Suzanne's Second Estate

A web log of my thoughts, activities, life....

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Humor as a Witness

Photo by Alicia Shober Copyright © 2003

Three years ago, I was standing at a church leadership meeting and talking to my friend Krista about improv. She and I had acted together in church skits and productions, and we discovered that we both wanted to try improv. Jared and Hunter were at that same meeting and we asked them to join us. With the addition of another girl from church, Tonya, and her friend Sarah, the Stick Horses came to be.

Since the beginning, our group has desired to use improv for ministry. Sometimes that means performing a free show for a church function or other group that cannot afford to pay. Another aspect of our ministry is interacting with the improv community. We engage in great conversations after our improv shows in Denver. But something I have really wondered about, and hoped for, is that our group somehow reflects the Lord Jesus on stage. Sure, we're a family-friendly group, so we avoid crass humor, but there are other groups that do that. Do we just come across as nice people? Or does our relationship with Christ shine through?

I have recently been hearing some comments that seem to indicate people notice a difference. "You guys really seem to like each other," "It seems there are no outsiders in your group," "Every person seems valued." Jesus said, "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:25). As Christians, this is a difficult mandate to follow. But when we do, people notice.

I was recently made aware of this comment posted on by a long-time improver:

In Colorado Springs...there is a fun short-form troupe — the Stick Horses Pants. Give 'em a call — they're a self-taught group that has the most genuine spirit of having fun doing improv I've ever seen in a group.
That spirit is a working of God's grace, not anything we can do. Paul wrote: "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them — yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me" (1 Cor. 15:10).

The grace Paul is describing works in every area of our lives as believers. Improv is a great example because it is not specifically a spiritual act. But the way members of our group love each other shows in our performance. And while we may not be the most technically gifted group, people who see us feel invited into our friendship — and subsequently friendship with Christ.

If improv games can be weilded for God's glory, I believe anything can. Don't underestimate an area of influence God has provided for you. "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God" (1 Cor. 10:31). Eating, drinking, making people laugh; that's what it's all about.


At 8:25 AM, Anonymous Hunter said...

Well said!

At 10:09 PM, Anonymous jared said...

Are troupe truly is unique. I'll add John 13.35 - "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."


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