Maybe you have a heart for drama ministry, but you don’t feel like it will work at your church. Maybe you’re worried you don’t have enough people with theater training or experience. Here’s the good news – when God directs your drama team, and you remain open to His direction, professional training isn’t necessary. Our actors didn’t have any previous drama training, but people who see our productions often have a hard time believing that.

There are a few minimum requirements, though, and a few situations in which you may not have the right people to begin a drama ministry. Look first to your pastor – does he support the idea? You’ll have a hard time developing an effective drama ministry without pastoral support. You’ll be depending on him to give you his sermon information early enough to get a drama ready to go with it. Plus, his encouragement or discouragement will influence how others in the congregation feel about drama ministry. If your pastor is not behind the idea, this is probably not the time or the place to attempt it.

The other person you need is a drama director – someone with a passion for drama ministry, a vision as to how it will play out, and a willingness to devote many hours to making it happen. This is also the one person who needs to have some drama experience, or be willing to get some. Drama is a team project, but someone has to lead.

If you have at least that – congratulations! You can begin presenting monologues.

At some point, of course, you will want to assemble a team, and through doing this myself, I’ve discovered something wonderful. Anyone who has a heart to use drama in the church, an ability to throw aside self-consciousness and a willingness to devote time to training can learn to act. Innate talent is a nice bonus, but it is not essential. Some of our best actors came to their first training session with no idea what they were doing, but through the training games and by listening to direction, they learned.

I’ve never held an audition for inclusion on the drama team. I won’t cast someone in a production if I don’t feel they’re ready, but anyone is free to come to our training sessions and learn. The only requirement is a love for God and a belief that drama is a good way to share His love with others. I am convinced that policy is a large part of why God has blessed us so abundantly. We see ourselves as a ministry first and a performance group second, and sometimes that means ministering to someone who isn’t ready to perform but wants to come laugh and work with us.

And that’s okay.