.           all rights belong to Tanis Harms –
.             refer to

REACHING TEENS – written by Tanis Harms
TOPIC:        salvation, serving, relationships
SCRIPTURE:    1 Peter, 2 Peter
Style:        satire/spoof of The Twilight Zone:
.             conversation with youth leaders and teens
.             lend an insight as to what they
.             may be thinking
.             YOUTH 1 (class clown)
.             YOUTH 2 (preppie girl), 3 (tough)
Set & Props:  3 chairs, side table, plate of donuts,
.             glass of water, Bible, pencil


(YOUTH 1, 2, 3 enter, followed by YOUTH LEADER.)

LEADER  Okay kids, let’s get started, shall we?

(YOUTH sit in the chairs lined up at the back,
facing the congregation.  YOUTH LEADER stands at
stage right where there is a glass of water for him
to drink, and donuts for a snack later.)

(NARRATOR enters.  Whenever NARRATOR steps forward to
talk, everyone else freezes.  NARRATOR always speaks with
a cryptic attitude, like the host of The Twilight Zone.)

NAR.    You’re traveling through another dimension –
.       a dimension not only of sight and sound
.       but of mind.  A journey into a wondrous land
.       whose limitless boundaries are that
.       of a higher power.  That’s a signpost up ahead:
.       your next stop:  the youth group meeting.

(NARRATOR steps back and to the side, watching the scene.
YOUTH LEADER opens his Bible.  While YOUTH LEADER speaks,
YOUTH 1 balances a pencil between his lips and nose.
YOUTH 2 stares out into space, and every so often
fidgets and adjusts her clothes and hair, etc.
YOUTH 3 chews gum and stares down at the ground.)

LEADER  (coolly, confidently, with authority)
.       Now, this lesson is for all aliens.
.       I don’t know about you, but there have been times
.       I have felt very much like – an alien –
.       from outer space.
.                                                       2
(LEADER looks around, but doesn’t get any reactions.)

LEADER  Well in the Bible, Peter speaks
.       to the aliens – that as Christians,
.       we don’t really belong to this world.
.       As part of God’s family, our home is in heaven.
.       And since we’re not there yet, we are going
.       to feel like outsiders here on earth–like aliens.
.       We will and SHOULD look different to the world.
.       Paraphrasing 1 Peter 3:13-17 -
.       living as we should does NOT necessarily mean
.       that we will have a neat, perfect life
.       here on earth.  We will run into challenges:
.       people - other kids - making fun of you,
.       gossiping about you, picking on you...
.       But it’s WAY better that you go through
.       hard times because you’ve been doing
.       the right things, rather than going through
.       hard times because of doing wrong things.
.       (looks around)  Clear so far?

(NARRATOR steps forward, everyone else freezes.)

NAR.    You unlock this door with the key of imagination.
.       Beyond it is another dimension:
.       a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight,
.       a dimension of mind.  You’re moving into a land
.       of both shadow and substance, of things -
.       and ideas.  You’ve just crossed over into:
.       the MIND of the youth group leader.

(NARRATOR looks at YOUTH LEADER, and only he unfreezes,
and grabs a sip of water very nervously.)

LEADER  Ah-okay-ah, really doesn’t look like any of them
.       are going to respond.  Are they even listening?
.       I’ve spent enough time preparing,
.       and I’m trying to be as cool as possible-
.       Ah!  I just hope I spent enough time in prayer.
.       I don’t feel like I’m getting through at all.
.       What am I even doing here?  This is NOT the most
.       comfortable place in the world.  I mean,
.       class clown here - seems to be off in his
.       own little world.  And girl who looks like
.       she’s got it all together, does she see
.       her need for God in every circumstance?
.       Then there’s tough-guy!  Will he behave?
.       He probably doesn’t even want to be here.
.       Wait, now where was I?  Ah, oh yeah...
.                                                       3
(YOUTH all unfreeze as YOUTH LEADER continues.)

LEADER  (continuing lesson with more authority)
.       In 2 Peter, we learn that God’s almighty power
.       will help us to get through all of that.
.       So then as obedient children of God, we will
.       not only survive in this strange, harsh world,
.       but we can show God’s love to each other
.       by serving one another.  We don’t have to go it
.       alone: we have God, and we have each other.

(YOUTH 3 yawns.  YOUTH 1 nudges YOUTH 2 to look at him.
YOUTH 2 rolls her eyes.  YOUTH 3 leans back in chair.)

Y 3     This is so lame.

(YOUTH LEADER shows terror in his face at this comment,
and when YOUTH 1 gets up and walks right up to him.
Seeing the plate of donuts, YOUTH 1 reaches right
in front of YOUTH LEADER and grabs a donut.)

Y 1     (lightly)  Oh cool, donuts.

(Just as YOUTH 1 opens his mouth to take a bite,
NARRATOR steps forward and everyone else freezes.)

NAR.    There is a fifth dimension beyond that which
.       is known to man.  It is a dimension as vast
.       as space and as timeless as infinity.  It is
.       the middle ground between light and shadow,
.       between science - and other stuff,
.       and it lies between the pit of man’s fears
.       and the summit of his knowledge.  This is
.       the dimension of imagination.  It is an area
.       which we call:  the mind of the teenager!

(YOUTH 1 unfreezes and takes a bite from the donut,
then speaks with his mouth full, but clear enough
for people to understand.)

Y 1     Yeah, I’m the class clown, all right.
.       It’s just not cool to look too smart or
.       look too interested in this learning stuff.
.       (swallows)  You see, I don’t like to look stupid,
.       so I chose to look stupid on my own terms.
.       I figure, if I keep up the act as the joker,
.       no one will bother asking me the tough questions.
.       I guess I’m just afraid I won’t know the answers.
.       I hope one day I will, meanwhile, I am listening.
.                                                       4
(YOUTH 1 sits down and freezes.  YOUTH 2 stands up.)

Y 2     Keeping up appearances – is a lot of hard work.
.       And I’m not just talking about how I look,
.       although that helps with the illusion.
.       I do want people to think I have it all together
.       and going on – but the truth is - I don’t.
.       I mean, I really do feel like an alien.
.       My biggest fear is that this will be discovered.
.       So it’s helpful, and very comforting, to know
.       that I’m not the only one who feels this way.
.       Maybe one day I can figure out this
.       confidence-thing that God provides.

(YOUTH 2 sits down and freezes.  YOUTH 3 stands up.)

Y 3     I may look like I don’t want to be here,
.       but the truth is – I have no where else to go.
.       I don’t have friends, really.  And my parents
.       don’t seem to care.  I mean, over the years,
.       I’ve learned to trust no one.  But at least HERE,
.       they do what they say.  It’s cool that someone
.       cares enough to spend time with us – with me.
.       They make me feel like I’m apart of something.
.       Even though I try to look tough, it’s really
.       a test, to see if they actually care about me –
.       just the way I am.  That says a lot you know!
.       Yeah, and looking tough is also a way to help me
.       feel safer, but that doesn’t really work.  Now,
.       from what I hear, God kicks.  I mean, that’s
.       some awesome power He has – which would make
.       anyone feel safe.  I want to be on God’s side.
.       I want to learn more about this stuff.

(YOUTH 3 sits down and everyone unfreezes.)

LEADER  So next week, we’ll continue our talk
.       on what this obedience should look like.
.       Now, why don’t we grab the donuts
.       then head outside to play some games.

(YOUTH 1 bounces up and grabs the plate of donuts.
YOUTH 2 and 3 drag themselves out, YOUTH LEADER follows.)

Y 3     What a drag.

NAR.    In which dimension do you find yourself?