Introduction To Drama In Worship

Source: The Complete Library of Christian Worship, Robert E. Webber, General Editor

Important in worship are not only the arts that we hear (music) and see (the visual arts), but also the arts that involve both seeing and hearing (drama and dance). These arts are complex and challenging, both to the artist and to the worshiper. They communicate messages at many levels, either by presenting an idea or image or by representing a significant event or narrative. Careful reflection and instruction is necessary to insure that artist and worshiper alike understand the appropriate...

A Brief History Of Drama In Worship

Worship as the celebration of God's saving acts in Christ is itself dramatic, enacting the relationship between God and his people and reenacting the living, dying, and rising of Christ. The article below traces this theme throughout the history of Christian worship.

The Value Of Dramatic Representation

Drama is an extremely powerful means of communication, able to depict a narrative from many points of view and to portray the cosmic themes in situations that touch everyday life. The planning and execution of drama is also beneficial in that it can use a the gifts of a variety of people from all ages in a congregation.

Types Of Drama For Use In Worship

This article joins others in this chapter in arguing for the intentional and imaginative use of drama in worship. Its unique contribution is a helpful explanation of the various types or varieties of theater that can be incorporated into worship.

The Festival Music Drama

The festival music drama as described here is a type of drama in which the entire congregation plays a role. It involves many of the traditional elements in a worship service, reordered so that their dramatic quality is realized. The central theme is always that of the life of Jesus Christ, which is presented in dramatic fashion to give believers an opportunity to celebrate Christ's victory and to present the gospel narrative to unbelievers.

Readers’ Theater In The Church

Readers' theater is a form of drama well-suited to the church. It attempts to present a text rather than to represent or portray an event. It minimizes the staging that may be difficult in some worship spaces. This article describes both the history of readers' theater and gives suggestions for its use in the church.

Drama And Preaching

Drama and preaching are both means for communicating biblical truths. Yet they are fundamentally different in their most typical forms, with preaching presenting a message and drama representing a narrative. This article gives helpful historical perspectives to the use of drama in worship, as well as guidelines for the appropriate relationship of preaching and drama in worship today.

Drama In The Seekers’ Service

The recent development of the seekers' service has created many opportunities for drama in the church. The article describes the use of drama in the seeker services of the church who pioneered them, the Willow Creek Community Church of South Barrington, Illinois. In these services, which are not considered worship services per se, drama is used prior to the spoken message to depict a scene in everyday life that applies insights from the Christian faith to that situation.

Beginning A Drama Group

Preparing drama for worship requires much time and skill. The following article identifies many of the issues that need to be addressed in beginning a drama ministry and describes helpful procedures for making this process efficient.

Involving Children In Drama For Worship

Involving children in a drama ministry provides an appropriate way to use their unique gifts in the life of the congregation, encourages their spiritual growth, and makes an important contribution to common worship. These and other benefits of a children's drama ministry are described here.