There are many terms to identify what we think of as Christian drama ministry. And Christian drama can be performed in many places, whether on the church stage, in youth camps, in missions, on street corners, anywhere actually.
And it may be called “church drama” or “church skits” or any number of other tags. So just to identify lets quite simplistically separate the locations where Christian drama may be performed:
Church stage Christian drama is that which is performed on the platform at the front of the church, usually, but not always, as part of the church service.
All other Christian drama performed as a ministry of the church or churches. This may be drama performed as part of a church ministry, (example women’s ministry), and performed either in the church or other, (as in outreach missions, summer camp, youth hostels or whatever).
Church stage Christian drama has always been a cyclical ministry, in vogue for a time and then disappearing, for various reasons, only to reappear at some point down the road. This cycle repeats itself over and over.
For the time church stage drama is in vogue it seems every church does it since it is seen as trendy and effective. Then for reasons including difficulty in recruiting and time restraints, etc., church stage drama is seen as unimportant and even blasé. So it is replaced by one more worship song (with lines repeated ad nausea *grin*) or with a dramatic video.
Certainly I can see worship leaders making these changes since, (more than any other reason), adding a drama which flows well with the theme of the service requires much advance planning by the pastor. The pastor has to plan sermons well in advance in order that a corresponding script can be found, actors recruited and rehearsals done. Comparing this to inserting a worship song, there is no contest.
So today we are in the midst of a “down period” in church stage drama in many, (but by no means all), churches. (DramaShare is blessed that through this period our output has stayed relatively stable).
The worship stage may be taken from you but there are a thousand other stages where you can share the love of Jesus Christ. There are seniors homes, jails, youth facilities, hospitals, use your imagination.
Which brings me to my point. . . I am sorry to see that many church leaders are turning their backs on proven dramatic ministry, since in spite of inherent difficulties with live church stage drama, this form of ministry has been a powerful form of both outreach and inreach.
But I am even more disappointed in Christian drama people who are accepting the “no’s” from pastors as the death knell of their dramatic ministry. I personally believe that when Christian drama people accepted the ministry to “go and preach the Good News” there was nothing in the “contract” which said . . “I will preach dramatically so long as it is on the church stage.”
Christian drama had its roots centuries ago, not in churches or temples but in the places where needy, hurting people are found. I see nothing in society to prove that this has changed, in fact that need has grown immensely around the world but also just outside our church doors locally.
My take is that we, as ministers, have been instructed to go “to the ends of the world” so . . . if that is true then certainly we can surely go a few blocks from our “comfortable churches” and minister to the needy.
I only see an incredibly expanded role for well done Christian drama at home and beyond. We all do ourselves and the Great Commission a huge disservice to use the excuse (or is it the lie?) that there is no longer an opportunity to minister dramatically.