Monday, November 06, 2006

Why Mega-Church Did Away with Drama

The local Mega-Church used to have a fairly active "Drama Ministry" (how the Church came up with its' nomenclature surrounding theater arts I'll never know). Somewhere along the way the whole kit-n-caboodle got nixed by the Senior Pastor. The reasoning was that the Pastor felt bound to "explain" the drama in his sermon to the congregation which meant that the drama had to link directly to the message, and if the Holy Spirit led the Pastor to change his message at the last minute the drama wouldn't make sense.

There are (at least) two problems I have with this line of reasoning:

First, the pastor is really dissing his congregation if they can't watch a short sketch and get the message without it being explained. Either the pastor is arrogant, the congregation is really ignorant, or the sketch is poorly written and performed. Knowing a little bit about Mega-Church, the people who attend and the talent of those involved - I would rule out the last two.

Sadly, this is really a common problem. We have strayed so far from our understanding of metaphor and our ability to use Christ-like creativity in communicating the message, that church leadership feels compelled to spoon-feed an explanation to the masses.

Second, the pastor's reasoning assumes that a dramatic sketch can't stand on its' own as an effective communication tool, and that any struggling to grasp the metaphor is a bad thing. Even Jesus did not feel the need to explain the parables (a metaphorical teaching tool he introduced that was difficult for many of his listeners to grasp), and did so only when pressed by his followers. Jesus seemed content to communicate the metaphor and let the listeners and the Holy Spirit sort it out. A pretty good model to follow, if you ask me. If the body can't watch a sketch and "get it" without the pastor's help then perhaps the pastor should also explain each hymn, each worship song, and the cover art on the bulletin.


At 4:24 PM, Blogger AnonymousCog said...

I've known a lot of pastors that simply cannot do something ahead of time. They are either afraid to prepare ahead of time, or think that they are giving up control of the message, either they want to change it at the last moment, or don't prepare until Saturday night, or all of the above.

Its a shame, because without looking ahead to systematic themes, you just end up with pot-luck and pep-talks. God is not just an extemporaneous God, he believes in series teaching and that you can prepare more than 1 day ahead of Sunday.


At 5:46 AM, Anonymous joel said...

Have dramas in evangelical churches ever been done away or forestalled due to St Paul's proscriptions against women (in this case, actresses) speaking in church? As I recall from my former evangelical days, that question never seemed even to come up.


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