Steve Henwood is convinced that your youth ministry could have a new dimension if you can raise the funds for this versatile gadget

Silent Disco headsets. They’ve been a game changer in our children’s and youth ministry. We’re still experimenting. We’re still learning.

For what it’s worth - here’s a few of the ways we use them, mistakes we’ve made and the things we’ve found. 

Qualifying Openers

Resources like this are helpful not vital. Like any resource God grants us, it’s there to ease and support the work, not replace prayer, straightforward discipleship or Him. These are tools. Useful for some things, less helpful for others.

Getting The Gear

The headsets are an expensive resource, so if you are reading thinking, “yeah, if only . . “ I understand.

For us, this was an exceptional purchase that came from a legacy gift. However, now we know how useful they are, even without that gift I think we’d try to find a way to have this available – e.g. Partner with others, start small and buy little by little each year, get creative in raising funds etc.



Choosing The Gear

We went for a company that hires as well as sells. That way the frequencies match should we run an event where we want to hire more to supplement the ones we have. (Be aware that different companies use different frequencies – so don’t try and mix&match).

On the topic of frequencies : we’ve learnt the hard way that you need to check the frequencies don’t clash with any radio mics used in the main church on Sunday morning.


We started with two but have been since added a third transmitter as we found that useful for Prayer Space. (Our headphones can receive on a max of 3 channels).


How We Use Them – Prayer and Worship

Prayer Space With Schools

This is the major one for us.

We run or support several primary and secondary Prayer Space in Schools projects. Simply put, the headsets significantly help the students isolate themselves from other classmates in the Prayer Space.

Teachers are so taken with how well even the most disruptive pupils settle, they are considering investing in sets for the school to use in other ways. Watch this space!

Early discoveries

To begin with, we set it up as a station that they could opt into, we quickly found that a) they kept them on even once they left that station and b) doing so meant they focussed better and engaged more readily in the other prayer activities. Ignoring each other more successfully enabled them to better experience some form of solitude.

Adding a Channel

Since the headphones were initially set to hear worship music or a spoken word station, we added another channel of wordless, ambient music. We encourage them to swap to this channel (or turn them off) to give themselves more silence. It’s common to see that the more ‘wired’ pupils opt for the singing tracks as the ambient tracks are too much. 

How we use them

It varies according to where we run it. The one we host a church has 60 pupils at a time across the whole space. Most of the stations don’t require the headsets (but students usually opt for them). We use all 3 channels, 1) gentle worship tracks playing with lyrics on the screen (which they either watch or just have on as they engage in other things, 2) wordless ambient track. 3) A more ‘immersive’ station in the main hall. E.g. blacked out and projected ‘planetarium’.

Next steps

Now that students are becoming more skilled at focussing, we’re next encouraging them to try prayer space without the headsets, even if just for some of the time, embracing silence more readily.



Church Groups Prayer Space

We try to make sure each age group has regular extended prayer times / prayer space throughout the year. Our midweek youth and children’s group now use them often. The adults are starting to use them for prayer times at church too. It also solves the debate for adults about whether prayer spaces like this should be silent or have music in the background.

Sunday Groups - Worship

We’ve begun trialling using them as one of the ways for worship. It doesn’t work when we want it more corporate, joining in together, working off each other. Rather, the older children and youth take a few minutes to be still with God by themselves, spending time with a video/audio worship song or a pre-recorded prayer reflection. Even with minimal room space, the headsets really help them ignore each other.

Sunday Morning Prayer Reflection

Our older children and youth groups don’t have that much room. Encouraging them to take a few minutes out alone to prayer and reflect on the session was almost pointless with them all together. The headsets make this easier. Even sitting close to each other, they settle so much better.


We joke it could be a way of combining our 9 o’clock and 1030 service into one. Two lots of worship & liturgy, two sermons, one service - just pick a channel. It’s a joke. Don’t get ideas.


How We Use Them – Video Watching 

One of the simplest uses is when we’re watching something. Here’s a couple of examples.

Combined Groups

There are times occasionally where we need to combine age groups on Sunday mornings at short notice. The headsets have made it easier to have sessions with mixed age groups and still run - one group with activities, the other with headsets watching something.

Young Families Lunch

Having the kid’s film in the corner to support the parents together time was all very well but we needed to be in the same room. The adult discussions were competing with the sound of the speaker. Not anymore.


How We Use Them - Fun and Games

We’re still finding creative ways to have fun and games with them. Here’s a few examples.


Those with headphones can hear the singing into the mic and the backing track. Those without can just hear random singing. Both ways are hilarious. Strangely, somehow it makes everyone more ‘confident’ singers, boys and girls.

(It’s also quieter in the room and less overpowering).

Disco Imposter

The headset lights can be turned off so that it’s unclear what channel they are set to. Get a group up to dance to the music, count down and hit play. The catch is that some in the group can’t hear the track and have to fake along. Stop the music and everyone guesses who was a disco imposter.

Among Us Live

The Covid classic online game takes a new twist as we set it up to play live. The headsets meant we could play them background music as they walked around and call everyone together at any point using a microphone.

Escape Room / Crystal Maze

One station involved one group behind the glass talking into a mic, giving instructions to another group outside, blindfolded and wearing headphones. Cue much shouting of “your other left!!”

Silent Discos Indoors & Outdoors

Surprisingly, this is how we’ve used them least so far, but it has happened!

Movie Night

The youth like this as it solves the age old can you talk or should you just shut up and watch arguments. Want to watch uninterrupted? Headsets on. Want to talk, headset on one ear (or not at all!).

Move Night Back to Back / Side by Side

Group split between choosing between two films. No problem. Two channels. Two screens one at either end (or side by side!). Would you like fries with that?!


How else might they be used?

If anyone else has been experimenting with them too, or if you’ve got thoughts or suggestions, get in touch as it all adds to what we’re learning.