Theme: There is nothing deeply spiritual about this sketch, but it is good fun! The first few lines below tell you all you need to know. A good sketch for a church entertainment evening.
Staging: All you need is the Mastermind chair for the contestant.
A chair centre stage. Maurice comes to sit. A spotlight falls onto him.
QUIZ MR: Good evening. Welcome to Mastermind.
MAURICE: Im Maurice Wilkins.
QUIZ MR: And what is your name?
MAURICE: Answering a question from the Bible before youve asked it.
QUIZ MR: And whats your specialist subject?
QUIZ MR: And your time starts now. What is forbidden in the seventh commandment?
MAURICE: Riding a donkey.
QUIZ MR: Correct. How did Jesus enter Jerusalem on Palm Sunday?
MAURICE: Drunk and disorderly.
Theme: The dry, matter of fact language used in the Bible sometimes obscures the detail of a truly remarkable and shocking story. That is especially true in the story of Abraham and Sarah, which has elements that make modern soap operas seem positively tepid. At the time, the events MUST have caused scandal and gossip, so in this sketch, two women gossip away..
Staging: The two women should look like theyve been out shopping and are on their way home. Dont worry about Biblical dress, but do make it clear theyve been out.
Martha and Rebecca come on stage both carrying expensive carrier bags. Theyre both dressed as very proper, middle aged women.
REBECCA: Hello Martha, love.
MARTHA: Hello dear. Been shopping?
REBECCA: Just been into Gomorrah. Such lovely shops theyve got there. Got myself one of those fancy new food processors.
MARTHA: Oh, do let me see.Rebecca takes a wooden spoon out of her bag and shows it to Martha.
MARTHA: Oh I say, what will they think of next?
REBECCA: It stirs, beats, folds and creams, according to the brochure.
MARTHA: Does it, now? Marvellous.
REBECCA: Much better than the old stick Ive been using. Looks like youve been to the shops too?
Snakes for supper
Theme: A modern day retelling of the story Jesus told to show us how to pray. It is ultimately about making your prayers simple, and telling God exactly what it is that you want. (That doesnt mean youll always get it of course).
Staging: Set a table centre stage with a white cloth and a wine glass to indicate a restaurant. Dress your waiter in black suit, bow tie, and cloth over his arm,. The more classy you make the waiter appear, the more ridiculous will be his unwillingness to serve.
A table is centre stage laid ready for a meal. Steven enters and sits. He notices a waiter over in the corner and signals him over.
WAITER: Good evening sir.
STEVEN: Good evening, waiter. Can I see the menu?
WAITER: That very much depends on how good your eye sight is sir. Theyre over there in the corner.
STEVEN: Can I have one?
WAITER: To keep?
STEVEN: (a bit confused) No, just to read.
WAITER: You dont merely wish to see it then sir, you want to read it as well?
STEVEN: If thats alright.
WAITER: Certainly sir. Youre the guest.
Theme: What difference did it make long-term to the men that Jesus prevented from stoning the woman who was caught in adultery? This is actually a sketch about our own hobbies, obsessions and habits. What are we prepared to change for Jesus? After an encounter with Jesus, how easy do we find it to give up things we have always done?
Staging: It would be good to dress the men in Biblical clothing if possible, otherwise, dress Joshua as if he is a football fan about to go to the match.
Joshua knocks at a door and James answers.
Joshua: Hi James. Its time for the stoning.
Joshua: Should be great today. Theyve got a couple of really evil law breakers this week. (checks piece of paper) Theres an idolator and a bloke who gathered wood on the Sabbath. Three oclock kick off.
James: I dont think I can come.
Joshua: Youve got to. Youve got all the stones.
James: Ive lost them.
Joshua: Isnt that them down there?
James: Is it?
Joshua: Of course it is.
James: But theyre not working.or
Theme: This sketch tries to scratch the surface of what sin is, and how our relationship with God is bound up by our sin. It asks more questions than it answers and should be used to ask a congregation to consider what sin means to them, and how it affects their relationship with God and each other.
Staging: Sit a receptionist at a desk and if possible, display behind his/her head a board with the name of a local (or fictitious) college.
Sheila is sitting at a desk doing admin. Enter Gerald, a much older man.
GERALD: Good afternoon. I want to know if you do an evening class in sinning?
SHEILA: Im afraid [local name] college doesnt have a singing class as such sir. We do have music appreciation or classical guitar. Or have you thought of joining a choir?
GERALD: No, no, no, you stupid woman. Not singing. Sinning.
GERALD: Thats what I said.
SHEILA: I think the closest we have to sinning is Latin American dancing. Im not sure that counts.
GERALD: And completely impossible with my knees. Youre sure you dont have sinning lessons?
Theme: How do we view other Christians and other churches? Are you in a church that thinks it is right about every issue, or led by a pastor that tries to control the congregation. Do your members fail to support joint church efforts? This sketch is a challenge to those who are set in their ways and unable to debate openly with other Christians.
Staging: Place a table centre stage with a chair either side.
An empty table in the centre of stage has two chairs either side. A bell rings. From left, comes Steve, early 30s, ordinary. From the right, Jenny, early 30s ordinary. They dash on to occupy a chair each, and after a little awkwardness, Steve holds out his hand.
Steve: Hi, Im Steve.
Steve: First time speed dating?
Steve: Me too.
Jenny: My friends put me up to it.
Steve: Gosh, me too. Church friends!
Jenny: Really? Youre a Christian?
Steve: Yea. First black mark I suppose?
Jenny: No! I am too.
Theme: It is clear from the betrayal of Jesus that not everyone thought he was the Messiah, or even the right kind of person to be the Messiah. From our modern perspective too, do we accept Jesus as he really was, or do we have an idealised and selective view of his upbringing and character. Yes, Jesus was without sin, but that does not mean he was without traits and a family history that made him truly human. This sketch challenges our own notions of what a Messiah should be like, and perhaps also asks whether we would have voted for Jesus or Barrabas if given the choice.
Staging: Biblical dress would be good for the characters on stage. Plant at least one actor in the audience to lead the responses.
Sitting at a desk facing the congregation are four men. They are clearly convening a meeting. This is a sketch where audience participation could be utilised. Make the congregation aware that when the words All in favour are spoken, they should murmur words of consent.
EZRA: Alright brothers, if I can convene the Union meeting open, Im ready to take proposals for electing the new Messiah. All in favour?The audience should be agreeing! But Abraham is sitting alongside Ezra and raises his hand.
ABRAHAM: Point of order Mr Chairman, when electing the Messiah, what criteria are we actually voting on?
EZRA: Good point brother Abraham. According to our constitution the most important criteria in electing a new Messiah, are that we have a proposer and a seconder. Paragraph 6d clearly states that all officers of the National Union of Zealots and Messianic Workers shall be elected by majority vote, subject to officers being duly proposed and seconded by fully paid up members of the said Union. All in favour?
Theme: A simple sketch to illustrate that you cannot have Christmas without God.
Staging: Provide Lucy with a table and desk top lamp to indicate her office. Both women should be dressed smartly for work.
Jenny is sitting at her
desk writing. Lucy, her boss in a sharp suit comes to her side. If possible
there should be Christmas Cards all around the set.
LUCY: Hi Jenny. Hows it going with the new Christmas card verses?
JENNY: (Unconvincing) Yea, its going.ok.
LUCY: Are you sure?
JENNY: Well. I can seem to get them started ok, but somehow theyre not quite working.
LUCY: Can I hear one?
JENNY: Erm.. Well it is only a first draft.
LUCY: Dont worry, thats fine.
JENNY: Ok, right. (She reads) At Christmas time, we all give thanks.. For presents sent to please us .And most of all, we give our thanks .. For the little baby turkeys.
Theme: A fourth king turns down the chance to encounter Jesus, using many of the excuses we might use to pass up the same opportunity. A good sketch for a Christmas congregation, offering a challenge to the once-a-year attender to think a little more about whether they should make more effort to meet with Jesus over the coming year.
Staging: Dress the kings in regal cloaks and crowns so that they are instantly recognisable.
There are three kings on stage, busily chattering and wrapping presents. A fourth king (Shalbazar) knocks and enters.
SHALBAZAR: Hi guys.
KING 1: Shalbazar. How good of you to call round.
SHALBAZAR: Your servant said it was urgent.
KING 1: Oh it is. It is. We have received a great commission, and we want you to join us.
SHALBAZAR: Sounds fun. Whats the plan?
KING 1: We four kings have decided to follow yonder star.
SHALBAZAR: Come again?
KING 1: We are embarking on an epic adventure to follow yonder star.
SHALBAZAR: Youre doing what now?
Theme: This sketch is a challenge to all of us to realise that we cannot do Gods work under our own strength, and we must be careful also not to do it for own glory. It is a failing I recognise in myself, and you can see it in other church leaders (especially the TV evangelists). But this sketch applies to all of us, asking whether we really listen to God for his guidance, or whether we are too busy doing our own thing.
Staging: Try to set up a TV chat show setting. Better still if you can display something behind the actors to illustrate you are on the Faith Matters TV set. Consider using a non speaking actor holding a large camera to record the action (but not to obscure the actors).
Kirsty, a TV interviewer sits with Rev. E. Booster and God. The Rev is dressed in a sharp suit, and God is dressed casually in normal day clothes.
Kirsty: Good evening. Tonight on Faith Matters, Im joined in the television studio by the Reverend Eric Booster, a world famous TV evangelist, who this week reveals he has converted his ten millionth shouldnt that be tenth million? anyway, its a bucket load of people hes converted to Christianity.
Booster: Good evening.
Kirsty: And Im also joined in a rare television appearance, by The Lord God Almighty Himself...
God: (Giving a cute little wave) Hello.
Kirsty: Reverend, if I can start with you first, ten million people. Thats an awful lot of converts. How do you do it?
Booster: Well, I imagine you expect me to come out with the cliché phrase that its not down to me, its down to the power ofor
Theme: A gentle, sometimes, humourous sketch that follows two men who knew a little something of Jesus, in the immediate aftermath of the crucifixion. It illustrates the disappointment and defeat there would have been, the acceptance that Jesus was dead, gone forever, never to return. Sometimes we rush to tell the Good News of the resurrection, without stopping first to acknowledge how devastating the death of Jesus would have been for his followers.
Staging: Try to use lighting and sound effects to create the moment that Jesus died.
Two men in Biblical dress are
staring out into the distance, away from the congregation as if looking over the
shoulders of unseen people in front of them. From off theres a loud crack and rumbling
noise, and the two men feel the tremor of the earth. When the noise dies down
the two men, turn round, drop their heads and look completely dejected.
MAN 1: Thats it then. Its all over. Jesus is dead.
MAN 2: (Though dejected, he tries to be strong) Dead James, but NOT forgotten.
MAN 1: (Agreeing) Dead, but not forgotten.
MAN 2: Which makes him special.
MAN 1: He was special.
MAN 2: Because all those other rabbis, you know that went before him.. they are dead, AND theyre forgotten.
MAN 1: People wont forget Jesus.
MAN 2: As for you and me mate..
MAN 1: What?
MAN 2: Were forgotten and were not even dead!
Theme: A light hearted sketch for Palm Sunday as two disciples look for the donkey to bring Jesus into Jerusalem. It nonetheless allows the characters to pass on a simple message about who Jesus was (and is), and also to remind us that we need to follow the instructions Jesus gives us, rather than to make choices that often only serve to complicate our lives.
Staging: I see the salesman dressed as a typical modern day dodgy car salesman (trilby hat, sheepskin coat), but the two disciples dressed in Biblical robes. If possible, rig up the sign for the shop, so it is clear from the outset who the man is.
A salesman is on stage in scruffy suit, picking his nails. Two
disciples enter stage left.
SALESMAN: Morning sirs. What can I do you for?
DISCIPLE 1: Hi. Some people back there told us you might have a donkey.
SALESMAN: Ive got loads of donkeys sir. Thats why the sign says, Honest Bills Second Hand Donkey Showroom. If I didnt have donkeys, Id be telling you a lie sir, and then I wouldnt be Honest Bill, Id be Lying Bill, or at the very least, Having a Bit of a Laugh Bill, and that wouldnt be very good for business sir.
DISCIPLE 1: Right. Can we see a donkey?
SALESMAN: You can see lots of em sir. Just look in the field and there they are. Question is, what sort of donkey are you looking for?
DISCIPLE 1: I dont know. Jesus just told us to come into town and we would find a donkey.
Theme: A sketch for Lent that simply questions what the period is for, and what is the point of giving up things for Lent. It is a discussion starter for a congregation, intended to ask questions rather than answer them, except it does make the final point that giving up something just for the sake of it is in fact, pointless.
Staging: Modern dress is all that is needed, though you will need several props for the actors.
John comes on stage. Sally enters from opposite side. They greet, kiss, and hug. While their arms are around each other, John manages to produce a huge bar of chocolate from his pocket, and eats a chunk, right next to Sallys ear.
Sally: (Horrified) John! You cant! (She pushes him away)
Sally: Eat chocolate!
John: I think youll find I can. (He eats a chunk) Yea, that pretty well proves it.
John: Just open my mouth, put in the chocolate, and close. (he does it again). Easy!
Sally: But its Lent.
John: No its not. I bought it.
Sally: Not leant. LENT.
Theme: Paul was at pains to point out that, like the bits of our bodies, we all have a different role to play in the life of the church, and we should not all expect to be feet when we have the gifts to be hands. This sketch takes that idea to its logical/illogical conclusion when a many-footed woman visits her doctor, with obvious problems.
Staging: Provide the GP with a desk, stethoscope, and medical chart if possible. The woman will need several pairs of shoes!
A doctor is sitting at her desk. A woman enters the surgery, wearing wellington boots on each hand, a shoe over each ear, and a pair of shoes over her chest. She will continue to pace around.
Woman: Morning doctor.
Doctor: Morning Mrs Smith. Do sit down.
Woman: I cant very easily Dr.
Woman: (she indicates her bottom) Im wearing stilettos. Its a little bit painful when I sit. The heals are pointing inwards!
Doctor: Well then, please do continue to stand.
Woman: Can I walk doctor? I love walking.
Doctor: Very well..
Woman: Cant get enough if it.
Theme: Numbers are sometimes used figuratively rather than literally in the Bible, and the number 7 crops up time and again. This sketch tries to open the door on the significance of the number 7. It might be used in a sermon on the 7day creation story, 7 daughters of Midian, the 7 months Noah spent on the ark and so on. Or its just a comedy sketch for entertainment.
Staging: Only requires a Mastermind style chair for the quiz contestant.
A big chair, in a spot light. Elsie enters and sits. The Voice of the Quiz master can be played by anyone on or off stage.
QUIZ MR: Good evening. Your name is?
ELSIE: Elsie Briggs.
QUIZ MR: Occupation?
ELSIE: Irritating pensioner.
QUIZ MR: And your specialist subject?
ELSIE: Numbers in the Bible.
QUIZ MR: Very well Elsie. You have two minutes on numbers in the Bible and your time starts now. How many months did Noah spend on the ark?
QUIZ MR: Correct. In the story of Moses, how many daughters had the priest of Midian?
Theme: A TV weather girl predicts the plagues on Egypt as described in Exodus. Perfect as a sermon illustration, or comedy-night sketch.
Staging: Requires a stand with a map of Egypt, to which weather symbols may be affixed.
A weather forecaster comes on stage with an easel showing a map of Egypt, and the Red Sea.
Forecaster: Good evening, well it looks like Egypt is in for some pretty changeable weather over the next weekend and well into next week. Its going to start cloudy with a little high frost on Friday night, but that should clear by morning. For most of the country, it should be a bright start on Saturday, but by the afternoon it will turn cloudy again with the River Nile turning to blood by Saturday evening.She puts a blood symbol on the map.
Sunday morning will see a plague of frogs coming in from the east..She puts a frog symbol on the map
But they may clear by the afternoon if Pharaoh agrees to free the Israelites. If not, Monday will be much the same with a plague of gnats,She puts a small gnat symbol on the map. or
Theme: The Bible tells us that the wise men reported to Herod that they were going to see the Christchild. Its part of the Christmas story not often told, but its hugely significant. This sketch tells the story of how they came to visit Herod and is useful as a sermon illustration.
Staging: Ideally the soldier will be dressed in Roman uniform, otherwise, in whatever military gear you can muster. The Kings should dress in traditional crowns and robes.
The three kings enter from stage right, riding imaginary camels, and solemnly carrying their gifts. From stage left, a Roman centurion steps out, waits for the kings to approach him, then holds up his hand to block their path.
KING 1: (The kings pull-up their camels) Whoa!. Steady boy, steady.
SOLDIER: Evening gentlemen
KING 1: (Politely and a little nervously) Evening officer.
SOLDIER: Nice night for it.
KING 1: Yes, isnt it?
SOLDIER: Whatever it happens to be.
KING 1: Yes.
SOLDIER: Going somewhere nice are we sir?
KING 1: Erm. Well, were not exactly sure.
SOLDIER: (sarcastic) Really sir? So, what are we doing in Jerusalem at this time of night, during a curfew, while the census is on?
KING 1: Well officer, as it happens, we are following that star.
Theme: This sketch deliberately tricks the congregation/audience into thinking its about the traditional Nativity story, and turns it on its head. The idea is to make you question what you think you already know so that you dont fall asleep during the traditional Christmas service! Can be used in a service or comedy night.
Staging: Other than indicating a doorway, no special staging is required. The innkeeper shouldnt look too smart.
A man and a pregnant woman wearing Biblical dress arrive at the door to an inn, and knock. An innkeeper, similarly attired answers the door.
Innkeeper: (In a very supercilious manner) Yes?
Man: Good evening innkeeper. My wife and I have been travelling all the way from Judea to a town called Nazareth, which happens to be this one, and we are looking for a room in the inn.
Innkeeper: Would that be a twin or a single?
Man: (Completely surprised by the question) Err
Innkeeper: In her state, better make it a triple room.
Man: She is heavily with child.
Innkeeper: Heavily with child? Who says stuff like that these days? Shes fit to burst more like it.
Man: If you havent any room, wed be happy to sleep in the stable.
Bride of Christ
Theme: The church is supposed to be the bride of Christ, and the clergy has a role in preparing the bride for her groom. If Jesus came to your church, would the bride be ready? In this sketch Jesus comes to a clergyman and asks to be married to his bride. A sketch that should challenge us and our ministers.
Staging: This one is set in a church so nothing extra is needed!
An elderly vicar is centre stage and is approached by a young man.
Man: Vicar, can I have a word?
Vicar: Just the one, or would you like to try to form a sentence? .
Man: (A bit put off) Erm. I want to get married.
Vicar: Oh, a life sentence! How courageous of you.
Man: Well Actually, Im fairly relaxed about it.
Vicar: And committed?
Vicar: (Looking round) And your bride to be?or
Theme: Prayer is great, but sometimes we need to realise that rather than praying, we can be the answer to prayer. Rather than asking God to intervene, ought we to notice when God is asking us to intervene? This is a simple sketch that can be used in church to encourage people to pray less and participate more (ok, I dont want anyone to pray less, but read the sketch and youll see what I mean).
Staging: You will need to find a step ladder, and a lightbulb, but that is all you will need.
Sid brings on a step ladder, and erects it. He also has a light bulb. He thinks of climbing, but sees John and calls him over.
SID: John. Have you got a minute?
SID: I just need some help with my ladder.
JOHN: Sure, right. Well lets pray then.
SID: Cant you just.John applies pressure to Sids shoulder so that both men kneel down.
JOHN: Lord, I pray that you will send someone to help Sid in his time of trouble. Hear him Lord as he cries out to you for help. (to Sid) Tell the Lord what you need Sid.
SID: I just need someone to hold my ladder.
JOHN: Lord, Sid is ready to climb the ladder of faith, but like us all Lord, he feels his faith is wavering and unstable. Strengthen him in his moment of wobbling.
Theme: One for the technocrats in your congregation, especially the men. Here a young man complains to the help desk that his new found faith (ie. his personal operating system) is incompatible with many of the programmes he used to use. A good sketch for an Alpha course or for new Christians to acknowledge that becoming a Christian may have consequences and demands that make it a struggle and sometimes lead to frustration.
Staging: Have your character sit at a table with a laptop computer and a mobile phone.
A man (or woman) sits at his lap-top/PC and is on the phone.
ACTOR: Yea, is that the help-desk? Thank goodness for that, Ive been hanging on the phone for hours. (pause) Whats the problem? Ill tell you what the problem is mate, its this flipping operating system, thats what the problem is(pause). Right ok, from the beginning(pause) Ok, four weeks ago you finally persuaded me to upgrade my operating system from Geezer 6.7 to Christian 1.0. I didnt particularly want to upgrade, but you lot said that Christian 1.0 was fully tested and wouldnt give me any trouble. In fact, you said it would be fantastic. You said it would be life changing(pause). Yea, well it isnt fantastic(pause). Well, Ill tell you why. Ok? For a start, its completely incompatible with some of my favourite applications. Ever since I started using it, I cant run PubFight 7, WhiteLies 2.1 or GrandTheftAuto(pause) Yea, well you never said anything about that when I upgraded(pause). I paid a fortune for those applications, and now I cant use them(pause).. Yes, I know it works great with other applications, but what on earth makes you think someone like me wants to use Worship2007all the time? If Id wanted to sing and wave my arms in the air Id have bought PremiershipFootball or RugbyWorldCup (pause). No, I havent tried using MilleniumGrace or
Theme: This sketch permits you to tell the Easter story in an amusing way, with Mary giving her account as if under police interrogation, but with a nice little twist at the end. A sketch that can be used in an Easter day service to add a bit of variety to the occasion.
Staging: Requires a chair for Mary to sit at, and a table lamp to shine in her face.
In low light, a big arm chair centre stage, with a table lamp on a table close by. Mary, in Biblical robes, is brought to sit in the chair by two burly men, not exactly rough handling her, but almost. Grammus, a Roman centurion turns the spot-light onto Marthas face, and circles with menace.
GRAMMUS: So Mary, a simple woman from Judea. You claim to know everything about what happened that morning at the tomb?
MARY: Thats right.
GRAMMUS: Ok, so lets get started. Tell me, who was with you that morning?
MARY: Mary Magdalene.
GRAMMUS: Ok. What was the first thing that happened?
MARY: (Thinks) There was an earthquake.
GRAMMUS: Thats right. And then what happened?
MARY: An angel of the Lord came down.
Theme: As Christians, we may find it hard to understand how the crowd could turn on Jesus after his trial, not least because he was welcomed so enthusiastically on Palm Sunday. Surely we would not have turned on him? Well perhaps we might, especially if our current culture of celebrity obsession was already in existence 2000 years ago.
Staging: Requires a table to act as a stall for the shop keeper. If you can populate the table with many flowers, leaves and branches, this will help with the effect. Try to dress the woman in Biblical dress.
A man stands behind a stall with as many flowers as the church can provide. If nothing else he stands in front of a notice saying Flowers for sale. A young woman enters.
WOMAN: Morning. Have you got any palm leaves?
MAN: Good grief! Another one.
WOMAN: Another one what?
MAN: Youre the seventh person to come in this morning asking for Palm leaves. I sold out hours ago. Three guys came in first thing and took the whole lot. Normally you cant shift them for love nor money. Ive tried all sorts of ways to make them look more attractive. Ribbons, goats feet, camel droppings. Then this morning. Whoosh! All gone within five minutes of me opening.
WOMAN: So have you got any?
MAN: I just said, not. Not one, nada, nothing. Ive got palm branches, palm twigs, palm bark, palm heart, palm roots, palm sap, palmoil, palmolive, and palm shavings, but no palm leaves.
Ted Ned Fred
Theme: A sketch that uses word game-play to tell the Easter story. A sketch that might be used with a secular audience because its not overtly evangelical, but nonetheless gives all the salient details of the last supper, Jesuss arrest, trial, crucifixion and resurrection. Its also set in a pub so it feels non-threatening.
Staging: I envisage the three actors as northern, working stereotypes, cloth caps, sleeves rolled up, sitting round the bar table supping pints of beer.
Two men sit at a table. They should be dressed in 1930s working class clothing, and speak with strong northern accents. Enter Fred with a tray of 3 beer glasses, which he passes out.
TED: Thank you Fred.
FRED: Here you are Ned.
NED: Fred.Ned and Ted, clink glasses.
TED: Ned.Then both clink with Fred.
Theme: Two missionaries attempt to tell the Easter story to a tribe. The only problem is that one of them must translate what the other tells him to say, and he isnt too good at the language. A sketch that can be used to tell the Easter story, but also that illustrates how difficult it can be to translate the Bible, and how careful we must be not to cross cultural boundaries/taboos when trying to share the Gospel with others.
Staging: Try dressing the missionaries in khaki jungle gear that suggests they are in a hot climate. Have them address the congregation/audience as if they are the tribe.
Two men dressed in colonial pith helmets and khaki edge their way to the front of the stage. They talk as they walk.
MATTHEWS: Right, Simkins. This is why we joined the Missionary Society. The chance to preach the Good News of Easter to the tribe of the Kumangettit.
SIMKINS: (nervously) Yea, sir, to be honest Im not sure were up to this. I mean, were not that good at the language.
MATTHEWS: Nonsense Simkins. You speak it fluently.
SIMKINS: Conversationally, sir, yes. I can get some water and find my way to the cesspit. But to carry the message of what Jesus did for us all on the cross?
MATTHEWS: Dont worry Simkins.
SIMKINS: But they dont even have words for sin and redemption. Or the cross.
MATTHEWS: Its not a problem. Ill keep the language simple.or
Theme: From a Christian's perspective it's easy to characterise the persecutors of Jesus as being hopelessly misguided or worse. But that is to deny the social and political pressure of the time, and the extent to which their society (as with every other society since) is held in the grip of the power-brokers of the time. People with power don't want the status quo to be disrupted, as a local cab driver realises when he gives a lift to a member of the Sanhedrin.
Staging: Place two chairs centre stage. Characters should wear Bibilical dress. The cabby, can carry a whip to suggest he's driving horses.
A cabby sits in a chair as if driving a horse and cart. A man, carrying many files, walks on to the stage and raises his arm.
The man gets into a chair alongside the cabby, and they both bounce up and down as if the carriage is moving.
CABBY: Where to sir?
MAN: Bethlehem Road please.
CABBY: Ooh, sorry sir, I cant go south of the river after midday sir.
MAN: Why not?
CABBY: Sorry sir. Part of the terms of my Jerusalem cab licence. No Gentiles, no Samaritans, no women,or
Theme: Jesus died for the sins of every person who believes in him. This sketch tries to show that everyone of us has played our part in constructing and erecting the cross, and in nailing the hands of Jesus to it. But it's also a sketch about work, that questions whether it is possible for us as Christians to do certain jobs.
Staging: Equip your workman with some tools, some wood and a bench on which he can work. Biblical dress is possible but it might be better to dress in modern clothes.
A carpenter, in workmans clothes, is working at his bench, sawing, or hammering, or planing, according to what tools he has. We dont see what he is making. His boss comes in with a clip board.
BOSS: Come on man. Arent you finished yet?
WORKER: Im just doing the finishing touches.
BOSS: We havent got all day you know.
WORKER: Im a craftsman boss. You cant rush a craftsman.
BOSS: Well Im a sadist, and you cant keep a sadist waiting.
WORKER: No boss. Point taken.
BOSS: Youve got another two of these to finish by this evening.or
Theme: Jesus appeared to Cleopas and a mystery man after the resurrection. This sketch retells the story from Luke, with a reminder that the story is really about Jesus and not about the men to whom he appeared, just as my faith should never be about "me, me, me." no mater how vital I appear to be to the story.
Staging: Biblical dress is preferable for this sketch. It's written for two men and one woman, but could be played by one man (Cleopas) and two women.
A man and woman are on stage in Biblical dress, just chatting. Excited shouts from off precede the entry of Cleopas.
CLEOPAS: Guys. Guys! Listen to this. Listen to this! Youll never guess whats happened.
WOMAN: What? Whats happened?
CLEOPAS: Youll never guess! Oh my God. Its amazing.
MAN: Cleopas, Cleopas calm down.
CLEOPAS: I cant calm down. Its too amazing. Guess what happened on the way to Emmaus.
MAN: (disinterested) You got a stone in your shoe.
CLEOPAS: Much more incredible.or
Theme: There are many different descriptions of God in the Bible, and if we focus too much on one, then we delude ourselves about the full character and nature of God. At a fancy dress party, many people dress as God but in surprising and different ways.
Staging: The more ridiculous you can make Sheila's chicken costume, the better. The same goes for Bob's pirate costume. A little background music will create a party atmosphere.
Two characters come together centre stage, both with drinks in their hands. Sheila wears a chicken costume with rubber glove on her head to create a plume. Bob is dressed as a pirate.
SHEILA: Hi. Great party isnt it?
BOB: Isnt it? I love fancy dress.
SHEILA: Me too.
BOB: Do you know many people here?
SHEILA: (Pointing at someone in the distance) The judge . and the paramedic.
BOB: The paramedics costume is fantastic!
SHEILA: No, he is a paramedic. Apparently Christines waters have broken.
BOB: Oh! Which ones Christine?or
Theme: As Christians we are encouraged to confess our sins. In professional sport (and in business), we are encouraged to get away with as much as possible. This sketch deals with both ideas, explaining that there's more rejoicing in heaven over a sinner who repents, and also asking how we should deal with authority figures.
Staging: A little background noise of a cheering crowd or the theme tune to 'Match of the Day' (in the UK) will help set the mood. If your congregation doesn't watch football (soccer) then change the sporting references to a game they will understand.
Archie in a football referees uniform runs around the stage as if following a football game in progress. At a moment of his choosing he blows his whistle to stop the game for an incident, and beckons a player over. A player in full kit emerges from the wings, arms outstretched.
PLAYER 1: What?
REF: Free kick.
PLAYER 1: I never (bleep) touched him.
REF: You caught his ankles.
PLAYER 1: I got the (bleep) ball. I got the (bleep) ball.
REF: Free kick.
PLAYER 1: I (bleep) the (bleep) ball you (bleep).
REF: Calm down.or
Theme: Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. We tend not to recognise how significant a gesture that was, but if the top person in a blue-chip company did the same thing, it would really surprise us. This sketch is about service, and what it means to serve others. It is also about recognising the value of every person, and not dismissing the people at work who have the menial and unpleasant jobs.
Staging: The characters can be played by either gender, but the more posh you make Briggs, the better.
From opposite sides of the stage two very smart business people enter and greet. Jenkins is young and a little nervous, Briggs much older and very old school and pompous.
BRIGGS: Ah Jenkins. Good of you to come for the interview.
JENKINS: Not at all. I was very pleased to be shortlisted.
BRIGGS: Ah well, as you know Briggs and Beckham is one of the most prestigious firms in the city, we always look for the best and brightest.
JENKINS: Thank you very much.
BRIGGS: Right, so lets get started. You get your shoes and socks off, and Ill get a bucket.
JENKINS: (shocked) Im sorry?
BRIGGS: Nothing to worry about, standard procedure. Quick wash of the feet and then were away.or
Theme: People say that dogs often resemble their owners. But we are called to resemble God. The danger is, that we seek out the characteristics of God that agree with our way of thinking, so that rather than growing to resemble God, we end up shrinking God and turning Him into a comfortable little pet that starts to resemble us.
Staging: Dress your female characters in coats and hats so that it is obvious they are out for a walk in the country.
Janet is on stage looking out, as if she has lost something. Edna leads God onto the stage. They wear the most awful his and hers sweaters, thick glasses, matching trousers. They could be twins, but thats the kindest thing you can say about them. Edna leads, and God just follows, tagging on behind.
EDNA: Janet. Hello dear. Isnt is a lovely day?
EDNA: Just out for a walk on your own dear?
JANET: No. Ive got Jesus with me somewhere.
JANET: Our rottweiller. You havent seen him have you?
EDNA: I dont know. Whats he like?or
Theme: We live in a vacuous, celebrity obsessed culture, and sometimes we might wish that our preachers and teachers were afforded greater status and more exposure. But the last thing we want is for our clergy to be treated like pop-stars. This sketch is best used on a church entertainment evening, where the cast is prepared to play themselves.
Staging: Use a desk and chair to create the vicars office. The more dowdy looking you can make the two ladies, the better it will be.
A vicar is in his office. Theres a knock and Gertie and Phyllis enter. They are both elderly, frumpy, and dowdy looking. They have no fashion sense whatsoever and look very strange.
VICAR: Gertie, Phyllis, what can I do for you?
GERTIE: Hello vicar.
PHYLLIS: . Hello
GERTIE: We was wondering werent we?
PHYLLIS: Yes, we was.
GERTIE: You was asking for people to volunteer for things in the church, and we was wondering if youd like us to be your groupies?
Theme: We accept that Jesus dies for the sins of everyone who repents. That is great news for me as a sinner. But how do we really feel about the fact that the same forgiveness will be given to someone whose sins we might imagine to be greater than our own? This sketch uses the tricky business of splitting a restaurant bill to show that the price Jesus has paid is the same for us all.
Staging: Set a table with a cloth and two chairs. The characters can dress casually.
Frank and Alice sit at a restaurant table. Frank, is a huge bloke (with cushions up his jumper if necessary!) and has a few empty plates and glasses at his elbow. Alices setting is empty. Frank is finishing off a piece of chocolate cake. Alice eats nothing.
FRANK: Wow! This is one really nice Mississippi mud pie!
FRANK: Yea, you should have had some.
ALICE: No Frank. Im on a diet.
FRANK: Or a slice of that lemon cheesecake I had. That was nice too.
ALICE: Honestly, a glass of water was all I wanted. I never eat a meal at lunchtime.
FRANK: And the sponge pudding. That was gorgeous.or
Theme: How easy do we find it to share our faith? Do we take our chance to introduce Jesus to our friends or do we ignore the opportunities that are all around us because we fear what other people might say? Even if Jesus were right there in the room with us, would we introduce him?
Staging: This sketch is set in the church. You can try using the whole building. Why not have Gillian enter from the main door and come all the way down the aisle to greet Laura? Laura needs to dress in a way that shows she hasn't achieved financial success.
A man and a woman sit facing each other, clearly very devoted to each other. Both are very casually dressed. In fact, shes very scruffy. He looks one way, she the other.
LAURA: .Is that what really happened?
MAN: Im telling you just as it was.
LAURA: I do love chatting to you. Thats a brilliant story.
Gillian enters. She is very glamorous, but the same age as Laura. She looks a little bit lost.
MAN: Its not a story. It happened. And then afterwards, there were twelve baskets left over.
LAURA: (Spotting Gillian over the mans shoulder) Oh wow. Thats incredible.
MAN: It was a miracle!
LAURA: No, not you. Her.or
Theme: If we want to enter into the presence of God, we need to confess our sins. In this simple sketch, a man tries to pretend his shirt is spotless, and can't get entry to a club, whereas the man who apologises for his dirty shirt is allowed to come in.
Staging: This sketch relies on the right clothes to work best, but they are all easy to come by. Read the script and dress right!
A big burly doorman stands at the door. A very smartly dressed gent comes towards him very confidently, but the doorman bars his path.
MAN: (takes a card from his pocket) I do have an invitation.
DOOR: Im sure you do sir.
MAN: So. if youll let me pass?
DOOR: That wont be possible sir Im afraid. Dress code of the house.
MAN: What do you mean? Im wearing a jacket, tie and white shirt. Thats all it specifies.
DOOR: We didnt think we needed to specify trousers sir.
Theme: Jesus promised to come like a thief in the night, without any warning. Yet throughout history, false prophets still claim to know the date and time of the second coming. This is a gentle reminder that we cannot know the time that Jesus will come again, any more than we can expect a thief to make an appointment to rob our house.
Staging: No special staging is required.
Ashley, dressed very smartly, like a true slick salesman rings the doorbell. Bert comes to the door to answer.
ASHLEY: (very cheerily) Good afternoon sir.
BERT: (Cautiously) Afternoon.
ASHLEY: Im just in the area sir, talking to a few of the homeowners
BERT: Youre not a Jehovahs Witness are you?
ASHLEY: No sir. Nothing like that sir. No, Im just in your area with a few colleagues, and
BERT: Or some other kind of religious nutter.
ASHLEY: Well, I am a bit of a nutter sir, but Im not a religious one.
BERT: Oh? Good.or
Theme: There are several passages in the Bible that tell us to open our homes and our lives to everyone, especially the people that we are least inclined to invite. It is a real challenge to us all, as Jane finds out as she compiles the list for her wedding reception.
Staging: Sit Jane and Rick at a table.
Jane and Rick sit at a table. They gaze longingly at each other. Jane leans forward and they kiss.
JANE: I am glad you've agreed to a church wedding.
RICK: It's what you wanted.
JANE: It's not just the church. I want us to get married with Gods blessing you know. I want it to be right. I want us to do it in the way God wants us to do it.
RICK: Well that's great. Me too.
JANE: And it means we can have more guests to actually be there, and we can use the hall for the reception.or