This past weekend I witnessed something that I have seen many times before…silence. However, the context of this silence was based upon the environment in which middle school students dwell in. I have found that students today are completely afraid of silence. Now before you blow my thought to pieces, I might add that there are some exceptions to the rule.
Students today are over stimulated by everything, this is nothing new to us. But what we don’t see is how it’s affecting the social and spiritual climate of our youth groups. Have you ever asked a question and it becomes a catalyst for dozens of “mini-conversations” with students and their friends? This would seem very typical for middle school ministry; but why? Is it so hard for students to listen to each other, sit in silence and witness the burdens of others? I have seen students connect with God in little moments of silence, why can’t happen in a large setting? What is missing?
As I continue in my research, I am drawn to the idea that middle schooler’s and their worldview are connected to this idea of silence. I feel that silence is something that is crucial for spiritual growth (it’s not just for monks). Students are being told that silence is a form of weakness, a position of vulnerability…everything must change!