This semester more than 100 audiences and congregations in 10 states will hear the Gospel and learn about Christian education from the BJU Drama Ministry Team.
The team is led by BJU staff couple Blake and Gina Nagengast and is made up of four students: junior communication disorders major Loren Crisp, junior English education major Stephanie Ware, sophomore English education major Lauren Wiggs and Jeremy Woodruff, a recent Bible major graduate.
The Drama Team began its ministry tour in the Western United States on Jan. 15 and will give its final performance on April 28. The team will serve in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington.
The team will present two programs to churches and Christian schools, and they will be performing in as many as nine different places within one week.
According to Mr. Nagengast, the team has prepared two separate programs to present to its audiences. In churches, the team will perform “Instant Message.” This program tells of a man who is engaged to a pastor’s daughter, but he is only pretending to be a Christian. The man ends up left on earth after the rapture, which takes place moments before his wedding.
To Christian school audiences, the team presents “The Voice of the Shepherd.” According to Mr. Nagengast, this is the story of a Christian student who accuses others of being hypocrites only to finally realize he is one himself.
Wiggs said performing these programs is both exciting and sobering. “We’ve gone over the scripts hundreds and hundreds of times, but to be able to get in front of a live audience—it’s really exciting because you don’t know who’s in the audience,” she said.
Wiggs said the burden of reaching the lost is part of being a ministry team member. “The Lord has called us to do this, so we are one of the tools He is using right now,” she said.
According to Mr. Nagengast, the No. 1 purpose of the team is ministry. “We really want to present Christ well,” he said. The team, however, also represents BJU and promotes Christian education. “We want Christian young students to understand the importance of choosing a Christian education,” he said.
Team members also have a lot to gain personally from being on the team. Crisp said he is interested in church planting, and this trip allows him to see how churches work together. “I’m hoping to gain experience being behind the scenes of churches, seeing how people all over the Western United States work together with their churches,” he said.
The team also provides a way for members to build new relationships. Crisp said constantly being with his team has given him new friendships. The team also meets new people along their journey. Crisp said he enjoys talking to people and listening to stories of what the Lord has done in their lives. “It’s amazing just some of the stories I’ve heard already,” he said.