“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” -1 Peter 4:10
From an early age, I have enjoyed theatre: from the days of putting on variety shows in the garage for the neighbors to come see, to the days of leaving high school early to take classes at the Nashville Academy Theater, through college and beyond.
My dad, a Baptist minister, was perplexed. I remember him asking something like, “From whom did you inherit your talent?” “From you , Dad!,” I answered, “Isn’t preaching a lot like acting?” From the responding look on his face, I don’t think he thought it was.
I meant that, like a preacher, an actor has the ability to speak in front of people. Also, preachers, as well as actors, interpret writing and possess the art of telling stories so that they “come alive” for the hearers. To him, however, acting was not nearly as worthy a calling as preaching. I think I still struggle a little with that.
I also struggle with the fact that theatre is not a “compassion ministry.” The WordPlayers, a theatre ministry, does not feed or clothe anyone. Part of my job as Managing Director is to write the fundraising appeal letters. At those times, when I sit down to write, how I wish I could relate a heart-tugging story of how The WordPlayers provided shoes for an entire village of bare-footed children or something to that effect.
I can’t do that but I do believe that The WordPlayers is a ministry. Our mission is to impact theatre audiences and artists by telling stories from a Christian worldview. God makes actors and other theatre artists and expects us to use our gifts and talent for Him. The WordPlayers strives to do this. We perform the “stories” God shows us, where God leads us, and He is in charge of the impact we make.
Lately, I have been led to pray about new programming that would allow The WordPlayers to build stronger relationships with the people that we serve with our art. God seems to be saying, there are people out there that could benefit from a more personal experience with you and your craft.
I don’t know what He is going to get us into but I just pray that He finds us worthy!