Communicate With Skits And Role-plays

Communicate With Skits And Role-plays

 

POY! SKIT GUIDELINES:

  • In a small group, participants might simply read their lines, or glance at their lines to get the idea so they can speak in their own words.
  • Most POY! skits require no practice in advance.
  • Have any small children play a brief part. Most scripts have an optional part for children, listed last under Participants.
  • Most scripts have a Narrator who should read the script beforehand to see how to keep moving the story along.
  • It is not necessary to employ costumes and objects, unless the skit recommends such.
  • It is not required to have an audience watch the skit. All present may participate.
  • Scripture and paraphrases, if any, usually appear in bold.

PARTICIPANTS:

Joe, who also serves as Narrator

Louis

Speaker

Orator

Entertainer

Prompter (Optional). Prompter shouts a brief line and Companions repeat it.

Companions (Optional): children and all adults who want to take part. Make sure Companions know who the Prompter is, and that they are to repeat Prompter’s words.

SCRIPT:

Joe

(To Learner) Well, here we are, Louis. Another boring seminar for us new pastors!

Louis

I’m glad it will last only three days, Joe. Abstractions and irrelevant methods! Oh well, the food is good. I can write letters between sessions, and sleep during them! Oh, the speaker’ starting.

Speaker

Folks, we’ll find out together how skits and role-plays enhance your teaching in worship and workshops. I need volunteers for a demonstration.

Pastor Joe, will you role-play the part of pastoral coach?

And you, Pastor Louis, will you be Joe’s trainee? Come join him. Now, Joe, go ahead and help Louis use skits to teach his flock. I want to see how much you already know about it.

Joe

To help Louis use skits, I’d first ask how he’s already doing it. Tell us, Louis.

Louis

I haven’t used skits. I learned to preach only lecture sermons; but I’m willing to flex.

Orator

That bothers me. Louis, I’ve heard you preach. You told stories and… Well… You really need help, but not by adding skits; you need more theological education. I’m renewing my offer of a scholarship for you to study in our academy in Miami, where I teach homiletics.

Joe

Wait! I’m coaching Louis on the job, in the same way Jesus and Paul trained new leaders. Louis is raising up a healthy new church and starting daughter churches. Why change this?

Louise

If I go to Boston, I’ll have to abandon the flock that God has given me to shepherd.

Orator

Mr. Speaker, a proper pulpit lecture by a well-educated theologian is the only time-honored way to preach. Our academy assures the highest standards of pastoral excellence.

Entertainer

Ha! Sparks are starting to fly. How fun! This is getting interesting!

Prompter & Companions

How interesting! How interesting!

Joe

Mr. Speaker, are you sure you want this type of demonstration?

Speaker

It’s exactly what I want. Everyone’s attentive, and you are interacting in the way Scripture requires. We’ve already probed the heart of the issue. Folks, we all know that learning is enhanced by stories, and the Bible has scores of them. Jesus taught profound truths with stories. Stories are even more powerful when folks relive them by acting them out.

Louis

Joe helps me learn stories that I can easily repeat to others. I’m training two apprentice shepherding elders now. I need to learn how to help adults and kids act out stories together. Please help me!

Prompter & Companions

Help me! Help me!

Joe

I give workshops in an oral society in Asia that needs the Word of God in story form. Stories touch the heart. Most people movements to Christ throughout history have taken place among illiterate peoples. They repeat the stories and the gospel flows from friend to friend and family to family. Stories also flow well in literate societies, if we teach them in a way people can imitate and pass on. High technology and abstract reasoning do not flow.

Entertainer

To act out a story, perform it in an entertaining way, with sharp background props, costumes, and lines well memorized. Get someone with a degree in dramatic arts to lead.

Speaker

Do the rest of you agree to this type of performance perfection?

Joe

If we did it that way, we’d act out stories only at Easter and Christmas. It’s too much work. Our aim is not to act dramatically or perform, but to let God’s truth reach the heart.

Entertainer

But the whole purpose is to entertain, isn’t it? If a story entertains, then folk won’t forget it.

Speaker

Our aim should not be to entertain, but to relive sacred events of history, events upon which all Christian truths are based. If a skit entertains, fine, but that’s not why we do skits.

Entertainer

But the audience will pay no attention if it’s not entertaining.

Speaker

You don’t need an audience. Let anyone take part that wants to. Let little children enjoy a minor part. You can always let them be angels that shout “Hallelujah!”

Joe

A pastor doesn’t always have to tell the story or take a lead role in acting it out. It’s better to let many people tell or act out stories. Let’s avoid having folks be passive “hearers only.”

Speaker

Good. It encourages everyone to take part if you can put the chairs in a circle.

Orator

You are lowering the standards of theological discourse. Stories are for children.

Speaker

We all learn from stories. Everyone is born able to play act. Children do it all the time, and it’s fun to reawaken the imagination of adults after educators have tried to erase it.

Orator

It takes too much time when folks have to memorize the lines. Few will do it.

Speaker

Don’t always memorize lines word for word. Simply act out the ideas and actions. Provide a script to remind role-players of an idea to say their own words. Keep the focus on the point that the Bible is making, not on acting. Professional actors that do Christian drama sometimes find this hard; they’ve been trained prefer to perform. That can draw attention away from the sacred truth that God wants us to portray. The same thing often happens when a worship team performs; their music is so beautiful that few people sing. People listen and enjoy the music passively, which is the opposite of what God wants.

Orator

But it takes up all the teaching time to act out stories during worship meetings!

Speaker

Not if you do it right. Two or three minutes are usually enough to relive a sacred event, or part of a long story. In workshops, one way to move a role-play along is to pretend time has passed by. For example, to role-play planting a church, players might start by conversing with someone to establish a relationship, which could take hours. So when they start, say something like, “Good! You’re building a relationship. Now, a day has passed. What happens next?” Keep it moving; inexperienced teachers let role-plays drag, which cancels the impact. Keep it relaxed; let anyone suggest things or ask questions at any time.

Entertainer

But we can’t teach doctrinal books such as Romans, Galatians and Hebrews with stories.

Joe

Yes, we can. The apostle Paul assumed that his readers knew certain stories; his letter to Romans is obtuse without them. Include the stories upon which Paul’s teaching was based. It is foolish to teach doctrinal books without relating the historical events that gave rise to the doctrines. Don’t rob folks of joyful understanding of the foundations of God’s truths.

Speaker

Right, Joe! Christianity is unique among religions in that all its doctrines derive from historical events. Name some of them, anyone.

Louis

Creation, Adam’s fall, God’s promises to Abraham, slavery in Egypt and escape, Sinai’s Law, division and fall of the kingdom, exile and restoration.

Joe

I see! The New Testament adds historical events regarding Jesus: His birth, baptism, miracles, death, resurrection, ascension, and sending the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

Entertainer

I have a book of comedies that folks love. We could give some of them a religious twist.

Speaker

Give preference to Bible stories. The Holy Spirit uses the historical events of Scripture to convince and illuminate our minds. Use fiction sparingly. For example, to teach original sin, ask someone to role-play Adam. Tell him, “Speak what Adam says in Genesis 3, and act out briefly what you think he did.” Name others as Eve, the serpent, the Voice of God, and a Narrator who reads the parts that are not spoken dialogue. Do not rehearse it too much or it will become stiff, and do not expect perfection. Errors give opportunity to laugh, relax and opportunity to discuss details afterwards.

Louis

Must we go through Old Testament stories chronologically, before presenting Jesus?

Speaker

In most cultures, it’s better to evangelize the way Christ and His apostles did. Start with the basic gospel events, Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and promise to give eternal life to all who repent. Then tell stories that reinforce these truths. Use a chronological approach with common sense; interrupt it to deal with urgent needs or to follow up conversions.

Orator

You’re giving narrative excessive emphasis.

Speaker

Charles Spurgeon wrote about this in the mid 1800’s. Let me read some of it:

Our Moravian brothers, full of fire and zeal, went among the ignorant natives of Greenland, longing to convert them. Using great prudence, they thought, “These people are in such darkness that it’s no use preaching Jesus Christ to them at first. They do not even know that there is a God, so let us begin by teaching them the nature of the Deity, showing them right and wrong, proving to them the need of the atonement for sin, and setting before them the rewards of the righteous and the penalties of the wicked.”

Watch for the result of this a preparatory work! They went on for years but had no converts. What was there in all that fine teaching that could convert anybody? Jesus was being locked out of the Greenlanders’ heart by those who wanted Him to enter.

But one day, one of the missionaries happened to read to a poor Greenlander the story of Jesus bleeding on the cross, how God had sent His Son to die, and “that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.” The Greenlander exclaimed, “Read me that again! What wonderful words! Did the Son of God die for us Greenlanders so that we may live?”

The missionary answered that it was so and, clapping his hands, the simple native cried, “Why did you not tell us that before?” Thus, a movement began.

Louis

Praise the Lord for His precious grace!

Prompter & Companions

Precious grace! Precious grace!

Speaker

Theology is essential, in its due time. The apostles brought in deeper doctrine after people had come into the body of Christ through the one bloodstained door Jesus Christ. Jesus, crucified and risen, was always the starting point for the apostles, as it is for missionaries whom God uses to spark movements for Jesus.

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