.           all rights belong to Tanis Harms –
.             refer to

SMALL GROUP LECTURE - written by Tanis Harms
TOPIC:        being involved with small groups
SCRIPTURE:    2 Corinthians 1:24, 8:4
Style:        comedy/spoof of a lecture: a professor
.             uses live models to demonstrate differences
Cast:         Professor, stressed woman, joyous woman,
.             People 1-5(or more), IRS agent
.             OR:
.             PROFESSOR,
.             ASSISTANT (who can silently drag people
.              from the congregation up to pose them)
.             STRESSED WOMAN (should be pre-arranged)
Set & Props:  pointing stick, 2 dolls, 2 briefcases,
.             cell-phone, papers, tool box, calculator
.             pen, pompoms, sunglasses


(PROFESSOR enters and clears his throat.)

PROF    Good evening, and welcome to our lecture
.       on the “positive aspects of
.       small group involvement”.
.       In order to prevent this from being
.       a complete bore, I have brought in
.       some living and very real illustrations.

(STRESSED WOMAN gets into position on stage right/
to the right of the PROF.  She freezes in a pose
like she’s rushing somewhere with laptop bag
over her shoulder, baby under that arm like it’s
needing to be saved, hand clutching a bill,
while the other hand holds a cell-phone.
She maintains a pain-stricken expression.)

PROF    This is our Illustration A –
.       a profoundly frazzled and stressed-out woman.
.       THIS may happen to anyone at any time,
.       whether you are involved in a small group
.       or not.  BUT we shall take a much closer look
.       into her current life’s circumstance to see
.       exactly why she has this - completely frazzled
.       and stressed-out expression on her face.
.       At a quick glance, one would observe
.       that she must have a lot on the go.

(PROFESSOR waves his stick over the entire scene.)
.                                                       2
PROF    In fact, she is obviously going somewhere...
.       perhaps she is going - several places – but –
.       she is DEFINITELY NOT going to small groups.
.       No!  She used to attend a small group,
.       but sadly, she has allowed that habit to slide,
.       and now it has been quite a while
.       since she’s been involved with any sort
.       of small group activity.

(On the other side of PROFESSOR, JOYOUS WOMAN
sets down her brief case and strikes a pose with
arms raised in praise [slightly so arms don’t tire],
and a big smile on her face.)  

PROF    Now, here we have Illustration B –
.       an exuberantly, JOYOUS woman.
.       Even at a quick glance, one can
.       plainly see there is an enormous difference
.       between the two women’s demeanors.
.       But why is this, you may ask?  Indeed,
.       one could assume that their set of circumstances
.       are quite different.  But in reality –
.       they are very much the same... except for
.       one main detail - the woman in Illustration B –
.       attends a small group.  As we dissect
.       the differences between the two illustrations
.       we will begin to see exactly why this is.

(PROFESSOR points to the STRESSED WOMAN’S briefcase,
and then the JOYOUS WOMAN’S briefcase.)

PROF    You will notice that in both illustrations,
.       each woman has an important last minute
.       business meeting to attend.  Joyous woman
.       over here – is calmly preparing for this meeting,
.       and she has a great peace about it.
.       Why in the world would that be, you may wonder?
.       Because she has had the people in her small group
.       pray for her - for over a week now.

(P1 [& others] steps out and poses in a praying position.  
PROF points to P1 and then points to STRESSED WOMAN.)

PROF    This heavily burdened lady – has not asked anyone
.       to pray for her.  There is an absence of any such
.       prayer support in her vicinity.  But you may
.       notice the presence of her distressed baby
.       right here.

(PROFESSOR points to the “baby.”)                       3

PROF    She was not able to find anyone to assist
.       with childcare, so she will be taking baby
.       to her meeting.  Whereas, in Illustration B,
.       you will notice that joyous woman’s baby
.       is NOT with her.  One of the daughters
.       of a couple from her small group
.       was able to baby-sit last minute.

(PERSON 2 steps out and poses with the baby in her arms.
PROF points to PERSON 2 and then back to STRESSED WOMAN’S
hand that clutches the bill.)

PROF    Another question we might ask is - what has made
.       the anxiety-ladened female so late?  Ah!  Observe
.       the bill which she clutches tightly in her hands.
.       (pointing to the bill)  Over – here.
.       This morning, EARLY, VERY early this morning,
.       her sink began to leak – actually – spurt – and
.       spout, (with dramatic actions) with great gushing
.       and spewing forth even – generating massive and
.       excessive quantities of water - all over
.       her floors – her beautiful new hardwood floors!
.       Such a shame.

(PROF takes a moment to collect himself, then continues.)

PROF    And, as this occurred before the normal
.       working hours of most plumbers, this was
.       considered an emergency repair, and therefore,
.       she was charged an inexplicable amount of money.
.       (looking at the amount on the bill)
.       Yes, very inexplicable!

(PERSON 3 steps out and poses holding a tool box.
PROF points to PERSON 3.)

PROF    The joyous woman here in Illustration B noticed
.       one day that she had a slight drip from
.       her faucet.  In a panic, she called one
.       of the men from her small group. Telling her
.       not to worry, he rushed over immediately
.       with every single tool he owned –
.       fully equipped to tackle the issue at hand.
.       Realizing she had caught the problem
.       EXTREMELY EARLY, and that it was actually
.       a simple fix, he taught her how to change
.       the washer all on her own.

(PROFESSOR puts a pondering hand up to chin.)           4

PROF    He even made notes for her to follow,
.       for the NEXT time it might happen –
.       and it probably will.  But now
.       she knows what she is doing and exactly
.       which tools she needs to buy for next time.


PROF    Now back to our poor hardship-hassled dame.
.       She is on her cell phone.  Being that it is
.       tax time, and she has neglected to handle
.       certain necessary procedures, this weighted
.       and pressure-oppressed human-being –
.       is in a bit of a fix.  Not knowing
.       where to turn, she calls one of her
.       work companions, who tells her...

(PROF moves over to the cell phone and “listens in”.  
He looks up and continues...)

PROF    “I know a guy – and he will look the other way.”
.       (shaking his head)  Oooh, this is NOT
.       sound advice.

(PERSON 4 with a calculator and pencil stands beside
JOYOUS WOMAN and strikes a pose in giving advice.
PROF points.)

PROF    Joyous woman in Illustration B has sound advice
.       from the people in her small group.  And - she
.       has found a lot of encouragement from them
.       as well.

(PEOPLE 5-? with pompoms enter and stand around
JOYOUS WOMAN.  They strike cheering poses and
the PROF points to them.  PROF turns back to
STRESSED WOMAN and shakes his head.)

PROF    It looks like frazzled-lady has no one
.       around her.

(IRS AGENT, wearing sunglasses and a dark suit,
peeks around the corner, and steps out slightly.
PROF notices.)

PROF    Except for - maybe the IRS, juuusst lurking
.       in the background... waiting – and waiting -
.       for her to make the next move.
.                                                       5
(PROFESSOR tries to shoo the “agent” away.)

PROF    Which move will this exhaustedly-worried
.       and urgently traumatized damsel make?

(STRESSED WOMAN comes out of her pose, rolls her eyes,
hangs up her cell phone and walks over to the
small group.  EVERYONE unfreezes and welcomes
STRESSED-OUT WOMAN.  PERSON 1 takes her baby from her,
but keeps “MOMMY” involved.  PERSON 4 takes the bill
from her hands.  The rest hug her.)

PROF    Ooo!  Oh, so wonderful.  She’s looking
.       better already.  And there you see – first hand –
.       evidence that involvement in small groups
.       can be there to act as a network of:
.       love, friendship, fellowship, caring,
.       encouragement, learning and support.
.       (which ever terms you want/need to use here)