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“Coffee and Christ”

We’ve received a complaint about this skit a few years back. A member of a seeker-friendly church thought we were being unfair. We checked out her church’s website and saw they were in the middle of a 12 part series about What Jesus would say to folks like Saddam Hussein, Madonna, Bill Clinton, and others.

If the shoe fits…

Coffee and Christ
By John Cosper

CHARACTERS
Don- Music minister
Dave- Pastor
Erin- A “seeker”
Marty- A Christian teen unashamed of what he believes

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: This sketch was written as a response to some churches that have adopted the “Seeker Sensitive” style of worship and taken things too far. This is not a criticism of all seeker churches, as many of them present the Gospel without watering it down. Rather, it is intended to call into account the churches that apologize for the harshness of the Gospel, preferring to pass out coffee than to address the seriousness of a commitment to Christ. Jesus was never shy about telling a group of seekers to “take up your cross.” Why then do we exchange those words for a good cup of latte?]

(The stage has a microphone at center. Stage right is a keyboard, and Pastor Don sits behind the keyboard.)

DON- Good morning to you, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the third morning service of the First Seeker Church of Smallville. We are glad you joined us for fellowship and worship this morning. We hope you enjoy your time with us, but we want to remind you, don’t feel like you have to participate. We want to make you welcome here, and we don’t want you to feel threatened in any way. And now, here’s the man who will lead us before the throne, Pastor Dave Ruddell!

(Dave walks on stage, wearing a turtleneck and drinking coffee.)

DAVE- Hey there, thank you, Don, and good morning everyone. On behalf of the congregation here, welcome to First Seeker Church of Smallville. We’re going to sing, we’re going to share the word, and we’re going to have fun but please, seriously, don’t feel like you have to do anything that makes you uncomfortable, okay? Let’s start with a little non-threatening worship, huh, Don?

(Don leads the song.)

DON- If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands
If you’re happy and you know it, then your face will surely show itIf you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.
DAVE- Thank you, Don. Folks, please help yourself to more coffee and Danish. If you’re looking for a little something different, I recommend the vanilla hazelnut supreme. (sips coffee) Mmmm, delish! But folks, we’re not here just for coffee and music. No sir, no ma’am. We’re here to celebrate a man. A man who is more than just a man, because he was also God. A man without whom none of this would be possible. (with a wink) I think you know who I’m talking about. So rather than hit you over the head with it, I’ll just say… we’re ready to introduce you to him. You don’t have to feel pressured; please, don’t feel pressured. But if you’re interested in meeting him, and you know who I mean, you can make your way down that dark, private hallway to the Discovery Room, where one of our trained volunteers will introduce you to him in a gentle and non-threatening way. No one will have to know except you and the trained volunteer. In fact, to help you keep things secret, we have other trained volunteers by the door wearing the orange name badges who are part of our distraction ministry. So if you would like to sneak down to the Discovery Room, but don’t want your family to know, just tap one of these folks on the shoulder and they’ll distract your family while you slip away. And as a special bonus, everyone who visits the Discovery Room today receives a New Testament Bible and a free coffee mug.
DON- Oh, that’s a nice mug.
DAVE- It’s a handsome mug. And you can get it with or without the First Seeker’s Church logo. That’s right. We’re not here to push you. We just want to love you and make you feel welcome. Well that wraps up our service for this morning. Yep, it was short, we keep it that way because we don’t want to push anything on you… except maybe another cup of coffee.
DON- (sings) If you’re happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.
DAVE- God bless you, folks, but only if you want it.

(Erin enters stage left, walks up to Dave. Don exits.)

ERIN- Excuse me, Pastor Dave?
DAVE- Yes, ma’am?
ERIN- That was a wonderful service.
DAVE- Thank you so much. What is your name?
ERIN- Erin.
DAVE- Erin, thank you for your compliments and for coming.
ERIN- I also wanted to say I truly appreciated your giving an invitation.
DAVE- Oh, ma’am, we don’t give invitations. We don’t want to make anyone nervous about making a decision for God.
ERIN- But what about your mention of the Discovery Room?
DAVE- That wasn’t an invitation. It was an opportunity.
ERIN- Oh.
DAVE- Are you thinking of responding to that opportunity?
ERIN- Actually, yes. I’ve been coming here for some time.
DAVE- Have you had the coffee? It’s good, huh?
ERIN- Uh, yes, yes it is. But I’m more interested in other things.
DAVE- Hot tea?
ERIN- Beg your pardon?
DAVE- We’ve been testing the waters to see if there’s enough interest in hot tea to brew some on Sundays.

(Marty stage right from behind Pastor Dave.)

ERIN- Well I do love tea, but that’s not what I’m interested in. I want to know more about becoming a… What are you all called?
DAVE- Uh, independent, biblically-based, seeker-sensitive Protestants?
ERIN- No, it was something shorter.
MARTY- Christians?
ERIN- That was it.
DAVE- Oh, you want to know more about becoming a Christian.
ERIN- Yes!
DAVE- Oh, that’s a wonderful thing. Simply wonderful.
ERIN- How so?
DAVE- Well, first of all, you gain a new best friend in Jesus.
ERIN- Jesus, huh? I hear he’s rather peculiar about whom he befriends.
DAVE- Oh no, no. Jesus will be friends with any one.
ERIN- Really? No strings attached?
DAVE- None at all.
MARTY- Except of course you must forsake your mother, father, wife, children, siblings, home, work, and possessions. But that’s not asking too much.

(Dave shoots Marty a horrified look.)

ERIN- What was that?
DAVE- That was nothing. Nothing at all.
MARTY- Right, nothing at all.
DAVE- Uh huh.
MARTY- Some folks have given up their life for him.
ERIN- Excuse me? What does he mean by giving up my life?
DAVE- Yes, well, when you become a Christian, you do surrender certain facets of life.
ERIN- Such as?
MARTY- Lusts, greed, personal gain, jealousies, grudges, hatred, prejudices… anything related to sin.
DAVE- (nervous laugh) Ha, ha ha, he’s such a kidder.
ERIN- Uh huh. Is he right, or is this all a joke?
DAVE- Umm, well, uhh… Let me just summarize by stating things this way. When you become a Christian, your life will never be the same.
ERIN- Really?
MARTY- Sure. Just ask the disciples.
ERIN- Their lives changed, too?
MARTY- Sure. They went from the peaceful daily grind of fishing, tax collecting, etc. to a life of a lifetime of homelessness, hunger, prison, beatings, floggings, stonings, piercings, boilings, flayings, stabbings, stranglings, and executions.
ERIN- Executions.
MARTY- Yes, ma’am, all of the disciples were executed except the apostle John. He, however, was imprisoned, boiled in oil, and sent into exile to live out his days.
ERIN- Oh my.
MARTY- Also Mark, the author of the gospel of Mark, was killed. So was Luke, Timothy, the apostle Paul.
ERIN- Is this true.
DAVE- Yes, it is true. The early disciples did all die for their faith, many in gruesome and violent ways. I hate to tell you that, and I’m really sorry for it.
MARTY- Why are you apologizing for telling her the truth?
DAVE- What are you doing?
MARTY- Just trying to help a seeker find answers.
DAVE- Help? My goodness, man, I’m stunned to see she’s still here. You keep up this death and dying and sacrificing talk, and she’s going to walk away.
MARTY- Better to tell her the whole truth up front than to let her sink and drown in your watered down gospel.
DAVE- We have to water things down. It’s a way of slowly introducing a person to Christ.
MARTY- What about that verse, “If you profess me before men, I’m profess you before my father in Heaven. If you deny me before men…”
DAVE- I know the verse. Look, she’ll find out about the sacrifices in due time. She’s not ready to know these things.
MARTY- Do you know that for sure?
DAVE- That’s not what we do here. We try to ease people into Christianity in a non confrontational, non-threatening way. That’s the way you win souls.
MARTY- Someone in the early church must have missed that point. Back them converts were won over by Christians thrown to the lions and nailed to crosses. You’re no proposing to introduce people to Mr. Rogers. You’re calling sinners to repent, leave their selfish ways behind, and follow a man who sacrificed his life for the entire world. If they accept Christ, many of them will face persecution, prejudice, even death.
DAVE- But that’s all ancient history. We don’t have martyrs like that in today’s world.
MARTY- No. We have even bolder martyrs today. Just like ancient Rome, many countries in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East have made Christianity illegal.
DAVE- Yes but in America–
MARTY- Christians are facing increasing persecution. Students are losing their right to pray. Christians are becoming viewed as a hate group because of their views of sexually immoral lifestyles. How much longer will it be before praying and witnessing become crimes in America?
DAVE- Enough! That’s not the way we do things around here. Look, kid, you can’t just blurt out “take up your cross and follow me.”
MARTY- Jesus did.
DAVE- We live in a different age. What kind of person is going to respond to that?
MARTY- A person with the wisdom to see that this world is doomed to destruction, and that laying down your life in this world leads to far greater treasure in the next.
DAVE- Look, I appreciate the input, but frankly, you’re ruining my chances of leading this woman to Christ, So grab another cup of coffee and let the real ministers get back to work. (turns to Erin) Now, Miss–
ERIN- (to Marty) Excuse me.
MARTY- Yes?
ERIN- That was really amazing what you said. All those people dying for their faith in a man. What a sacrifice.
MARTY- Not to the people who know him. They considered it an honor and a blessing to be hated and executed for their faith because Christ himself was killed in much the same way.
ERIN- But what led them to give up so much
MARTY- Because they could see beyond this life to the inheritance they would receive: eternal life in Heaven.
ERIN- Eternal life.
MARTY- And life more abundantly here on earth.
ERIN- Do you think you could tell me more about this? Maybe over a cup of coffee?
DAVE- I’d be delighted, but we already have counselors in the–
ERIN- Not you. (walks past Dave) Please?
MARTY- Sure. Let’s talk.

(Dave and Erin exit. Don walks over to Dave carrying a coffee pot.)

DAVE- That poor, lost girl. I just hope that young man doesn’t lead her too far astray.
DON- Don’t worry about her, Dave. I have this funny feeling she’ll be okay.

(Don pours some more coffee for Dave.)

DAVE- I hope you’re right. He’s hitting her with stories of martyrdom, and taking up your cross. (sips coffee, reacts to its strong taste) Man, that stuff is strong!
DON- It’s not watered down, is it?
DAVE- No but my eyes are watering. Gosh, that stings.
DON- It does sting a little at first, but it will wake you up and let you see things much more clearly.
DAVE- Don?
DON- Yes?
DAVE- You are talking about the coffee, right?

(They slowly look at each other. Blackout.)

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Roland Lopanski Comes Home

Christians aren’t the only people good at being hypocrites. Like those fancy folks in Hollywood. Jack and Gretchen Hall wrote this skit a few years back when Hollywood wanted us to forgive a certain film director for his indiscretions because he was a true artist. Time have changed – for the better – and this skit is more timely than ever.

Roland Lopanski Comes Home
By Jack Hall
Dedicated to Roman Polanski, film director and felon

CHARACTERS
Brenda- A reporter
Woody Fallen- A director
George Looney- An actor
Roland Lopanski- A murderer

BRENDA: Good evening, this is Brenda Williams reporting live from LAX, where we’re witnessing history in the making. After more than two decades as a fugitive, the great film director Roland Lopanski is returning to American soil a free man. I’m sure many of our viewers remember the incident twenty-three years ago that made Lopanski a wanted man, when three eight year old children who were trick-or-treating were shot by the eccentric filmmaker on his front porch. Lopanski fled to Europe, Asia, and even Africa, where the CIA finally caught up with him spearheading a campaign of genocide against and oppressed minority. But before the US government could bring the law upon his head, the Hollywood community rose up to his defense. With me now is one of the stars who lobbied for Lopanski’s release, an acclaimed filmmaker in his own right, Woody Fallen.

Woody enters.

WOODY: Hello. Nice to meet you.
BRENDA: Woody, tell us why prosecuting this man for the murder of three children was wrong.
WOODY: Well, look, Brenda, people have to get over this idea that we celebrities are like them. The rules that your ordinary people live by – your factory workers, your plumbers, your dermatologists – they just don’t apply to us. We’re artists, and we have to do our thing or else, you know, we just can’t be creative.
BRENDA: I understand you’ve had your own problems as of late.
WOODY: Yes, a lot of people didn’t understand when I left my sixth wife for her prize dairy cow, but Clover and I are in love, and we’re very happy to say we’re expecting a little bundle of half-human, half-bovine joy in a matter of weeks now.

George enters with a small gift.

GEORGE: Hey, Woody.
WOODY: Hello, George.
GEORGE: Here’s a gift for Woody Jr.
WOODY: Oh thank you.
GEORGE: My best to Clover.
BRENDA: I don’t have to tell our viewers at home who this handsome hunk is. It’s Oscar winning actor and Sexiest Man Alive, George Looney.
GEORGE: Thank you.
BRENDA: George, do you still believe the government made the right choice in pardoning Mr. Lopanski for the murder of three kids?
GEORGE: Look, we’re all sad about the kids, but what’s the greater crime here? Depriving the world of three small children, or depriving the world of twenty-three years of films by Roland Lopanski? The man won four Oscars in three years. How many more would he have won if we hadn’t committed this crime against art?
BRENDA: Thank you, George. And it looks like the plane door is opening. A flight attendant is coming out, and now a man… is that Lopanski?

Gunshot.

GEORGE: Yes, that’s him.
WOODY: Welcome home, Roland! Welcome home!

Roland enters, carrying a gun.

ROLAND: Thank you, thank you. It’s good to be here.
BRENDA: Excuse me, Mr. Lopanski, but did you just shoot that flight attendant?
ROLAND: She wouldn’t give me a third highball.
WOODY: Don’t you hate those stupid rules on planes?
ROLAND: They do not know who I am! I am Roland Lopanski!
GEORGE: Welcome home, old boy.
ROLAND: You, George Looney, I hear you are making another Oceans movie.
GEORGE: That’s right. We start shooting Oceans 14 next week.
ROLAND: That’s what you think.

Roland shoots and kills George.

BRENDA: You shot George Looney!
ROLAND: I did it for art! I hate those movies!
WOODY: Genius! Sheer genius!
BRENDA: So, uh, Mr. Lopanski, what do you plan to do now that you are home?
ROLAND: First, I am going to go shoot prosecutor who tried to put me in jail. Then I have list of all the bloggers who said I should be in jail. I am going to shoot them as well. And in between, I am going to make a movie about a woman on a journey of self-discovery.
WOODY: I smell Oscar!
ROLAND: Of course you do! I am Roland Lopanski!
WOODY: Hey, Roland, look, the Olsen twins are here to audition for your film.

Roland shoots off stage twice.

ROLAND: They do not get the part.
WOODY: Come on. I’ll take you to dinner. Then we can go shoot my sixth wife.
ROLAND: Sixth wife? Woody, when will you learn?

Roland and Woody start to exit.

BRENDA: So, Roland Lopanski is back. Back in America, back to making films, and back to killing people. (getting angry) I don’t know how you folks at home feel about it, but if you ask this reporter–

Roland walks back to Brenda, aiming the gun at her.

BRENDA: (backtracking in fear) I could not be happier. This is Brenda Williams, on the run in Los Angeles.

Brenda drops her mic and runs off.

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Return of “The Crap Skit”

Our new contributors Jack and Gretchen Hall could not wait to share one of their most popular skits every on Righteous Insanity. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, a skit inspired by a fun-loving youth pastor whose favorite word was… crap. It’s “The Crap Skit,” on video, and in script form.

Share and enjoy!

THE CRAP SKIT
By Jack & Gretchen Hall

CHARACTERS
Eddie
Jenna

 

The setting is a park. Jenna is sitting on a blanket, reading the Bible. Eddie jogs by.

EDDIE- Holy crap! Jenna?
JENNA- Oh my goodness! Eddie Crapper?
EDDIE- How the crap are ya?
JENNA- I’m fine. What the crap are you doing?
EDDIE- What the crap does it look like?
JENNA- Holy crap, you’re jogging?
EDDIE- Yeah, can you believe that crap?
JENNA- You picked a crappy day for it.
EDDIE- Well, I was supposed to be fishing all day, but my friends crapped out on me.
JENNA- How was fishing?
EDDIE- Crappy.
JENNA- What the crap happened?
EDDIE- Crap happened. We only caught one fish.
JENNA- What the crap was it?
EDDIE- A crappy.
JENNA- A crappy? What do they taste like?
EDDIE- Pretty much like crap.
JENNA- Sounds pretty crappy.
EDDIE- So what the crap are you doing?
JENNA- Unwinding after a crappy day.
EDDIE- In this crappy weather?
JENNA- It was either crappy weather or my apartment.
EDDIE- Why the crap didn’t you stay at the apartment.
JENNA- It’s a mess! It looks like crap.
EDDIE- So what the crap are you reading?
JENNA- What the crap does it look like?
EDDIE- Holy Crap!
JENNA- Holy Bible, not holy crap!
EDDIE- You actually believe that crap?
JENNA- Yes, although I don’t think it’s crap.
EDDIE- What the crap is it all about?
JENNA- Well, in the beginning, God created the world, then man made it all go to crap.
EDDIE- How the crap did he do that?
JENNA- This crap called sin.
EDDIE- What the crap is sin?
JENNA- It’s all the bad crap we do.
EDDIE- What kinda crap?
JENNA- Lying, stealing, adultery, you know, all that crap.
EDDIE- That’s a lot of crap.
JENNA- That crap separated us from God, so God sent his son Jesus.
EDDIE- No crappin’ way!
JENNA- And instead of making us pay for all the crap we did, Jesus died to take that crap away.
EDDIE- Sounds like a load of crap to me.
JENNA- Yeah, a lot of people think it’s crap.
EDDIE- What the crap do you think?
JENNA- Me? I think they’re full of crap.
EDDIE- I guess it’s kind of hard to tell what’s true and and what’s crap.
JENNA- Maybe. All I know is no matter how crappy my life seems, God is always there.
EDDIE- Do you think God could help me with my crap?
JENNA- I know he could help you with your crap!
EDDIE- I dunno, I have a lot of crap. And some of that crap’s pretty big.
JENNA- Believe me, Eddie, there is no crap too big for God to take.

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“A Hole in The Head”

This skit is dedicated to the good folks who are using our old name to spread their slant on the Bible. We know you guys have been burned, and we don’t blame you feeling hurt. But you still need Jesus! – J&G

A Hole in The Head
By Jack and Gretchen Hall

CHARACTERS
Johnny- A disbeliever
Bill- A dumb Christian

The setting is a college community center. Outside a classroom is a sign: “Christians on Campus! Bible Study Tonite!” Bill sits at a table, studying. Johnny enters, sees the sign, and scoffs.

JOHNNY- Unbelievable. I can’t believe in this day and age people still believe in gods. It’s not like we’re in the stone ages any more! Science and technology has gone so far to disprove religion, you would think people would think superstitions would have gone the way of a dodo bird. But like the dodos, every fall I come to campus and get assaulted by Christians telling me I need Jesus! Please! I need Jesus like I need a hole in the head!

Bill looks up in alarm. He jumps up with a text book and smacks Johnny in the head.

JOHNNY- Owww!
BILL- Hold still, buddy, I’ll help you!

Bill smacks him again in the head.

JOHNNY- What in the name of Madeline Murray—

Bill whacks him again.

BILL- I’ll never break the skull with this book! I need something better!

Bill runs off.

JOHNNY- What the heck is going—No, NO!!!

Bill runs in with a hammer, nails Johnny in the head.

JOHNNY- Ohhhhh!!!!!
BILL- Why does this skull have to be so hard?

Bill hits Johnny three more times.

BILL- This isn’t working either!
JOHNNY- The world… is going… dark.
BILL- Hang in there, buddy. I know what to do!

Bill runs away. He runs back on with a power drill, already spinning, and tries to drill a hole in Johnny’s head.

JOHNNY- What are you doing!! Stop it!!
BILL- This’ll go a lot easier if you just let me finish!
JOHNNY- Aaaaaagggh!

Johnny pushes Bill away.

JOHNNY- What do you think you’re doing?
BILL- I was helping you!
JOHNNY- Helping me how?
BILL- Trying to put a hole in your head.
JOHNNY- Why?
BILL- You said you needed it!
JOHNNY- Why would I need a hole in the head?
BILL- I dunno. Fluid in the brain, nostrils plugged up. It’s your head.
JOHNNY- Look, I never said I NEEDED a hole in the head.
BILL- You did too. You said you need it like you need Jesus!
JOHNNY- But I don’t NEED Jesus, or a hole in my head.
BILL- Ohhh… so you were… you meant… oh golly. Now I feel like a goof. Gosh, I am so embarrassed.
JOHNNY- How do you think I feel?
BILL- Man, I am so sorry. I just heard you saying you need Jesus and… well, I know how badly I need Jesus in my life.
JOHNNY- Whatever.
BILL- Hey, roll your eyes if you wanna. But we all have a hole in our hearts only the big guy can fill. It’s just hard to see if you’ve never experienced him.
JOHNNY- Save it, Swaggart. I don’t want your religion.
BILL- Well, okay, but… If you change your mind, (points to the sign) you can join us any time.

Bill gathers his things and leaves. Johnny gets up and composes himself.

JOHNNY- Gosh… and people wonder why we think Christians are idiots. Bible study… please. I need that like I need a punch in the gut.

Bill runs on and obliges Johnny. Johnny doubles over in pain.

BILL- Sorry… my bad… again.

Bill runs off.

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New Year, New Writers

Righteous Insanity is going to be bringing more amazing resources to the web this year, thanks to the help of some old friends.

Giavanna Signorelli was a student of mine going back to my days with the Dramamaniacs at Northside Christian Church in New Albany. Almost 20 years after we first met at church, we were reunited through an independent film group in Evansville, Indiana. Giavanna is currently writing the second series of our video Bible study Desperately Seeking. She’s also playing a featured role in my upcoming stage production of Morbidman Returns.

Jack and Gretchen Hall were the brains behind the infamous Christian drama site, Sunday School Dropouts. Jack and Gretchen love slaughtering sacred cows and stepping on toes, and the time has come to bring their sense of sarcasm and dark humor back to the web. Look for their posts weekly on the front page as the bring back classics like The Crap Skit, The Christian Person Who Sings Good But We Do Not Idolize Them, and A Hole in The Head.

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Scotty Love: Talk to Your Kids

The Scotty Love Show wraps up with episode 10, and a lesson on how to talk to your kids. One of these dads has it right. You be the judge. Share and enjoy!

 

LESSON TEN
Speak Up!
Key Scripture:

ICE BREAKERS

When it’s election year, are you one of the quiet ones, or do you love to argue?

What other topics can get you going on a soap box? Movies you love or hate? Music? TV? Books?

How many of you have at least one good friend whom you completely disagree with on either religion or politics? How do you make that friendship work?

INTRODUCTION

Back in the 80’s, President Ronald Reagan spent most of his days battling over the issues with Speaker of the House Tip O’Neil. When the day was over, O’Neil would visit the White House to drink whiskey, tell jokes, and sing some old Irish songs.

You’d be hard pressed to find people in today’s America that can bury the hatchet like Reagan and O’Neil. The prevailing attitude seems to be, “If you disagree with me, you hate me, therefore, we can’t be friends.” State the “wrong” opinion on anything from abortion to pop music and your Facebook friend list might drop 20% in a day!

Jesus wants us to speak the truth, as written in his Word. He wants us to share it with our kids, our neighbors, our world. It’s not easy speaking a truth the world doesn’t want to hear, but the answer isn’t to fudge our way around it. We need to speak the truth, and we need to do so with love.

READ AND DISCUSS

Ephesians 4:14-15

Why is speaking the truth a necessary part of Christian maturity?

Do you think you have to water down the truth to speak in love? Why or why not?

Luke 9:23-26

What does it take to be a disciple of Christ?

What does Jesus say to those who refuse to speak out against the ways of the world?

Why would Jesus be so harsh in holding those who stay silent accountable?

If we do not speak out, what’s at stake? Why does Jesus want us to tell this rebellious world what he has to say?

CHALLENGE

How easy is it for you to discuss these topics:
Immigration?
The Environment?
Abortion?
Marriage?
Creation vs. Evolution?
Christianity vs. other faiths?

Have you ever lost a friend over something you or they said about something you believe?

Have you ever felt like the only person in the room that believed differently than everyone else? How did that feel?

Parents: What topics are hardest for you to discuss openly with your kids? Why do you feel so squeamish about those subjects?

Why doesn’t God give us the option of staying silent?
Why is it so critical to share the truth directly with our kids?

How can we speak the truth with boldness and love, knowing we may lose friends over it?

How can we support one another when one of our group has to speak out on a difficult subject?

WRAP UP

The Bible says to consider it pure joy when we are persecuted as Jesus was. That’s easier said than done. No one feels joy when they get unfriended in cyber space or worse, when someone tells us to our face they no longer wish to hear from us. We can’t control how people respond to the gospel, but that doesn’t give us an out. Jesus gave us his Word to share with others. We are his hands and feet, and we are the only ones who can continue to speak the truth. Let us speak boldly, and let us speak with love. The world doesn’t want to hear it, but they will never know how badly they need it unless we do speak up!

PRAYER

Dear God,

Forgive us for hiding in the shadows. Give us the courage to speak up. Give us friends to support us when we share your truth. And when we speak, help us to always do so in love. Use us to share your truth with a world that needs it.

In Jesus’s name,
Amen

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Scotty Love: Praying for You

Scotty Love is back to answer the question: is it better to say you’ll pray for someone, or to actually do it?

LESSON NINE
Men of Action
Key Scripture: Matthew 21:28-32, Matthew 5:33-37.

ICE BREAKERS

How good are you at delegating things to other people? Do you trust others to get things done, or do you prefer to do it all on your own?

How does it feel when someone says they will do something and let you down?

Have you ever dropped the ball on an important task? What did (or didn’t) you do, and what happened as a result?

INTRODUCTION

Are you all talk, or are you a man of action? It’s one thing to say you’re going to do something, but it’s quite another to follow through. The world is full of people who make empty promises they will never fulfill, and the church has more than a few empty talkers as well.

God wants us to be men of action. When we say we’re going to pray for someone, we will. When we say we will be some place, we show up. We don’t say yes out of obligation and look for excuses to back out later, and we don’t give a half-hearted effort. When we say yes, we mean yes. We show up and we take care of business not because we want a reward, but because we are men of action!

READ AND DISCUSS

Read Matthew 21:28-32

Why was the man in this story more pleased with the son who said he wouldn’t help?

In what way did the Pharisees fail to do what they pledged they would do for God?

What was Jesus trying to tell the Pharisees – and us – in this parable?

Read Matthew 5:33-37

How does Jesus want us to answer requests from others?

Why do you think Jesus said we should not swear oaths or make vows?

What does God want to see us do rather than making promises?

CHALLENGE

How often do you say you will pray someone and you never do?

How often do you say yes to something only to back out or drop the ball later?

How can saying “Yes” and backing out later hurt our witness for Christ?

When people say yes and don’t mean it, there is usually a reason. Some are people pleasers. Some are just following the crowd. Some are afraid to say no, and some are just being polite. What causes you to say yes when you’d rather say no?

Why do you think saying “No” is such a struggle for people in general?

Is it ever okay to say “No” to praying for someone? How can we make sure that particular yes is one we always fulfill?

When people ask for more than prayer, how can we gracefully say “No” when we need to say no?

At the end of the day, what do you think makes more impact – telling someone we will help, or actually helping out?

WRAP UP

God didn’t call us to be people of words. He wants us to be men of action. When you say yes, don’t look for excuses, and don’t give a half-hearted effort. Let your yes be yes, and follow through.

Don’t over-commit yourself, and be honest from the start when you are unable to lend a hand. As Jesus said, it’s better to say no and then help out than to let someone down with a polite yes.

In the words of St. Francis of Assisi, “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” Don’t be a man of empty words. Preach the gospel by your actions!

PRAYER

Dear God,

Make us men who do what we say, and do everything we undertake as if we were working for you. Forgive us for the times we fall short. Teach us to say no when necessary, and use us to spread your Word through our actions.

In Jesus’s name,
Amen

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Scotty Love: Integrity

This week, Scotty Love does what he does best: shoots his mouth off on a topic he knows nothing about. Share and enjoy!

LESSON EIGHT
Liar Liar
Key Scripture: Proverbs 6:16-19, Colossians 3:9-10.

If you could choose one profession – lawyer, politician, Hollywood actor – whom would you say you least respect as a group?

What is it about those groups that makes them so hard to respect?

Who is someone you know that you admire and respect? What makes that person so admirable?

INTRODUCTION

Integrity is one of the rarest and most valuable characteristics a man can have. It’s also one of the most fragile. Integrity takes a lifetime to establish and build, but it only takes one mistake to destroy.

What’s more, one person’s stumble can be the downfall for an entire group. We assume all politicians lie because we’ve seen so many lie. And we assume all Hollywood actors to be hypocritical, drugged out train wrecks because so many turned out to be just that. And many people assume all Christians are hypocrites because they’ve met people like Scotty Love.

The world has come to a point where pretty much everyone is expected to lie and fudge a little. God wants us to be different. He wants us to stand out. Nothing will make us stand out more than being men of integrity, men our families, churches, co-workers, and friends can always trust.

READ AND DISCUSS

Read Proverbs 6:16-19

What does God think of lying?

What are some of the other things God hates as much as lying?

Why do you think God equates lying to shedding innocent blood, plotting evil, or causing divisions and discord?

Do you think this hatred extends to little white lies, half truths, and the like? Why or why not?

What other ways do we deceive people besides lying?

Read Colossians 3:9-10

Why is it incumbent on Christians to be people who tell the truth?

CHALLENGE

What are some of the reasons why people tell lies?

Why would Christians lie to one another?

Has someone you know or admire ever let you down by having their lack of integrity exposed?

What did it take for that person to regain your trust – or did they?

Why is it so hard to put faith in people who have deceived us?

Is lying essential in certain careers? Why or why not?

Is it possible to be completely truthful no matter what your occupation? What consequences might a person suffer for being honest at all times?

Are those consequences worth the loss of integrity?

Is there anything you’d trade your integrity to gain? What else might you lose in addition to your integrity if you did?

WRAP UP

Being honest can cost you dearly. It can cost you money, your job, or any number of worldly desires. But once you’ve sold your integrity for worldly gain, it’s nearly impossible to get back. A good reputation is the most valuable resource in the world. Not only does it mark you as a man who can be trusted, it makes you a light for Christ in a world of liars. Don’t trade your integrity for temporary gains. Stay honest, be truthful, and store your treasure up in Heaven.

PRAYER

Dear God,

Forgive us for the times we compromise and choose worldly things over you. Give us the courage to tell the truth and be different, and help us to guard our reputations as godly husbands, fathers, and men.

In Jesus’s name,
Amen