Friday, February 20, 2009

Church Without Sound

I read an interesting blog which leads us to think about how others perceive us. . .

Church Without Sound

Imagine a church without sound.

I do not mean removing things that make noise - sound systems, music, people. I mean imagine experiencing your church as it normally is but not being able to hear anything. Would the non-audible elements be enough to minister to you?

If you were to take away sound, would people still be ministered to?

If someone saw a muted video of your church service, what would they think?


  • Would your environment create a sense of awe for the Creator like the churches of the Renaissance?
  • Visually, how does your worship music seem? Authentic? Passionate? Like a rock concert? Worshipful?
  • When you take away the words, are the greeters authentic?
  • Is the tone and subject of the message evident in the preacher’s body language?
  • What about the sermon branding?
  • Is the life changing power of Christ evident on the congregation’s faces?
  • Is there a sense joy, hope, and love?

People can spot a fake smile. People can discern authenticity. If someone who was not a Christian watched your congregation worship, would they want what they have?

Albert Mehrabian’s research shows that communication is influenced only 7% by words, 38% by tone of voice, and 55% by body language. All too often, we focus on the 7% of words and forget to invest in non-audible influencers, such as body language and environment.

Those are interesting thoughts and questions. I wonder what others would say? I wonder what we would say!


  1. in a sense, that's why so much effort and resources went into building the cathedrals. because the environment, while not critical, can help draw people closer to God.

    of course, a house church has it's own "environment" that also helps people draw closer to God.

    actually i'm not so sure if people can spot a fake smile =)

  2. There was a comment on this post. I agree, most people cannot spot a fake smile, which is why we use them so often. How often to do we fake being happy and content and people don't catch it? How many times do we give hints that we are not okay, but people miss them as well. Environment is important, but if there is no warmth, no sense of community, I don't believe people will stick because we all want a sense of belonging and security.

    Here is a link to test you ability to spot a fake smile . . . enjoy . . .


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