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The Worshippers

This little sketch is a parody of something that no doubt happens in various churches. What the song says, the congregation follows. Of course, we've taken it on a level or seven. But that's to be expected. An outside knowledge of some Christian worship songs (not songs that worship Christians..) would be useful. As would a CD playing back these songs, or a group of young people / leaders who can sing!

You will have 3 main actors: the choir master and 'Charismatic 1' and 'Charismatic 2'.

When the choir sings, it will be in a calm, controlled and choral way. Very 'twee' and very 'nice'. The Charismatic Two are there to add flavour. All choir members should have some paper / folders to act as their 'music' and hold them in a very 'choiresque' manner in front of them.

The Sketch

Choir Master - Good evening and welcome to choir practice. Today we'll be singing a few worship songs as always. Please feel free to join in with the choir as they sing and worship. We have a new couple of enthusiastic members who have recently joined us from er, Tadcaster Charismatic.

(Murmurs from the other choir members and lots of tuts, some people looking suspiciously or even pretending to pray for the charismatics. The people in the choir normally shuffle away from the charismatic members, who are left standing together but praising God anyway).

We're trying to work together as churches in Central Tadcaster. So, we welcome them to our little church and hope they enjoy our singing.

OK, so let's see those shoulders back, chins up, bottoms in and folders up. Put those holy faces on and let's start.. Today we'll start with "My Jesus My Saviour"..

The Choir - (Start from verse 1) - "Let every breath, all that I am, never cease to worship you..

Charismatic 1 & 2 - (as the rest of the choir sing the chorus revernetly, they sing very loudly..) - "Shout to the Lord" (then continue on in a normal voice..) "all the earth let us sing."

(The rest of the choir members look round at the 2 Charismatics with questioning faces and bewildered, shocked looks).

Choir Master - OK, let's stop there. (Looks at charismatics) Thank you for your gusto, but that's not quite what we had in mind. Shall we try that song again..?

The Choir - (Start from verse 1) - "Let every breath, all that I am, never cease to worship you..

Charismatic 1 & 2 - (as the rest of the choir sing the chorus reverently, they scream and shout their heads off, not even singing the words) - "Shout to the Lord" (then continue on in a normal voice..)

(The song stops and everyone stares at the charismatics)

Choir Master - OK. We all have our different ways of expressing ourselves. Perhaps we should try another song. Let's sing 'Blessed Be Your Name' by Matthew Redman. We'll start from the chorus and the bridge.

"Blessed be the name of the Lord, blessed be your name. Blessed be the name of the Lord, blessed be your glorious name.. You give and take away, you give and take away, my heart will choose to say, 'Lord Blessed be your name.' You give and take away, you give and take away, my heart will choose to say, 'Lord Blessed be your name.' "

(When the song comes to the phrase 'You give and take away', the charismatics offer and take each other's folders, then take them back off each other - mimicking the words of the songs. The second time round, it's more exaggerated. They 'give' with smiling faces and then snatch the folders back with real aggression, perhaps sending one of the folders flying over the floor. They stop, sheepishly grin and retrieve the folder.)

Choir Master - I see this is a very excitable song for you. Perhaps we need to move on to a quieter song.

'I lift my hands, to the coming King, to the great I am, to you I sing, for you're the one, who reigns within my heart..' (repeat the song. If you don't know this one - I don't very well - choose another song with 'lifting hands' in it)

(As this song sings and the line 'I lift my hands' is sung, the charismatics immediately lift their hands, sending their folders sprawling over the floor. As the line finishes, they continue singing and pick up their folder again. AS the song repeats, they do the same thing, but with even more gusto, meaning the folders go flying - even over the heads of the other choir members who duck and go flying for cover.. Basically exaggerate it).

(The choir members then start murmuring and pointing at the charismatics, with phrases like 'lunatics' and 'crazy charismatics' and 'who do they think they are' and just tutting in general, getting agitated).

Choir Master - (As the charismatics apologise and scurry to get their folders). Now I really must protest chaps, really uncalled for. We're trying to have a choir practice here, not a bomb raid practice. Kindly control your crazed inhibitions.

We'll try one more song.. We'll sing 'Hungry I Come To You'..

Hungry I come to You for I know you satisfy. I am empty but I know Your love does not run dry. So I wait for You, and I wait for You. I’m falling on my knees. Offering all of me. Jesus, Your all this heart is living for..

(During this song ,which they also sing, the charismatics start to 'act out' all of the lines of the song. They feign hunger and being empty, then raise hands to heaven and back to their stomachs as God's love doesn't run dry. Then they wait and wait (pensively). Then throw themselves onto their knees and onto their faces on the floor, wildly throwing their arms out to 'offer all of themselves' and then beat on their heart for the last line.)

(During this time, the choir gradually fades out and steps back horrified. One by one, they leave the room in shock. Near the end, even the choir master leaves shaking his head. The end scene is where the 2 charismatics suddenly stop, realise everyone has gone and scuttle out, sheepishly).

Point

This is not about criticising any one style / denomination / way of doing thing above or below another. My church history is that God moved me on from a Baptist church which had a fairly traditional approach - to a lively Bible/Spirit balanced charismatic church. I've also done many events around the place across 'denominations'. So I have seen many varied styles of worship and ways of doing things. God looks at the heart (not our outward shows) - knowing us much better than we know ourselves.

Derek Prince used to say that every time the word 'worship' was mentioned in the Old Testament, it was associated with a position of the body (hands in the air, bowing face down etc). Matt Redman's song, 'Facedown' and 'Hungry' by Kathryn Scott are just 2 songs reflecting this desire to worship God with our whole beings.

- Do we need to express ourselves physically in sung worship, beyond the singing?

- Every church worships in a different way. Is this important or this there a 'best' way of doing things?

- Do you personally feel a desire to do this? Or do you feel restricted by others, or personally?

- Do we place limits on God speaking to us, in worship? If so how and what can we do to change this?

- How do we go deeper into worship, both individually and as a church?

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