Would You Improv for God?

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By Lane Palmer, Christian Post Guest Columnist
February 28, 2008|9:54 am

Are you one of the 5 Million + viewers who have checked out the ‘Frozen Grand Central Station’ You Tube video? If you haven’t checked it out- here’s the link.

If you have seen it, you probably had some of the same reactions as I did. It’s both fascinating and freaky weird as you see 200 improv actors simultaneously freeze in place at one of the busiest places on planet earth. They are “frozen” in mid-step, picking up papers, and all of them have obviously been trained well to stay as motionless as possible.

I’m sure the stunt brought mixed reviews. You could see that some were annoyed (i.e., those with little to no sense of humor), and others were probably convinced the aliens had finally landed and commenced with their global body snatching plan (i.e., those with way too much free time).

Would you ever do something like that? I think I might enjoy being part of a harmless public stunt – except of course in Grand Central Station, where I’m pretty sure you’d get your wallet or purse stolen if you froze for even 5 seconds.

It seems to me that most people just go about the daily grind with little outside thought until something creative and radical happens. It also seems to me that this is true in a spiritual sense with your friends who don’t know Christ as well. Sure, maybe you’ve had a few “talks” about God, but after a while it gets in a rut, and you never seem to get beyond a certain point, right?

Ah, but this video gives me an idea that just might help you in this area. No, freezing in place in a crowded public area is not what I had in mind, but doing something creative and radical for God publicly in front of your friends is one of the best “rut killers” around. For most people these days, the God talk tends to remain just that…talk…that is until it’s backed up with radical action.

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And it’s not like this is a new plan or anything. It’s actually one of the primary strategies that people in the Bible have used for centuries. Here’s a short list:

Noah – built a gihugical boat. How is that radical? Well, since it had probably never rained or flooded before, the entire population of the world thought Noah was one French fry short of a Happy Meal. But aren’t you glad he went ahead with his public project? Yep, he saved civilization.

Joseph – dared to tell the Pharaoh of Egypt that he could interpret dreams. If he blew it, he’d be toast inside a few seconds. But he went ahead with the triple dog dare, and – oh yes, saved civilization.

Daniel – threw open the shutters of his home and prayed to the God that was despised by the all his neighbors – even though it could bring him the death penalty. And it did. Only instead of death, he gained some new furry friends in the lion’s den.

I could go on and on. But do you know who completed the most radical and life changing public act of all time? You guessed it – God Himself. He was so desperate and crazy in love with the people of planet earth that He came down here wrapped in flesh. He lived a perfect public (and private) life, led a miraculous public ministry (can you say feeding 5,000 folks from 5 loaves of bread and two sardines?), and of course, He died one of the most cruel - and public- deaths that you could ever imagine. Oh yeah, then He came back from the grave and appeared in public to over 500 people in 40 days.

Talk about a radical and creative way to get people’s attention for God!

And it worked. Now it’s your turn. Auction off your iPod to give money to the poor, skip a movie and volunteer at a homeless shelter. Start a public blog that does nothing but investigate the claims of Jesus. Pass out pro-life flyers near an abortion clinic. Use your imagination - but keep it completely motivated by this message:

For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
Freezing in Grand Central Station is cool - but even cooler would be to do something that caught the attention of people around you and turned it – not to You Tube...but to the God who wants an eternal relationship with them.

Head: People who don’t have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ need to see radical and creative evidence of vital and authentic Christianity.

Heart: Simple question: If you were put on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough physical evidence to convict you? If not, perhaps it’s time for a heart check and a lifestyle shift.

Hands: Write down a few ideas you have about radical and creative ways to show the world that you are a Christian, then get together with your youth leader and youth group to discuss how you could put those ideas into action.

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Lane Palmer is the Youth Ministries Specialist for Dare 2 Share Ministries in Arvada, Colo., where he works with to provide resources for youth leaders and students. Dare 2 Share exists to energize and equip teens to know, live, share and own their faith in Jesus. For more information on Dare 2 Share Ministries or the GameDay youth conference tour, please visit www.dare2share.org. Send feedback to lane@dare2share.org.

 

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