"ACTION - JOHN 3:16 ( Wake Up Call )"
Written by Tony R. Stuckless
Of Spaniards Bay, Newfoundland,
Canada about November 11th, 2000

This drama is essentially a monologue with a brief introduction by a second cast member. How it is presented will depend on each individual situation. I suggest it be presented either as the message or as a lead in to a brief message and/or appeal. The intent is to get everyone's attention so given the initial shock value of the drama, it may be wise to either have the main actor seated in the first few pews before the service begins or have him/her enter the church and wander up to the first few pews and take a seat during the service later. The choice is yours. This drama is not copyright protected and is intended for general distribution for the glory of God. God bless.

CAST: One main actor/actress dressed/disguised in street clothes. I suggest things like a wig, easy wash off makeup, false moustache/beard, chains, dirty/torn clothes, heavy boots, etc. The idea is to have this person suitably disguised so that no one will recognise him/her. Underneath the street clothes this person needs to be normally dressed in casual clothing. The intent is for the disguise, over the casual clothes, to look natural. The audience or congregation should believe this person to be right off the street.

The role of the 2nd cast person to introduce the main actor/actress may be assumed by either a regular lay person or clergy if needed. In one sense it may be a good idea to have a second cast member on the platform, sitting with the clergy, so the audience / congregation will believe this person (if unknown to them) is presenting the drama.

PROPS: Other than having the main actor in disguise the only other props needed are for the main actor to have a Bible. It would be a good idea to have a small pan of water with some soap and a cloth next to the podium for when the main actor removes the disguise (in the event that make up has been used).

(As the drama begins someone will introduce the 2nd person, if used. Hopefully everyone will believe this clean-cut person is doing the presentation).

2nd Actor or layperson: Good morning ( or afternoon/evening ). This dramatisation is all about Christian involvement. How many of us ever wonder what happens when we Christians do not get involved in the world around us? (pause). Better yet what will happen if we do get involved? (pause) Jesus commanded his disciples in the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 28 and verse 19,  to go and make disciples of all the nations, so, (stress this) if we are Christians and disciples of Jesus,  are we not also called to go and make disciples of all the nations? (pause). Are we doing this for Jesus?  Are we really doing just this?

Who better to answer this question then one of the people that modern Christians tend to try and forget? Jesus came for the salvation of all people so without further waiting I leave the podium to the real speaker. (abruptly sits down without further explanation).

(A long pause for effect and to generate some confusion in the congregation / audience).
(now the main actor / actress stands and turns to look at the congregation for a few seconds then makes his/her way to the podium.)

(Depending on the nature of your audience they are starting to sweat now and are wondering why this poorly dressed person is standing at the podium and if this is really who they are expected to listen to. Particularly, if you are in a church made up of middle class or upper class people they will have been feeling uncomfortable with a  poorly dressed, rough looking person sitting in the congregation. This is why I suggested you may want to wait until just before the time to present the drama for this actor to make his or her entrance and take a seat in the first few pews. If you do this have the actor enter from the back of the church and walk slowly up through)

1st Actor: Hello! (pause while looking at the audience). My name is Steve. I'm here to tell you what it feels like to be one of the forgotten people who seldom hear the word of God from Christians. All too often people like yourselves write people like me off. We are the forgotten ones. I never had the good fortune to grow up in a normal home and I was on the streets by the time I was sixteen. No body wanted me. (pause and a little quieter). I even wandered into a couple of churches once or twice dressed like this, and still,  no one wanted me. (now speaking in a normal tone) Even now, I see the looks on your faces. No one here is quite sure what to expect from me. Dressed like this,  people like yourselves are uncomfortable with me. Why? (pause) Why? (pause while looking around the room).

 I have good news for you; the person you see before you is dead. I have been reborn. To prove it, (starts removing disguise while talking more slowly) I'll remove this old outfit so you can see the real me as I am now. (pause) Just give me a minute or two to get rid of this stuff. ….I said I was reborn……Do you know what happened to me? (pause)John 3 verse 16 is what happened to me. (pause) Yes, I know this is the placard you see at lots of sports events, but how many people really know what it says? Think about it. Can every one here tell me what it says? (pause) It goes like this in the New King James version of the Bible (pause while holding up the Bible), "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." … Did you catch the word? ….The word was "whoever". (by now the disguise should be off). That means you, me and everyone. (pause) This is what Jesus was trying to tell Nicodemus that night. He was trying to explain that we need to be reborn spiritually. …. There, now this is more like the new and improved me.

Does everyone feel more comfortable with what you see now?? (pause)

Why is that? ….Why do I look more acceptable dressed like this? ….Why did I wander into a couple of churches over the years to be met with only blank and  fearful stares? (pause). No matter who I was or what I looked like I was included in the word "whoever" mentioned in John 3:16. (pause) Nothing in the Bible says I have to be well dressed to be acceptable to God so why do I have to better dressed to be acceptable to the people of God? Jesus Himself often was found among the poor and sick and I am sure they were not well-dressed, educated people. Jesus took time especially to help those no body else wanted didn't He?… People just like me.

Anyhow, enough about that. Let's take a minute and I will tell you how John 3:16 happened to me. It wasn't from church. ….  (sadly) My parents, such as they were, did not take me to church. The couple of times I went to church on my own I did not even stay for the whole service and I was not even sure why I was there. (normal tone) One day I went to a soup kitchen operated by the Salvation Army. I hadn't eaten in day and a half and as usual I had no money. (pause) This ordinary looking lady in a Salvation Army uniform served me some soup and even took a minute to sit down across from me and speak to me. (excited now) I didn't know what to expect from her. She asked me my name. I told her. Then she asked me how I was feeling! I just sat there looking at her with soup on my chin and my mouth open. No one ever asked me how I was doing let alone how I was feeling. I didn't know what to say so I said something really stupid like, "Why do you care?" (pause) Most people would have backed off but not her. She just paused and came back with, "Because of John 3:16". I said to myself, maybe she is crazy. She went on to hand me a small New Testament and said, "It's in here. Look it up when you get a chance. Meanwhile if you want someone to talk to come here about this time between Monday and Friday and we can talk."

I mumbled something and left but I couldn't get her out of my mind. I didn't go back for over a week, but I couldn't stay away. I almost threw the little Testament away, but for some reason I couldn't. I looked up this John 3:16 and read it and reread it. I was not sure what she was trying to tell me but I did know that no one had ever really asked me if I was OK before. Anyhow, I went back and sure enough she was there. She even recognised me and made a point of talking to me for a minute. I didn't open up to her right away but I did start going by the soup kitchen a couple times a week to speak with her. One time when she was speaking to me, I finally got the nerve up to ask her about this John 3:16. I wanted her to tell me what she had meant and why she seemed to care about a nobody like me. She gently started telling me about Jesus. She didn't push me but she had a way of explaining Jesus that brought me back for more. We started reading the Testament together at the soup kitchen table a couple of times a week.

She never judged me or wrote me off for the way I looked or acted. She took the time to show me the love of God face to face. Finally, during one of our little talks it came to me. (stop here for a few seconds and speak slowly and firmly while looking directly over the crowd). This lady was living John 3:16! ….She was sharing the salvation she had found and helping me see a forgiving God who loved me so much that He wanted me to believe in His Son and accept the salvation and eternal life He was offering me! This was not something I had to take or buy. It was free! (pause) Can you believe it? God wanted to forgive me of my sins and in return all he wanted was for me to start a new life and walk with Him. This lady knew that if someone did not show the love of Jesus to someone like me, than I would be unlikely to find it on my own. She also knew that by no means could she nor should she keep this to herself. The good news of John 3:16 was something she was supposed to share as a disciple of Jesus Christ. You could see from her face that it was also something she was so excited about that she could not keep it to herself. Praise God!

I found that the more I trusted God, the more full and purposeful my life became. I who had once had no hope, now had hope. I had a purpose. I started witnessing to my friends on the street. (pause) Some of them said I was crazy, but I didn't care. Some others began to take me serious because now they could see the change in me. A few of them started going to this little Salvation Army chapel with me. Some of them even got saved. I started back to night school and finished my high school diploma. I got a job working in a factory and volunteered at another soup kitchen whenever I got the chance. My goal was to share the good news of the Gospel wherever I could. Yes, a lot of times I got responses like "not interested", "forget it", and so on. Yes, many times I had my feelings quashed and I've been beaten up a couple of times. (pause) But, the good news is some of the people I talked to listened, and some even got saved. (pause) All this because a good Christian woman took the time to speak to me. If she had never spoken to me would I have ever found Jesus Christ? (pause) I don't like to think about it. Thank God He sent someone to me!

I'm almost finished. I won't take much more of your time. The real issue here is Christian involvement. Where would people like me be if real Bible reading professing Christians did not follow Jesus' command to go and make disciples of all the nations? (pause) God wants not just our money but our hands. We cannot afford to sit back and just go to church on Sundays and do nothing. All around us people are living lives that will take them to Hell unless someone can show them a better way. The vast majority of these people will never walk into a church by themselves so we need to go where they are. ….God needs our hands (lift hands up and show them to the people)….. Hands like yours and mine(pause). Hands that are far from perfect but hands that will reach out to others. Hands that are not afraid of rejection but hands that will keep trying……If every saved person could touch someone else who became saved and then that person went on to do the same and so on and so on, they would could win the world for Jesus Christ.

So what should we the people of God do? (pause for effect). The Bible is clear, we are to reach out to others and tell them what we have. We are to not just tell them about God but to live our faith in front of them. People will never take you serious if they see you going to church on Sunday and then they see you sinning the rest of the week! Think about what you do! ….Let's get down on our knees before a holy and gracious God. Let's thank Him that he feels we are even worthy of salvation, then let's get off our knees and go take the Word of God to the world. …..God does not ask you to try and save the whole world, but he does ask you to do what you can. Volunteer at homeless shelters and soup kitchens. Collect funds to keep these places open and open others. Volunteer to lead youth groups in your churches and volunteer to fill vacant positions in your churches. (pause) Just one more thing; you have to mean what you say. You have to live the talk. …..They have to see Christ in you. If you can't show Jesus to the people then you need to re-examine your faith. …..One of the biggest problems I have seen in our churches is a lack of commitment. (pause) Yes, I said a lack of commitment. All too often, people take leadership positions in churches and then do very little with it. This is a crime. God needs effective and committed people to be His hands.

My final words to you are the world is full of lost people just like me. They need you and Jesus needs you to be His hands. Reach out in faith again and again. Don't get dejected when you meet walls. If you will put the Word of God out, then God will take down the walls. Perhaps you won't see them come down, but you will have planted a seed. ….My last word is get involved and do something. God needs each and every one of you to work for Him. The secret to a strong, healthy Christian life is not just in our own salvation, but is for the saved to share their salvation. (pause) Just as a light can not be hidden so we are saved to help others find their own salvation. It is our job and duty to do what we can for God. It will never be right for someone to lose out on an opportunity to be saved because we did not try. (pause) (say these last sentences slowly and firmly for effect) Remember, you are to do what you can, out of the life you lead, in the faith of touching other lives sometimes. …..Jesus will do the rest.  Be a light for Jesus in this lost sinful world.

(The drama is over but this is good time for a nice prayerful song [one song I like particularly here is "Go Light Your World" by Kathy Traccoli] to be followed by an appeal for Christians to recommit for service to God. Perhaps the person who introduced the main actor would lead the appeal.)