April 25, 2006
Drama King: one pastor drops preaching entirely for dramas
For decades churches have been experimenting with forms of communication, and one of the hallmarks of seeker churches has been the use of dramas in worship gatherings. It should come as no surprise that a church named Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community has chosen to push this experimentation to its logical end. The church has chosen to communicate biblical truths and narratives entirely through dramas - the sermon is no more.
Hot Metal Bridge has been getting a lot of press for its unusual worship format. Both The Wall Street Journal and the Today Show have run stories. Here is what some other media sources are reporting:
No one preaches at Hot Metal Bridge. Plays are its liturgy. Mr. Walker, a soon-to-be ordained United Methodist minister, leads the church with his friend Jeff Eddings, a Presbyterian seminarian. "Instead of coming to our church and listening to a sermon, you can be part of the sermon," Mr. Walker says.
Most of Mr. Walker's plays explore Bible themes flavored with pop culture and modern-day skepticism. "Sticking With Fishing" ponders what would have happened had Peter not dropped his net to follow Jesus. Elijah joins a man on the ledge thinking about a last leap. The archangel Gabriel kills time as he awaits news of Christ's birth.
Beyond dramas, Hot Metal Faith also hosts a Bible Fight Club to debate theological and social issues:
On Tuesday, the church and shop host Bible Fight Club, a rollicking debate about social issues, heaped with New Testament. About 25 people sat on lumpy couches in the basement, discussing paranormal phenomena, debating whether children are more in touch with angels and whether prayer helps?