Native Americans use drama to share Gospel

By July 4, 2007

USA (MNN) — The use of theater has for ages been a viable means of communicating messages. It can be a powerful tool to teach, shape, and influence thought and behavior.

Only recently has the church used this powerful tool to proclaim the message that Jesus is the only way to God. Native Americans have been using drama even longer to teach important lessons of their heritage, and now they're using it to share their faith in Jesus Christ. 

At the Warrior Leadership Summit sponsored by Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, the power of drama goes beyond entertainment. Napthalee Thoms works with youth in Arizona and says the power of the theater conveys something more important. "Kids can connect on a differnet level." Thoms says the youth also see the actors in a differnt light. "They see 'Joe' on stage and then they see him off the stage. They see 'he's one of us.' They see that he's an actor, but he's also lived on the reservataion. He went through all the hard times we've gone through on the rez, and he's an amazing man of God."

Thoms will graduate from college with a minor in theater, and she says the power of the message behind the mask helps connect the message the teens are hearing on stage.

Thoms hopes that teens will see more than just a skit, be it humorous or serious, more than just a moment to distract them but bring the message of the Gospel home to them. "I don't want them to just hear a fluffy message," she says.  "I want them to see Christ."

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