By Mark Sims
Ezekiel was among the first to use the medium of drama to get Gods message across (Ezekiel 4,5). Once he had the peoples attention, he zapped them with a powerful word from the Lord. Thus the first drama ministry was born.
Nothing can take the place of the preached Word of God. The Spirit is always eager to anoint solid, biblical preaching. Few things can move hearts like the Word of God in music. The psalmists devoted an entire book of the Bible to it. Certainly God gives priority to His written Word. Everything must be measured by the Book of books.
At the same time, perhaps nothing arrests peoples attention, saved or lost, as effectively as drama. Christian drama is not an end in itself but, rather, a valuable tool which has been used throughout church history to tell the greatest story ever told.
The impact Christian drama makes on a church is basically two-fold: Drama touches those both inside and outside the church. The simple message of a powerful drama anointed by the Holy Spirit can touch lives with the gospel. Usually an outsider will be much more willing to visit a church to view a dramatic presentation than simply to hear a sermon and may even justify attendance in order to see a friend or relative perform. This has become one of our most fruitful forms of evangelism. Every dramatic presentation should include an invitation to the unsaved to respond to Jesus Christ.
Drama also benefits church outreach by becoming a unique ministry outreach to the community. Every year churches give cantatas, choir concerts, seminars, and seasonal presentations. Each one advertises to the communityeach expects Christians to flock to hear more of the same. A church committed to drama in more than a seasonal context, however, becomes known in the community as a progressive, evangelistic congregation with something new and exciting to offer. Not only is a wealth of talent attracted to the church, but young people will especially love to attend. An active drama ministry in a Pentecostal church underlines our reputation as alive, exciting, and serious about reaching people.
Drama also makes an impact by providing another opportunity for laypeople to become involved in ministry. Certainly those with musical talents or with great gifts to teach have no problem finding a place to function in the church. By adding an active drama ministry to the list of ministry opportunities, a church can find a place of service for those with varied talents and skills, such as building props and sets, operating spotlights, designing and making costumes, creating special effects, and applying stage makeup. Even those who claim stage fright can find a place of importance in the production of Christian drama to reach the community. We have found that young people particularly enjoy becoming involved in this medium of ministry. Willing servants with hidden abilities sit in our pews every Sunday just waiting to be discovered.
As the final harvest approaches, we are compelled to use whatever means are available to tell the world about Jesus. Christian drama is one of those ways.
Why drama? Because drama is not just entertainmentdrama is evangelism.