Silence is not Golden


Are you experiencing unspoken tensions in your congregation, ministry, or group setting? In churches
where unity should be central, underscoring the scripture in John 17:21, hidden tensions sometimes
emerge. These tensions, often unspoken and simmering beneath our communal endeavors, act as
barriers. While we may come together under one roof with the intention to worship, serve, and grow,
these concealed conflicts prevent us from fully embracing unity and moving forward.

Scriptural Insight:
Ephesians 4:25-26 offers wisdom in such moments: “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one
of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin;
do not let the sun go down on your anger.”

Within our committees and congregational settings, this guidance is more crucial than ever. For when
conflict remains unaddressed, it has the power to undermine the very fabric of our community, leaving
us fragmented and less effective.

Unearthing the Hidden Conflicts:
There are two types of tensions that breed conflict in congregations: loud and aggressive tension and
silent, passive – aggressive tension. Silent tensions produce mistrust and stagnation. By not addressing
these concerns, we risk creating spaces where voices are silenced, creativity is stifled, and the mission
and vision is impeded.

In Matthew 18:15-17, Jesus lays out a clear path for reconciliation: approach the individual, and if they
do not listen, bring others into the conversation. The message is clear—face conflict, do not let it fester.
If you sense an unspoken tension, have the courage to bring it into the light. Initiate conversations with
grace, seeking understanding rather than being understood.

Breaking the Silence for Unity’s Sake:
Our call, then, is to be ambassadors of unity, even when it’s uncomfortable. By courageously addressing
unspoken tensions, we pave the way for richer, more transparent dialogue. We allow for a sacred and
safe space where ideas flourish, disagreements are managed with love, and ministry work is prioritized.

Call to Action:
In moments of tension, let’s remember our higher calling. Commit to breaking the silence, to shining a
light on unspoken issues with the goal of unity, mutual respect, and shared ministry. Do you have a story
about navigating changing priorities and managing conflicts in your ministry or group? How has breaking
the silence led to deeper unity and growth?

So, whether you choose to address “Unspoken Tensions” or commit to “Breaking the Silence”, the goal
remains clear: to foster unity, even amidst disagreement, and to push forward the mission and vision
with love and understanding. For only when we face our challenges can we move past them, building a
church that truly reflects love and unity.

Dr. Toni Hawkins

Skip to content