Deafening Silence

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Deafening Silence
Topic escaping the world, Spending time with God
Group Size Any
Prep Time 0-20 min
Setting Anywhere
Age Group Any
The Point The value of eliminating the noise of the world and listening to God

Back to Experiential Learning

Supplies Needed


How to Set Up

Make sure the environment can be completely silent. This is harder then it sounds because there are often ambient noises that come from sources you've never listened to before. Refrigerators, fans, cars outside, the Sunday School Class next door all produce white noise that will become suddenly loud and distracting when you run this activity

What Happens Then

Have your group (any demographic, any size) get comfortable. Explain that you are going to do an experiment together and that it will only work if everyone participates. There is to be no voluntary noise whatsoever from anyone in the group. This includes, but not limited to:

  • shifting in noisy chairs
  • no cell phones or MP3 players
  • coughing on purpose
  • laughing
  • whispering
  • making popping noises
  • tapping
  • etc

Adults will sometimes do these things as well, although mainly subconsciously. Agree on a time (5 minutes is a good basic time although it is relative to your group). If there is such a noise then the clock starts over again and will continue to do so until you meet your goal. It is okay and normal for a group to have to make a couple attempts before they achieve the goal. So allow for triple the time of your stated goal. I do not display the time for them, although some of them will keep track anyway. Sleeping is something that you can either allow or not depending on whether it supports or defeats your point.

When they reach the goal discuss:

  • what it was like?
  • Was it hard?
  • Did you like or dislike it?
  • Do you struggle to hear what God wants in your life?
  • Do you have quiet solitude? How often?
  • Is there a connection to when God speaks to you and the amount of quiet time you give him?
  • Do you have trouble escaping and letting go of cell phones, mp3 players, tv, video games, etc?
  • etc

Possible Problems

Some person in your group may be a spoiler. They will continuously make or get others to make noise to spoil this experience. If possible, try to include them and the group in a solution that keeps them in the process. However, sometimes you may have to remove that person from the group so that the rest of your group has a chance to actually have a valuable experience and chance to succeed.

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