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3 Guiding Questions to Help You Understand Which Biblical Values Matter Most to Your Audience!

In selecting a show to produce, it is imperative to examine the specific biblical values of your faith community.  This question cannot be easily dismissed with broad answers such as, “We follow Jesus.” or “We believe the Bible.”  All Christian churches should agree on these points. Investigate the more specific, underlying tenets/biblical values that are clearly prioritized among your leadership and people. To best know your audience, ask what makes your community different from the next?



Acting students circle up and hold hands to share a prayer before performing their Christmas musical for friends and family.


It’s important to note that the purpose of this exercise is observation, not evaluation. There is nothing more off-putting than an arts leader whose agenda is to “enlighten” those around them. The goal of this exercise is to identify the primary values that most concern the community. What's on their collective heart and mind? We seek to know our audience so we can start by meeting them where they are. From there, we grow together in humility with authentic love and respect for our leadership and community.


1. What do they talk about? 


“Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” 

(Matthew 12:34-40)


What do you hear from the principal, the pulpit, and the people? 

  • Is it foreign missions, with close missionary connections and support?

  • Is it all about the visitor and their first experience? 

  • Is it interconnection within your own community through small groups? 

  • Is it Christian Education, with lots of Bible studies and a strong push for Bible literacy? 

  • Is it community service at a local shelter or similar outreach? 



Older girl lifts her hands, in excited manner, while younger ensemble of actors position themselves, onstage, behind her.


2. What gets funded?


“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

(Matthew 6:21)


  • Is there strong emphasis on children and youth ministry? 

  • Do they run an after school tutoring program for latchkey kids? 

  • Do they subsidize a counseling center or addiction recovery service? 

  • What staff positions are paid? (Worship leaders? Children’s ministry team? Outreach staff?)



Two actresses share an emotional moment onstage, in the musical, Presentation Day: WORD POWER.


3. How is time spent? 


Walk in wisdom…making the best use of time.”

(Ephesians 5:15-16)


  • Is there a push for members to get involved on a service team?  

  • Are members asked to volunteer for community events held on church or school property? (In service projects? Visiting the elderly? Teaching midweek classes?)

    • If the two previous points ring true for your community, consider producing FBSM’s musical, SERVICE PROJECT. The effort will likely be well-received. 



In your investigation, you might be forced to admit that some of your community’s values are misplaced - say, on the facility, or on rituals that once had meaning, but now need to be reevaluated, etc. That’s OK.  Start by looking for commonalities: Which of their more prominent biblical values do you share that make great fodder for theater? 

 

Hint: Look for horizontal themes (people to people) rather than vertical themes (God to people.) For example, if they have a heart for foster children in your community, that will make a much better theme than, say, their doctrine on Baptism. Art reveals God at work in our humanity.  


Once you list the common biblical values shared by you and your community, you will have a clarified approach about how to connect through the productions you choose. This work will also provide you a fuller sense about the long term trajectory of your arts program. We pray that the Lord will continue to provide you countless opportunities, story after story, to love your community like Christ loves his Church. We are so grateful for the work you are doing!






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