Storytelling is one of the most powerful forms of communication God has given us. Indeed, Jesus’ parables can be described as “spoken drama,” appealing to the hearts and minds of listeners in His time, to saints and sinners down through the ages, and to each of us today.
Churches today are getting more creative in using drama as a teaching tool for biblical understanding. First Church recognizes the tradition of sacred storytelling and its influence on our faith journey. In 2014, Director of Sacred Arts Jeff Faux initiated our Drama Ministry with the hiring of award-winning playwright Delvyn C. Case, Jr.
“The purpose of the Drama Ministry at First Church is to glorify God in corporate worship by depicting His story in the lives of His people,” Delvyn said. Every season he writes and directs up to six one-act worship dramas to coincide with the liturgy. “We can glorify God through our work on stage as well as backstage. We have an energetic team of talented individuals involved not only in the performance side but also behind the scenes working with costumes, makeup, and staging.”
Associate Director of Sacred Arts Barbara Wischmeier also believes that drama has a definite place in the church. She quoted the author Oscar Wilde, who said, “I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.”
“Theatrical devices can be used to inspire, educate, and evangelize,” Barbara said. “Our Heavenly Father is pleased when our worship reflects His divine, creative image. Drama
can be a fresh, innovative expression of His nature in us.”
There is no doubt that drama can be impactful. People watch dramas and films to find meaning in their lives. But taking it one step further and becoming involved in a drama
ministry can, more importantly, be a faith-forming experience.
“A drama ministry allows cast members to develop their faith as they read and memorize the script and talk with others about how a Bible passage relates to their lives,” Barbara said. “As the actors become the characters and the behind-the-scenes team works in tangent, these truths are imprinted upon their hearts and minds while being reflected in their daily lives.”
Since friends and families are invited to the production, they get a chance to witness loved ones living out their faith in a creative fashion.
“Sacred performing arts can impact the church and the world for Christ,” Barbara added. “A drama ministry prepares our hearts to hear biblical truths by addressing relevant and historical issues.”