::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Silence Can Be Lethal - Dr. Dan Reiland ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: As a parent of young children, I can appreciate the phrase "silence is golden." But silence can sometimes be harmful in the church - whenever it's caused by fear, apathy or insecurity. Sometimes your people need to be taught to "speak up" for Kingdom causes. Teach them the following lesson paired with Scripture from Ephesians (4:3-6,15,32) or I John (4:18), and you're likely to see (and hear) great results! 1. Silence . . . Causes Misrepresentation. Early in my ministry, I thought the loving thing to do was simply listen. But one day, I met with a negative person who complained about everything they thought was wrong in the church. As usual, I listened. But a few days later I was being quoted as if I were in total agreement with them, even though I'd agreed with nothing they'd said. Yikes! That's when I learned that silence can convey agreement. Compassion and empathy are wonderful virtues, but they do little good if you let harmful statements go without a response. We must all speak up in defense of our church, pastor and ministries. Even if we don't agree with everything that's done, we can still present a unified front. 2. Silence . . . Withholds Forgiveness. We're taught to forgive by the Scripture and Jesus' modeling. But our humanity and pride often keep us from communicating our forgiveness to others. Here's the point: You may have forgiven someone in your heart, but unless you tell them, it's almost as if you never forgave them at all. Healing and wholeness in the Body of Christ depend on sharing aloud the forgiving grace of Jesus Christ. 3. Silence . . . Weakens Leadership. Over the years, I've associated with many people who have leadership instincts and Godly wisdom, yet rarely speak up about anything. Maybe they're in a board or committee meeting, listening to the discussion and thinking great thoughts, but they don't verbalize them. When this happens, not only does the church miss out on needed wisdom, but that person forfeits leadership. Leaders speak up. If you don't, you'll have a hard time making an impact. 4. Silence . . . Promotes Division. The Body of Christ is affirmed when you speak words of unity, support, and mutual conviction. Silence leaves people wondering where you stand - whether on family values, your support of the new pastor, or your commitment to the building program. Unfortunately, in the local church, negative people tend to speak louder than positive people and end up forming a negative "majority." All it would take is one positive person to lead the way, and others would quickly add their support. Speak up - your input can help conquer division and promote unity in your church. Don't stand silent when your input can make a positive impact. If you make a habit of speaking up in love, you'll be more precious than gold to your church.

source: Dan Reiland tags: Communication, Courage, Silence