Does It have a place?
Ever since I was young, I have loved performing. I did it everywhere, whether it was in church musicals, speech and drama Eisteddfods, dance concerts, or performances with my little brother for our parents. God has blessed me with many opportunities in this space. I have a deep passion for acting and performance and long to see it used for the Kingdom.
I also grew up seeing drama ministry used sporadically in the church. Don’t get me wrong, I had some wonderful experiences and clear memories of how it was used, but its use has not always been consistent. As I get older, I have noticed a decline in the use of drama ministry. Perhaps this is not true in your setting, but it is an observation I have made for the contexts I have worked in. I don’t think that decline indicates that drama ministry is any less powerful or helpful, but for one reason or another, we have shied away from using it. Maybe God has been calling us to other mediums, maybe we have lacked the human resources, maybe it feels foreign, and we don’t know how to do it, or maybe we just thought it doesn’t have a place.
I hope you don’t mind my honesty, but if I can speak freely, the lack of examples and lack of people passionate and committed to drama ministries has discouraged me at times. It has also made me question where drama fits in the church.
Does drama ministry have a place at all?
Can it be used powerfully and effectively for the Kingdom? If so, how?
Is it still relevant in 2023?
I would be curious to hear your answers to these questions.
I have sat for a long time thinking through these questions. I certainly don’t have all the answers, but here are some of my thoughts:
Firstly, I know that the Holy Spirit is just as powerful now as when Jesus was raised from the dead. God is the same yesterday, today and forever, right? (Hebrews 13:8) He can use my surrendered gifts in a mighty way for His Kingdom.
I don’t believe it is an accident that God has given me or others a passion and love for performance. And I don’t want the thing I love doing in life to be separate from God’s Kingdom. I believe He gives gifts purposefully and to be used for His glory and honour. (Romans 12:6)
Drama is still relevant. We live in the age of Netflix, YouTube, and TikTok, where these companies are absolutely booming. What do they all include? Some sort of visual storytelling, often with acting involved. Take TikTok for example. Those who use this platform might have come across videos of people recreating sounds and mouthing the lines spoken in the audio. In essence, what are they doing? Acting!
We are constantly being impacted by the performance of actors. Our society learns through stories and visual media. Therefore, we know acting will still work for the people within the church, but perhaps more importantly, we have a language our world understands and is constantly using. We have an opportunity and responsibility to use this common “language” to spread hope, love, and the truth of Jesus!
So, I have concluded that:
While God is still powerful,
While God gives people a passion for performance,
While storytelling is still foundational in our world,
Acting and drama ministry are still relevant.
Although I have concluded that acting has a place in the Kingdom, sometimes I am not sure what it practically looks like. Even at the beginning of this year, I had some ideas but none of them felt right for this season. I continued praying that God would reveal to me His plans and His ideas. (Praise God, I sense He is beginning to unfurl those plans. Watch this space!) Working out the form that drama ministry takes is not always easy.
That is why we need to continue praying and seeking God and His guidance. Knowing He will lead us and guide us as He is the ultimate director.
It is why we need to continue to grow our skills, to ensure we have a range of tools in the toolkit, so when the time does come, we are ready and prepared. And so we can give our best to God and mirror His beauty.
It is why as we continue to pray and grow our skills, we need to have the courage to start. It can feel overwhelming knowing where to start, but when we are seeking God first, we can trust He will lead us. We may not know the destination, but we will figure it out as we go along. What we do know is that we have a gift for the Kingdom that has too much potential to lay to the side anymore. Let’s commit to starting somewhere and giving it a go.
So here are my encouragements for those of you who are actors:
You have a place in the church. And we, the church, need you! The gift God has given you is not a waste or an accident. You have a unique ability that we need. Please spend time in God’s presence then write, act, direct, and create.
For those of you who do not consider yourself an actor or performer:
Please pray for drama ministry, both as a whole and for individuals you know gifted in this area. There is enormous potential, waiting to be fully realized. I believe prayer is the foundation of many moves of God, so your prayer support would be an incredible blessing to us.
Secondly, please support and encourage us (the actors). Performing can be incredibly scary, intimidating, and often requires you to be vulnerable. Although we may not have it all figured out, and not every piece you see us perform will be mind blowing, please continue to speak encouragement over us and continue to support us.
My prayer for drama ministry is that the Holy Spirit would unlock its potential within our communities. I pray our performers would be people who pray and seek God’s Kingdom first, and that they would surrender to the leading of the magnificent Holy Spirit. Out of the overflow of God’s presence, I pray that they would create beautiful pieces that reflect and give glory to God. I pray God, the first and greatest Creator, would give us His wisdom and creative ideas as He leads, guides and directs us.
Actors, writers, directors, and all those involved in drama ministry - Now. Is. The. Time.
We need you. The world needs you.
So, let’s act!
I am passionate about all things in drama ministry. If you would like to bounce an idea off of someone, share an exciting story about drama ministry, need someone to cheer you on or pray for you, or someone to partner with on a project, please reach out to me! firstname.lastname@example.org