Saturday, 16 April 2016

The place of comedy in church

There's a new trend in Christian churches, especially those which are Pentecostal in nature. That trend is to invite comedians to come and liven up the services. Some have even gone as far as to centre programs around Comedy.

I am privileged to Pastor a congregation made up mostly of young people. Sometimes I look at the people God gave to me to lead and I feel like the most blessed Pastor on earth! They're simply amazing!!! The members that God has given to me to be the shepherd over are super lively and enjoy comedy and exciting programs that "ginger" them. This has forced me to look into the scriptures and to study to understand its place and relevance in a church setting. I don't believe that we should simply accept every new trend that comes our way as Christian Ministers of the Gospel.

I John 4:1 says:
Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world.

The same way that you pray and seek the wisdom of the Lord concerning who will preach in your pulpits is the same way that you wait on the Lord to hear from Him concerning those who will do special segments in your services.

In pop culture, comedy has been something more associated with the secular world and the entertainment industry than it has been with the church. I wonder sometimes if the church is trying to buy it back from the world or "re-brand" it, since it's something that gains a following. That should never be the case since all things are created by God and for God. (Colossians 1:16) God created Comedy and even laughs himself in heaven. (Psalm 2:4)

I believe when it comes to comedy in church, we need to be guided. Not every joke or the lifestyle of every comedian is something that we should project on the altars where we hear the Word of God. I strongly believe that profanity and sensual, insulting humour has no place in our Christian pulpits. Nothing angers me more than to see a comedian mimicking someone with disabilities such as stammering. The church should be a place where all are welcome and feel comfortable to grow spiritually, not a place where you fear public humiliation.

This being said, I do believe that comedy has its place in church. When tastefully done, it can warm the soul and even heal. The Bible says in Proverbs 17:22 NLT "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person's strength." When we laugh and are free, we find that the joyful disposition we have can bring us strength. I particularly enjoy a Pastor who combines comedy into his sermons. We can laugh at the absurdity of something he is saying, while the message is still being driven into our spirits.

A comedian in church needs to be just as spiritually prepared to minister as the Pastor or the Worship Leader. He should also centre his comedy around a message that he's trying to get across. For example, someone may be able to hear a message about avoiding strange practices in our preaching style from a comedian even stronger than the many warnings that are found in the Word of God.

Prior to ministering on the altar, I believe that a wise comedian will vet his content and even seek advice on it from his Pastor. Doing this ensures that the message being delivered is congruent with what the Holy Spirit is saying to the Church.

In conclusion, the Bible admonishes that all things be done decently and in order (1 Cor. 14:40), therefore every comedy presentation in church should be geared towards edifying and blessing the body of Christ to the glory of God.


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