Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Artistic Mediocrity

So…do you remember the “misfit toys” from the 1964 Christmas classic, “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer’? The misfits were badly built toys—they were mistakes. The toys didn’t fit, they didn’t belong, and no one wanted them.

Rudolph was a misfit. He and his red nose were teased and laughed at. What could that mammal and his bulbous schnoz ever do for the reindeer colony?

About fifteen years ago I started using the term “misfit toys” to describe church drama teams. I have never seen a bigger flock of odd birds in my life.

At the time I was working with a church drama director who gathered up the most un-actor like people she could find and created a drama team. She spoke truth when she said, “they need to belong”.

This week I’m working with a group of volunteers who are acting their way through a week of Vacation Bible School skits.

My team consists of guys and girls who are without a real job and therefore have the time to volunteer their talents, such as they are. Their talent as a thespian (or lack thereof) is not what bothers me. It’s their inability to commit and invest the talent they do have.

The young men and women who make up our little acting troupe find the following character traits optional: punctuality, preparedness, and proficiency.

When it comes to art in the church, Christians think in terms of the five loaves and two fishes that Jesus used to feed the five thousand. We bring Jesus a fish and we expect him to wave a magic wand and create a whale right before the eyes of the audience.

Please understand this…Christians with true talent and abilities would love to use their gifts to share God’s love and truth with the body. They, however, don’t want to compromise—nor should they.

God gave us many and varied gifts and talents. The truth is, none of us are misfits. We belong somewhere. God created us for a place and a purpose—the stage may not be that place, however.

Rudolph found meaning to life when he discovered his unique value. Without him, the light would never have been seen.

We would never let the mechanic preach the sermon, the accountant do open heart surgery, or the chef teach a college physics class. Get off the pew of mediocrity and set a higher standard for Christian art. Get off the pew!

No comments:

Post a Comment