Teamwork Works: One Model for Ministry
It's Tuesday, and your pastor gave two thumbs up to the sketch you picked out for his sermon. All that's left is to round up the cast and start rehearsals. Your first call reveals that your ideal cast is out of town. Wednesday comes, and you discover your second cast can't find a single day on which they can all rehearse. By Thursday, you're desperately recruiting members of your family.
If your church uses drama even once a month, you can head off many potential problems by developing a drama team that meets regularly on a weekly or monthly basis to build the ministry as well as rehearse. While keeping a list of actors on call for ministry is one approach that has merit, having regular sessions with the team helps to ensure the commitment and involvement of a group devoted to performing drama.
How the team serves the ministry
• Fresh ideas come from hearing many different perspectives. Although you will always need one director to gather, refine, and have the final say, there's room for more than one mind. As members contribute their ideas to the performance, your creativity and their enthusiasm will grow.
• Choosing material and casting decisions are easier when you get to know your volunteers. Forming a team helps you see who works best together and when it's time to challenge actors to take on more difficult roles.
• Having a group of people to pray for the ministry and cheer on the leadership makes the hours short and the work fun.
The drama team in this context soon becomes a group of caring and supportive individuals. Each actor can brush up his or her skills and bulk up spiritually, too. In this way, the drama ministry provides an opportunity for service along with a place of fellowship and spiritual growth. The director of the drama team serves as administrator and creative artist, as well as shepherd and mentor.
How the director leads the team
• Have a plan. In addition to having a clear agenda for each meeting, create a six-month plan. This gives the team goals and purpose. Include times of fellowship such as a potluck at someone's house or a movie or play with discussion afterward.
• Use the first few minutes for devotions. Often the script itself will provide you with the fodder for a great discussion. Invite a different member to lead each week. Invite a pastor or elder to drop by every few months. This is a great time to share personal prayer requests, too.
Include training in your agenda. Actors always feel like they could be doing better. Increase their ability by working on monologues. Use the acting exercises from Drama Ministry. Take your time working with each person; everyone will learn from each actor's improvement.
Having a drama team is a ministry in itself. It can take a lot of energy to care for and train your team. But the benefits of artistic and spiritual growth usually outweigh the effort to maintain your drama team. And it sure saves on last-minute phone calls.