Acts of Faith is a drama ministry out of Midway Baptist Church in Aubrey, Texas. We’ve been around for three years, and we believe passionately in the power of drama to touch hearts and change lives. 

I’m Melissa Zabel, and I direct Acts of Faith. I act with them on occasion, and I write many of the scripts we use (one of which is now officially published – yay!)  I’ve been married for 12 years to a wonderful man, Matt, who supports me in my mania. We have a nine-year-old son named Nathan.

That’s the short version. Those of you interested in the full story of how a drama ministry formed and grew, keep reading.

In the summer of 2004, I began meeting with our worship pastor about the idea of starting a drama ministry at our church. I had been involved with community theater and had taken some theater classes in college, but I didn’t have much training, and I had no experience with drama as ministry. The idea called to me, though, and after some discussion about what such a ministry might look like, we decided to throw it out there and learn on the job. We spoke with our senior pastor and chose a date – a special church occasion – to aim for presenting our first sketch.

Three people showed up for our first meeting (two of them are still with us). Three more people showed up for a second meeting two weeks later (and two of them are still with us). We began working on that first sketch, and though none of us really knew what we were doing, God knew what He had in mind for us, and it came together. I still have a clear image in my head of myself walking across the sanctuary that morning, shaking and scared to death, with no idea how drama within a worship service would be accepted by our congregation. For the most part, it was accepted very well.

We started slowly, presenting a sketch every two or three months. I read everything I could find about drama ministry (and discovered much of it was aimed at youth groups – drama as an adult ministry is apparently not as common). Through trial, error and prayer we eventually settled into a method that worked for us. There were a few missteps along the way (such as the Father’s Day sketch that was so depressing people still tell me about it two years later), but we began to make an impact, and we began to hear stories about people making changes in their lives due to something sparked by a drama.

We have between fifteen and twenty drama team members now – some are dedicated no matter what, and some come and go depending on scheduling. We aim to present a sketch each month, plus two larger productions a year, though the large productions still tend to stop the sketches in their tracks. As we look toward the future, we hope to take our dramas outside the church walls.

God has been incredibly good to us as we’ve followed His direction and been willing to perform acts of faith. Not only have we seen an impact among those who watch our dramas, but we’ve been impacted as well. We’ve seen God bless us through our relationships with each other as the drama team has become a family.

I’m going to end this with a list of our productions so far, because I get a thrill every time I look at these. It’s amazing to see what followed when we were willing to step out in blind faith, not knowing where He was leading us, but trusting anyway.

November 2004 – The Offering
December 2004 – Organization is the Key
February 2005 – Excuses
March 2005 – Watch the Lamb
May 2005 – The Interview and May Cleaver
June 2005 – Gifts From a Father
August 2005 – The Sower and the Seed
September 2005 – 30 Days to Pastor Bob and Percentages
October 2005 – Go, Tell Them to Come and The Rope
November 2005 – We Will Worship
December 2005 – Bethlehem, PA
January 2006 – Lost
February 2006 – Life Groups
April 2006 – The Redeemer
May 2006 – The Box
June 2006 – A Robot Father
July 2006 – Take Me Out to the Ball Game
August 2006 – Can You Hear Me Now?
September 2006 – I Can Handle This
October 2006 – A Little Light and So You Want To Be A Missionary
December 2006 – A Christmas Prayer
February 2007 – Trustaholics Anonymous
April 2007 – Three Days
April, May and June 2007 – The Journey: A Story in Eight Parts
August 2007 – Blackwell Inn
September 2007 – Brotherly Love
October 2007 – Fill Us Up, Send Us Out and Parting Gifts
November 2007 – Gross or Net?
December 2007 – Hayride to the Nativity (living nativity at Rancho de la Roca)
January 2008 – The Cat Lady
February 2008 – Violations (sketches at women’s retreat)
April 2008 – Safe Haven
May 2008 – What Would Bill Gates Do?