Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


I coach soccer for AYSO.  For the past 6 or 7 years I’ve been a dual coach, coaching two of my kids teams each summer and fall from early August through at least Thanksgiving weekend.  Over the last 3 or so of those years our local region has implemented a single Saturday of the season that they call “Silent Saturday.”

It has 2 purposes:

  1. It’s supposed to empower kids to lead their peers as the “self coach”.  
  2. It’s supposed to remind coaches and parents that this is a “kid’s sport”.
So, the rules are these for coaches of/and players age 8 through 13:
  • COACHES:  no verbal coaching or gesturing to direct play except during half or quarter breaks.
  • PARENTS:  same as coaches. Clapping is allowed.  Nothing more. 
  • PLAYERS:  can do or say anything as long as they are on the field together.  No coaching from them on the bench to players on the field.
I’ll be honest, I have a love-hate relationship with this day.  I think it’s premise is cool, but I feel like I’m doing nothing as a coach.  It even at times feels like a waste and like they don’t need me.  But really, it’s pretty telling on who your players are and what kind of team you have too.  In the end, I could argue for it or against it with some solid reasoning on both sides. 
But this year, it got me thinking…. 

“What would happen if we implemented a Silent Day” in youth group?  Like a Sunday or Wed or when adults were present like normal  (NOT a weekend where you go away or take your leaders on a retreat).  But even though they are present, they were not allowed to coach or direct anything that went on during the program.  I’ve done plenty of student led weekend or youth group gatherings in my ministry. Every weekend we have students lead their peers in some fashion.  But what would happen if a group of youth pastors decided to stack hands and do this?  
  • Messy and Owned ministry is better than Polished and Dismissed.
  • Sometimes students don’t because adults do.  If we get out of the way, they will step up.
  • Student ministry can be and should be empowering for students. 
  • PASTORS AND ADULT LEADERS: Should be there like normal and can be as involved in the preparation process as needed.  During the program, they remain silent.
  • STUDENTS (anyone 5th-12th grade I think):  Are there to coach and collectively lead their peers. 
Anybody want to do this with me?  What about a weekend in January? Kick off the new year with a new idea- or at least a collective idea.

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