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Dove and Dragon-Church Multiplication

ZwPI8cfk Dove and Dragon-Church Multiplication

                               

Dove & Dragon is a historically based drama, about 30 minutes.
It begins in England in the 1700’s, during the birth of the
Evangelical Movement, and then moves to today’s America.

Guidelines:

Participants need no props or costumes.

They may simply read their lines, as the aim is not to perform,
but to equip harvesters to multiply simple New Testament type churches.

Observe how to take Jesus to people who prefer not,
 or cannot, join a conventional congregation

It requires no rehearsal, although some practice can make it to smoother.

You need no audience. Everyone present has a part:

Participants
   Alf
   Rowdy
   Suzy
   Wilbur
   Bruiser
   Margie
   Prompter      Shout a brief line and Echoes repeat it.
   Echoes         Children and all adults who want to take part. Echoes need no script.

                                    PART I. 18th Century England

Rowdy

(Run among the people, shouting)
Betsy! Betsy! Come back!
Now where did that naughty horse go?

Prompter & Echoes

Come back, Betsy!

Suzy

Your stupid horse is eating lettuce on that peasant’s cart.
Hitch her up quickly; we gotta go to Harpenden.

Wilbur

Harpenden, you say? Marvelous!
We must be going to the same installation rites.

Suzy

(Face Wilbur) Well now, such grand priestly attire!
Sir, I don’t care if you be the Archbishop himself.
Alf and me, we was here first we was, so this cab is ours.

Wilbur

My good lady, we will share it. I am the Reverend Wilbur.
My church is the one with the highest steeple in Saint Albans.

Alf

Sir, you may call me Alf. This lady is my wife, Suzy.
I am shepherd and janitor of New Life Chapel,
down by the livery stables.

Wilbur

The livery stables! I dare say!
Why serve in such a smelly place, brother Alf?

Alf

God chose it for us, sir.
I yearn to take Jesus to all those poor people,
but my flock takes up all my time, which is sad,
because so many are ready to receive Jesus!

Wilbur

Indeed. Well, I prefer quality to quantity, my son.
My church’s motto is,
“You cannot take it with you, so leave it with us.”

Rowdy

Old Betsy be ready, folks. My name is Rowdy.
Now, old Betsy, trot!

Prompter & Echoes

Clip clop!

Wilbur

Ah! This is the grandest day of my life, pastor Alf!

Suzy

Oh, my!
The cab’s swaying and the steady hoof beats make me sleepy.

Prompter & Echoes

Clip clop!

Alf

Me, too. The Rev. Wilbur is already snoring!

Prompter & Echoes

Clip clop!

Suzy

Oh! This nauseating stench woke me!
Garbage in this lane is reeking.

Wilbur

Get moving, Rowdy! Your lazy mare is trudging too slowly.
Go faster!

Rowdy

Can’t, sir. Too rocky.

Wilbur

You will, cabby. I dare not miss the installation rites.
I have waited for this grand moment all my life.
Use your whip! Now!

Rowdy

Won’t. Too rocky.
Ouch! Stop squeezing my shoulder!
Your grip is hurting me.

Wilbur

Lash that horse, I say, or I’ll squeeze your skinny throat.
Let’s hear that whip!

Prompter & Echoes

Crack! Crack!

Wilbur

Not that fast! Slow down!
You lurched forward so abruptly that my hat fell off.

Suzy

Oh, my! We’re bouncing like a kangaroo, we are!
Poor old Betsy is racing, eyes ablaze,
tail flowing behind, and ears flattened!
See the chickens and children flee from the pounding hooves!

Prompter & Echoes

Thud!

Wilbur

Now what, Rowdy?
You stopped so abruptly my spectacles slipped off.

Rowdy

(Groan)
Old Betsy slipped on a loose stone and threw a shoe.
A lady she is, and I’ll not drive her improperly dressed,
barefoot on one leg.
Yer fault, yer highness. Ya made me drive ’er too fast.

Wilbur

Insolent lip! Now, stop predicting where I’ll spend eternity,
or I’ll reciprocate in the proper ecclesiastic language.
You have made me miss the installation rites.

Rowdy

No sir.
Saint Alban halted us by my friend Bruiser’s blacksmith’s shop.
Bruiser’s a good man he is; he helped me find Jesus.
Come to his shop.
Watch yer step; horse plop is lying all over.

Suzy

Eee! A scruffy rat scurried into that pile of broken cartwheels.

Rowdy

Duck down, gentlemen, or you’ll bump yer heads
on them plucked chickens hanging from the doorframe.

Prompter & Echoes

Hey! Watch out!

Wilbur

I say, who was that little guy?
He bumped into me as he rushed out!

Alf

He’s wearing an Anglican priest’s garb
and has an ugly scar on one cheek.

Suzy

He jumped on his horse and galloped off like a whirlwind.

Rowdy

Blimey! Sure and it was the Rev. John Wesley!
He helps us poor folk, he does.

Bruiser

Welcome to my shop, gentlemen!
I’ll take care of yer horse in a jiffy.
Please join us. We be worshiping.

Prompter & Echoes

Amen!

Bruiser

Brother Rowdy, wipe the soot off them nail kegs,
so the reverends can sit.
Now, you all be surprised at such noblemen joining us,
but stop jabbering, or I’ll pound yer skulls with me hammer.

 

                      

Wilbur

I say! How shocking that Rev. Wesley would ministers here
in such a degraded hamlet!

Prompter & Echoes

Wicked and worldly!

Margie

Brother Wesley loves to serve us poor degraded sinners, sir.

Bruiser

Aye! Listen to what Wesley done fer me
before I got borned all over again. I shut my ears to his words,
but his compassion sneaked into my heart another way.
You seen that ugly scar on Brother Wesley’s cheek?
I done that.

Prompter & Echoes

Oh no!

Bruiser

He tried to stop me from
breaking another drunken brawler’s face in the pub,
so I sent brother John sprawling with the back of me hand,
I did.

Prompter & Echoes

Cruel!

Bruiser

He wiped off the blood, and blessed me in Jesus’ name,
and that’s the truth.
God’s grace pulsated in his kindness,
forgiving me while he absorbed my abuse!

Prompter & Echoes

So gracious!

Bruiser

Then he invited me to come talk with him,
and called the cook fer another slice of kidney pie!”
Fer the first time since I was a nipper, I wept.

Margie

Wesley loves us poor folk he does,
not like some people around here that looks down on us.

Wilbur

Well now, I know who and what you are, you pudgy wench!
You cleaned house for my wife before you became a bar maid,
and worse.

Prompter & Echoes

Oh, my!

Bruiser

Margie is my wife now, sir. You will mind your words.
Now listen everyone.
We’ll all discuss what God wants us to do this week.

Wilbur

This is wrong, my good man.
Such free discussion during worship lets laymen impart falsity.

Bruiser

I hope so, sir! Get any falsity out in the open,
before it festers and divides.
The apostle Paul urged believers to discuss God’s word
freely with one another.

Wilbur

Your way of worship would displease the head of our church,
our good King George.

Prompter & Echoes

Long live the king!

Bruiser

This week we will go in pairs to take Jesus to our friends.
Rowdy, you and me will go to them shanties
down by the garbage dump.

Rowdy

I can’t go around in public in my tattered shoes
and patched trousers.

Bruiser

You’ll go to folk whose clothes are just as tattered, Rowdy
All right everyone, let’s confess our sins.
We all got lots to confess!

Prompter & Echoes

Be honest before God!

Bruiser

Now, that’s done. See this bread?
Our Lord said, “Take, eat, this is my body.”

Wilbur

Stop! Stop I say!
I cannot receive Holy Sacrament from layman’s hands.

Bruiser

Brother Wesley blessed this bread beforehand, sir,
so any bloke can serve it.

Margie

Brother Wesley told us to receive Communion
in the Anglican Church.
Me and Bruiser went,
but the high and mighty priest eyed my patched dress,
and he passed us by when he served Communion, he did.

Prompter & Echoes

How terrible!

Margie

Bruiser begged him to come serve us Communion here,
but he called Bruiser uncouth, and turned away.

Bruiser

I told the bloke I didn’t see nothing of Christ’s image in him.
He got red in the face and said to me,
“Someone pulled you down from a tree, cut off your tail,
and taught you to make human noises.”

Prompter & Echoes

Cruel!

Bruiser

Poor Margie, she cried ’er heart out all the way ’ome, she did.

Wilbur

I disapprove of what that priest said.
Nevertheless, you cannot serve Communion, my son.

Rowdy

Jesus commands it. Whom do we obey, you or Jesus?
We cannot obey both.

Prompter & Echoes

Obey God above all.

Wilbur

Mr. Blacksmith, today I’ll be made Bishop over Saint Albans,
so do as I say.
Stop pretending that this travesty is a church.

Bruiser

It is a church, sir.
We do all that Jesus and his apostles require of a church.

Wilbur

You will obey me, my son,
I have the full authority of the Church of England.

Prompter & Echoes

Well, kiss his ring!

Suzy

Look, Alf! The blacksmith is facing the priest, eye to eye.
Rev. Wilbur’s eyes are spitting fire.

Rowdy

Them two men be locked in a battle they is,
the soon-to-be bishop and the powerful blacksmith.

Suzy

Everyone is so silent! My goodness!

Alf

(Groan) Two voices in my soul are tearing me in two, Suzy.
One hisses. It said, “Mind your soon-to-be Bishop,
or he’ll revoke your ordination.”
The other voice coos like a dove; it said:
“Don’t fear man; just obey Jesus.”

Suzy

Look! Bruiser won the stare-down!
Rev. Wilbur sat, crossed himself and began humming a tune.
Now we are having Communion.

Bruiser

Now that our worship is over, gentlemen,
yer horse will be ready in a few minutes.
Wait outside to avoid the smoke from me forge.

Wilbur

Ah! Fresh air! Listen, Elder Alf. This is all wrong.
If sinners really want to know Christ,
they’ll come to our churches.

Suzy

But you know they do not, sir.
Rowdy’s britches had patches upon patches.
He would be shunned if he sat in one of our pews.

Prompter & Echoes

Ding dong!

Wilbur

I say! The church bell! I still have time!
I can make it after all to the installation rites!

Rowdy

I told ya you would, reverend.

Wilbur

Elder Alf, that toothless old hag warbled off key, trying to sing!
Even worse was that young woman holding her brat:
she howled so!
Such confusion is of the devil, for sure!
Of Satan, I say!

Alf

Whoa, brother! You came close to blaspheming the Holy Spirit!
That young woman was totally focused on Jesus.

Wilbur

So you say.
One fellow actually confessed he’d stolen a mule last week.

Suzy

But he promised to return the mule, and they restored him.

Wilbur

Here comes that ruffian with the horse; it’s ready to go.
I say, Mr. Bruiser, you must be using a very heavy hand
to get your followers to do so much work during the week.

Bruiser

No Reverend Wilbur. It be Jesus who moves them.
He’ll do the same for yer people.
Surely, some of them yearns to do more fer Jesus
than what you let them do.

Wilbur

Some do, and they give me ulcers,
always straining to do new things!

Alf

Goodbye, brother Bruiser.
Suzy, that voice is hissing again;
it warns me that to embrace this madness will ruin my career,
but the coo says to do as Jesus said and did:
go and love the poor, rejected people.

Suzy

Oh, Alf, I’ve been praying!

Alf

That hiss is louder now; it says my church needs no change.

Suzy

Don’t listen to it! It’s the Old Dragon, the devil.

Alf

The gentle voice says to serve Jesus and stop craving power.
The hissing voice promises to make me popular and wealthy.
Oh, Suzy!

Prompter & Echoes

Such tension!

Alf

Rev. Wilbur, what should I do? I cannot bear the strain!
Wesley’s way cannot be true! I will not let it! I won’t!

Wilbur

Now you’ve come to your senses, my lad!

Alf

Suzy, that dove’s voice warns me to decide.
It is God’s countdown time.

Prompter & Echoes

Five. Four. Three. Two…

Alf

I surrender! My congregation will send out harvesters.

Suzy

Yes! Some of us will love to be freed
to gather new believers in home churches.

Alf

Rev. Wilbur, I see now what I was searching for!
Whatever kept me so blind?

Wilbur

You have a fever, brother Alf. You are raving!
My barber’s shop is nearby. He is an excellent blood-letter.
I will take you there as soon as I clean off my shoe.

Suzy

Alfie, our Lord won a huge victory today!

Prompter & Echoes

Hallelujah!

                                         PART II. Today’s America

Alf

Now, we have crossed the Atlantic Ocean,

Prompter & Echoes

The scene has changed!

Suzy

Here we are, in the 21st century with these church elders!

Prompter & Echoes

In today’s America!

Margie

Thank you, elders,
for letting Suzy and me explain our project.

Suzy

Margie and I saw how to do it in a story about
John Wesley and a blacksmith.
It took place in England
back when the Evangelical movement began.

Margie

Thank you for letting us explain our plans. I’m so glad!

Suzy

Not me, Margie; I’m scared!

Prompter & Echoes

Poor Suzy!

Alf

We elders will not bite, Suzy.
Girls, please tell us why you want to start home churches.

Margie

Most of the younger generation won’t come
to our older church; so, we take the church to them.
They love to gather in homes with friends
and share experiences. We will gather small,
New Testament type congregations
that enjoy healthy, interactive dialogue,
six to eight adults ideally, and no more than twelve.

Suzy

Such little flocks are multiplying all over the world today.
It’s awesome!
They’re bringing huge numbers of sinners to Christ.

Prompter & Echoes

Millions!

Suzy

We need you elders to stand with us, Elder Alf,
as we battle the Old Dragon.

Alf

Yes. Satan counterattacks after the Holy Spirit drives him
from a stronghold.
It’s the centuries-old battle between Dove and Dragon.
Are you girls ready for such serious warfare?

Margie

Suzy and I are ready, but are you elders ready?
It’s not just Suzy’s and my project;
our church as a body will birth the little daughter churches.
Suzy and I are merely the spiritual midwives.

Alf

What do you want us elders to do?

Margie

Send us like the Antioch church sent Paul and Barnabas,
and pray.

Suzy

Prayer is the most effective Dragon Repellant.

Margie

Our biggest challenge is to leave behind
some of our cherished church procedures;
that neither Jesus nor his apostles practiced
We must simplify, for churches to multiply
as in the New Testament.

Alf

Will you need financial support, Margie?

Margie

No. We will pay for our own gasoline, Elder Alf,
and we need no help to find receptive people.
We observed school grounds yesterday,
and read Chamber of Commerce surveys.
We know where the most receptive people live:
in the Lost Pearl district.

Prompter & Echoes

Oh, no! Never!

Alf

Lost Pearl! That place is wicked!
It’s the most dangerous neighborhood in the city!

Suzy

So, we will touch the leper, just as Jesus did.

Prompter & Echoes

And as John Wesley did!

Alf

Gentlemen, stop grumbling! Poor Suzy’s wiping a tear.

Suzy

I’m more afraid of you elders than I am of Lost Pearl!
You can veto our project. Please free us to use the gifts
that the Holy Spirit has given us!

Alf

Suzy, can you and Margie deal with all the details

of running a church?

Suzy

No, but we won’t run the churches, will we Margie?

Margie

Right. We’ll only start them, Elder Alf,
by having them obey Jesus’ general commands.
These commands sum up all that he ordered,
they are to repent, baptize, serve Communion, love,
pray, give, and make disciples.
That is what Christ’s Great Commission requires.
The new leaders will use a training course
that covers other details.

Suzy

We trust the Holy Spirit to give us the power
that Jesus promised.

Alf

Do you plan to baptize and serve the Lord’s Supper, Margie?
Our denomination lets only ordained male clergy
officiate the sacraments.

Margie

We asked our pastor about that.
He said that men’s rules sometimes force churches
without clergy to disobey Jesus.
He said to simply obey Jesus’ commands,
and he will stand behind us when complaints come.

Alf

Gutsy!

Margie

Obeying God above man is a price we pay
to win many, many to Jesus.

Suzy

Jesus said, “If you love me, obey my commands.”
We have no choice, Elder Alf.

Prompter & Echoes

Love and obey Jesus!

Alf

Wow! Elders, our denomination is declining;
God holds us accountable to avoid decline.
We have prayed about this project.
Say Amen if you elders agree.

Prompter & Echoes

Amen!

Alf

Praise God! I have an announcement.
My wife and I plan to join Suzy and Margie in this project,.

Suzy

(Clap) Awesome!

Alf

The congregation will commission its harvesters
as you requested, Margie.

Prompter & Echoes

See what God does next!

Suzy

At last, Margie!
Here we are, prayer walking in the Lost Pearl district.
Let’s talk to that big guy leaving this gym.

Margie

Sir, we are prayer walking.
May we tell you what Jesus has done for us?

Bruiser

Not interested. Have a good day, girls.

Prompter & Echoes

The brute!

Suzy

Well, Margie, that was not a very promising start!
Oh, those guys leaving that bar are leering at us.
Hurry! Let’s go to a residential area.

Margie

Ah! This street looks healthier.
Here’s a school, Suzy; the kids are getting out.

Suzy

Yeah. That cute little blonde kid is coming toward us;
he’s about 3rd or 4th grade.

Margie

Look at him!
Hair disheveled, dirty shirt half out, face smudged!

Suzy

He’s cute. He’s just standing there soaking in our smiles.
Don’t speak, Margie. Such moments need only smiles.
See? He’s coming.

Rowdy

My name’s Rowdy.
Promise not to tell nobody, if I show ya my sling shot?
It’s the kind ya swing around yer head in circles.

Prompter & Echoes

It can be deadly!

Margie

We promise not to tell, Rowdy.
What do you plan to hit with your slingshot?

Rowdy

I gonna kill my mom’s boyfriend next time he kicks her.
He kicks me, too.

Margie

Lift up a pant leg, Rowdy. Please.
Oh, my! Such ugly bruises!

Suzy

Oh, no! Have you told anyone about this?

Rowdy

He will kill me and my mom if I do.
So you can’t tell no one.

Suzy

Rowdy, go bring your teacher. We must tell her about this.

Rowdy

You lied to me!

Prompter & Echoes

You broke your promise!

Suzy

Oh! Don’t run off! Stop crying and come back, Rowdy.
We will keep our promise.

Margie

Do you have a relative that you could stay with?

Rowdy

Uncle Bruiser said they’d keep me
when mom’s spaced out on drugs.

Margie

Good! Let’s go see your uncle Bruiser right now.

Suzy

Please God, help the boy.

Prompter & Echoes

Help Rowdy!

Suzy

Look! Uncle Bruiser is the same brute that we saw
that wouldn’t let us talk to him about Jesus!

Margie

Well, Rowdy, show your uncle those bruises

Bruiser

Appalling! Who did this to you, Rowdy?

Rowdy

My mom’s boyfriend. I hate him.

Bruiser

I apologize for rebuffing you girls back at the gym.
I’m very sorry.
Rowdy’s unmarried mother has urged me
to raise Rowdy for her. I will consider it.

Prompter & Echoes

Time passes and God works.

Bruiser

Rowdy, I have good news: my wife and I will adopt you.
Suzy and Margie, I have news for you also.
You helped us see that Jesus died and rose from the dead
to forgive us and give us life.
We will be baptized and follow him.

Prompter & Echoes

Wonderful!

Suzy

Bruiser, would you like to give a party to celebrate?

Bruiser

Yes! We’ll invite our friends
and tell them what Christ has done for us.

Suzy

Awesome!

Margie

Oh, look! Here comes Elder Alf and his wife.
They also serve Christ here in Broken Pearl.

Bruiser

Welcome, folks!

Suzy

How have you guys gotten along, Elder Alf?

Alf

We started out with a bump.
We met a proud poodle leading her pet human on a leash.
We told the lady that we were prayer walking,
and would pray for any needs she had.
She wanted to join us, in order to invite people to her church.
We told her we gather those who receive Jesus i
n home churches. She lost interest then.

Suzy

Margie and I talked with a few sour people,
but we’re too stubborn to give up. We did a lot of walking.

Prompter & Echoes

Just like Jesus and Paul!

Alf

We met Wilbur mowing his lawn;
he had a parrot on his shoulder.
When I came near him, the bird squawked
and spread its wings to attack!

Prompter & Echoes

Squawk! Squawk!

Alf

Wilbur invited us to come back tomorrow,
along with you two girls.

Prompter & Echoes

Tomorrow brings a blessing!

Alf

Wilbur, I’ve certainly enjoyed talking and praying with you.

Wilbur

I needed your prayers, Alf.
I taught electronic engineering at the University,
but they fired me for drinking too much.

Alf

I’ll help you recover, Wilbur. I will meet with you daily,
until Jesus sees you through it all, if you really want to quit.

Wilbur

I do, now that I’ve found Jesus.
I guess I should say, “Since Jesus found me.”

Alf

All right. Let’s start right now.
Go pour all your booze down the sink.

Wilbur

Oh! Okay. I will. Here it goes, down the drain!

Prompter & Echoes

Gurgle, gurgle!

Wilbur

Oh, what a relief!

Suzy

Awesome! (Clap)

Wilbur

Several religious scalpers have been here to see us;
all they did was talk talk talk!
You folks are different: you listen with caring interest.
That is what convinced me, not so much your words;
I saw Christ in you.

Prompter & Echoes

Hear what God does next!

Alf

It’s a joy to give you elders our report.
The university restored Wilbur.
He and his wife hosted a great party,
just as Bruiser’s family had done.

Suzy

A new believer’s faith is contagious!

Alf

It’s because an obedient church body,
like all living things that God created,
passes on its DNA to reproduce after its own kind.

Prompter & Echoes

Jesus’ parables say this!

Alf

1 Corinthians 14 says if we dialogue together as a loving body,
visitors will sense Jesus’ presence and repent.

Suzy

We saw it happen!

Margie

During Wilbur’s party, we lost control:
cussing, booze and drug fumes filled the air.
However, the Holy Spirit stayed in control.

Suzy

I wept for joy!

Margie

Others wept, too, and shared needs for which we prayed.
Several trusted in Jesus. God has blessed Broken Pearl
with two new home churches.

Alf

There’ll soon be more.
We reorganized our two teams into four:
Margie works with Rowdy’s aunt,
who is now Rowdy’s new mother.
Suzy is with my wife, I’m with Bruiser,
and Prof. Wilbur Is with his wife.

Suzy

The Old Dragon has counterattacked, Elder Alf.
Some of our friends ridicule our house churches,
but everyone is remaining firm.

Margie

The old devil can no longer
keep our mother church from multiplying.
The Holy Spirit is carrying its DNA
to birth tiny daughter churches.

Suzy

So now we have granddaughter
and great-granddaughter churches!
Our elders have let God’s grace flow freely!

Prompter & Echoes

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!