Embrace the Silence | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
November 2019

Embrace the Silence

By Dave Magee

So much of our lives is lived in noise and is focused on the things we say, we can forget the power of silence. This activity will help students experience all the ways in which they can communicate and understand without words.

Have all of the students stand up in a circle. Tell them everything they do in this activity must be silent unless you instruct them to speak.

Ask the students to silently get in order of their birthday, by month and day. Designate one point in the circle as the start of January, and the point next to that one as the end of December. Once they all think they are in place, ask them to share their birthdays out loud, if anyone is in the wrong order pause to get the order straightened out.

Once more repeat this same activity with middle names instead of birthdays. Designate where letter A and where letter Z are in the circle so they know the order. Again when they are finished have them share their middle names out loud, correcting any errors as you go.

Follow-up questions:

  • What was it like doing this activity silently?
  • Did having to be silent make it easier or more difficult? Why?
  • While the Holy Spirit can act and speak in many ways, we do need to be listening. We need to quiet ourselves an pay attention to the silent communication of the Spirit. ow much silent (non-sleeping!) time do you spend a day?
  • What could you do to add some quiet time into your day to listen for and be aware of God’s presence?

Close in the manner that is typical for you. Consider taking joys/concerns from the students, then asking for a volunteer to close in prayer.

Dave MaGee has served in youth ministry for two decades since graduating from Duke University Divinity School in 1999. He served as a youth minister in several churches in Texas and most recently served as the Director of Student Ministries at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas.