silence. Where God can speak. Not awkward silence where we all wonder what’s going to come next, and what if someone coughs or a baby cries or whatever…
At what other time in our lives do we have complete and utter silence – that is directed towards God and the purpose of hearing His Holy Spirit speak? Speaking for myself, I need more of it…way more. So I think our weekend church experience would do well to have some of that too. It would help me. I think it would help all of us.
It serves as a great reminder that what Tommy Tenney writes is so true. I am paraphrasing from memory…when the Spirit of God shows up we become ministers / leaders without vocation. In other words, nothing we are, and nothing we do is particularly important at that moment. What we do, the theology we have learned, the songs we desire to share…none of it matters. Because God’s Spirit is manifest in that place, and we are right to simply be silent in God’s presence.
I hope and pray that I can be mindful of that simple truth. Think about it! I will too.