November 15, 2010 | 02:43 pm

Monday – More Drama in the Church


Dr. Thomas Boogaart
In the last three decades many churches have introduced drama into the church, and “slice of life” skits have become commonplace in churches reaching out to younger audiences. A former professor of mine, Dr. Thomas Boogaart, has asked: “Are people introducing drama into worship because it works—that is, because it increases attendance and brings young people back to the church? Or are they celebrating drama itself as one of the many art forms that God has given to enrich the human community?”  How we answer this question dictates how we relate to the arts and people whose lives are dedicated to them. If we are purely utilitarian, we will take elements from the arts that we deem acceptable within a Christian milieu to grow our churches. If we embrace the arts as a gift of God, we will naturally enter into the larger arts community to listen, learn, and yes, experience God’s enriching presence wherever it is found. A utilitarian view can give a sense of separation between the sacred and the secular—God is here but not there, while embracing the arts as a gift of God erases this division. It sees the arts as expressions of the creativity that God has given us to say things where mere words fail.  This does not mean that all of the arts represent a Christian perspective, but there are no boundaries to when and where God may be speaking through them.