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Promoting Groups

Pamela Pedrow from Calvary Church in Longmont, Colorado has used a skit to invite people to sign up for their groups. According to Pamela, “It was very successful in helping people see what Living Free is all about.” 

Skit for September 17, 2006 – Insight Groups

Written by Donna Manis and Blocking by Diane Seaman

Cast:

ANDREW a new participant of the Insight Groups, seeking more information about the group

BILL the Insight Group facilitator

CHRIS a businessman (carries a cell phone)

DEE a know-it-all-type woman, who knows the answers (carries a Bible)

EMILY a shy, timid woman (wears a purse)

Set: 3 chairs. Two closer and 2 a little farther away

(Bill is sitting in the middle chair reading his “Insight” manual. Andrew enters from behind, \stage right and addresses Bill).

Andrew: (to Bill, who is reading his materials on his lap) “Hi, Is this where the Insight Group meets?”

Bill: (looks up at Andrew) “Yes. I misplaced my key (stands) and I’m waiting for someone

from the church office to come and unlock it. Here, have a seat” (he points to empty chair on his right).

Andrew: “Sure, thanks.” (both men sit down)

Bill: “I’m Bill.” (shakes Andrew’s hand) “Nice to meet you.”

Andrew: “I’m Andrew. Nice meeting you.” (Extends his hand in greeting to Bill, but pauses a moment) “This is my first meeting. Anything special I need to know?”

(Chris enters from behind, stage right, talking on his cell phone, and pats Bill on the back.)

Bill: “Well…” (interrupted by Chris, a businessman on his cell phone) “Oh, hi, Chris.”

Chris: (walks off a little by himself, speaking to someone on the phone. He waves to Bill, acknowledging his presence) “That’s fine. Just go ahead and set it up for the 10th, then. Great. Thank you. Talk to you soon.” (He closes his cell phone) “Hi, Bill. How are you this evening?” (shakes Bill’s hand)

Bill: “I’m fine Chris, and yourself?” (remains seated)

Chris: “Couldn't be better. Closing another deal this week.”

Bill: “That's great. Would you like to meet….?” (Bill is about it introduce him to Andrew, but Chris gets another phone call)

Chris: “Excuse me. Gotta take this. Important call.” (Mimes talking on phone as he walks slightly away from the group)

Andrew: “He's busy, isn't he?”

Bill: “Yeah. He sure is.”

Chris: (finishes call and closes cell phone!) “We'll be out of here promptly at 8:30 like you said, right? I've got a LOT of things going on that I have to take care of tonight, Bill.”

Bill: “Don't worry, Chris. You'll be out of here by 8:30 pm, as promised.”

Chris: (to person on the phone) “Good. Excellent.” (closes cell phone and reflects for a second) “You know, I am kind of anxious to get some insight into why I don't feel very close to God these days.” (Phone rings again) “ ‘Scusa.” (mimes talking on the phone again.)

Andrew: (to Bill) “I can't imagine why he feels far from God. Can you? By the way, how long does this group meet?”

Bill: “It meets for an hour and a half one evening a week for 9 weeks.”

Andrew: “Oh, that's right. I can manage that.”

(Dee arrives in a rather flamboyant manner from the back, looks around for second and steps up behind where Bill and Andrew are sitting, positioning herself between them.)

Dee: “Hi, all! Why are you waiting around in the hall!?” (Bill and Andrew stand in greeting)

Bill: “Hello, Dee.” (Shakes her hand) “Still rhyming, I see.”

Dee: “Hey, just comes out that way. Hi, Chris!” (waves to Chris) “How ya doin?” (Chris smiles and waves back)

Dee: (to Bill and Andrew) “That guy's problem is he's way too busy! So when do we get this show on the road?”

Andrew: “As soon as the key turns up. Hi, I'm Andrew.” (Shakes her hand) “Nice to meet you.”

Dee: “And I'm Dee. Likewise. (Andrew sits back down). (Dee speaks to Bill) “Hey, Bill, ya know, I'm looking forward to helping the folks coming here tonight.”

Bill: (sits again) “Oh, you are?”

Dee: “Sure. I know the Bible pretty well (holds up her Bible) and, ya know, I can help them get insight into why they have the problems they have. I'm pretty good at telling people what's wrong with them.”

Bill: “But, Dee, that's not the purpose of these Insight Groups.”

Dee: “Huh. Really? So, what IS the purpose then? I mean, I thought it had something to do with helping people get over their addictions, ya know like: workin too much, worrying, spending too much money - that kinda stuff.”

(Emily slowly enters from the back and quietly walks up next to the left side of the chairs.)

Bill: “Well, actually, the purpose is more than that, it's… “ (he is interrupted by Emily’s arrival from behind as she coughs.)

Bill: (stands) “Well, hello Emily. Glad you could make it tonight.”

Emily: “Me, too.”

Bill: “I want you to meet Andrew.”

Andrew: (stands) “Hello, Emily.” (he extends his hand, but Emily is hesitant to shake it, so he lets it fall)

Emily: “Hi.”

(Andrew sits back down)

Bill: (Continues talking to Emily) “Do you know Chris and Dee?”

Emily: (timidly nods hello to them) “Hello.”

Dee: “Hey, Emily. How's it goin?”

Emily: “Good.”

(Dee smiles and moves to where Chris is standing. During the rest of the skit, they will mime having a “conversation”. They must not do anything to draw attention to themselves or it will detract from the rest of the dialog between Bill and the others.)

Bill: (To Emily) “Are you okay? Here, have a seat here.” (Bill motions to have Emily sit on his other side and both sit down)

Emily: (speaking almost too quietly, Bill has to lean in to hear her better) “Oh, I'm just a little nervous.”

Bill: “That's understandable, but let me just reassure you that there's nothing to be nervous about. You'll be fine.” (He pats her on her shoulder.)

Emily: “Uh, I heard that I'll actually have to, um, to um...to…”

Bill: “To?”

Emily: “To, uh, speak in front of people.” (Whispers) “Is that true?”

Bill: “Well, yes, but only if you're comfortable. No one will force you to speak if you don't wish to. But you DO get more out of the experience if you talk to the others. The group won't be any bigger than 8 people.”

Emily: “Well, will what I say be kept confidential?” (She leans in close to Bill and whispers) “I don't want the entire church knowing my business, you know.”

Bill: “Oh, no, no. Only the people in your group will ever hear what you say to them and no one repeats what's been said to anybody else in the church. Confidentiality is essential for the group to work. You're completely safe here.”

(Andrew has been discretely listening in to Bill and Emily’s conversation. He now scoots his chair a little closer to them. During the rest of the skit Emily will be a silent participant of it.)

Andrew: “So, we're just going to be talking about our lives? I thought there was more to it than that.”

Bill: “Oh, there is, there is. Through a curriculum called Discovering the Path to Christian Character, available only through a ministry in Tennessee called Living Free, the Insight Group helps you to discover - or gain insight - into any strongholds that are in your life. Most of us have a stronghold of some kind.”

Andrew:  “What's a stronghold?”

Bill:  “The word comes from 2 Corinthians 10:4 when Paul describes an area of sin that has become a part of our lifestyle. For instance: a stronghold can be anything as obvious as alcoholism or working too much or more hidden such as fear or anger issues.  Your life can even be affected by someone ELSE'S life-controlling issues.”

Andrew:  “So, what exactly do we DO in this group?”

Bill:  “Well, as I've said, it's a small group of 8 people that meets weekly for 9 weeks.  It's a combination of support and Bible Study where we can begin to discover our reactions to life that are controlling us while we study the character traits that God desires us to have.”

Andrew:  “Oh.” (he looks a bit bewildered)

Bill:  “See, ANYTHING can become a substitute for God and for His presence in our lives. Without meaning to, we often allow idols to take up residence in our lives and in the lives of those around us.  And this course helps us to recognize these strongholds and to learn how to deal with them.”

Andrew:  “Hmm.” 

Bill:  “And while we're each discovering our life-controlling issues, we are also offering each other prayer and practical support.  So the group is a combination of several things:  the Word of God, the Spirit of God, which convicts us and empowers us toward change, and the people of God, because relationships in Christ are extremely important - we are to help one other.  But this is only the first step.”

Andrew:  “The first step?”

Bill:  “Yes.  The purpose is not to cure or fix you in this Insight Group.  It's merely to make you aware of what your life-controlling issues are, and how they're affecting your life and the lives of those around you. So after completing the Insight Group, or Group 101, you can then move on to Group 102 a group called “Concerned Persons” where you learn how to help others who have strongholds in THEIR lives.  It's an empowering thing for your Christian walk, because it turns your thinking back to God.”

Andrew:  “So really, this is a group that’s for EVERY Christian because it helps them live a better and closer life with Christ?”

Bill:  “Exactly! They also help us to learn how to be in a group in ways that are helpful, sort of makes us better members of any group we join.    After these two groups, we have some support groups for various problems or we hope you will get involved in a long term group to encourage each other and apply the Bible to your life.”

Chris:  (he looks up from his mimed “conversation” with Dee.) Hey, Bill?  Do you have a pen on you? I need to write something down.”

Bill:  “Yeah, I think I have a pen here somewhere.” (Finds the key in pocket!) “Hey, look what I've had all along!”  (Bill stands) “Okay, everybody, let's go in! The rest of the group should be joining us shortly.”

(BLACKOUT/EXIT)

 

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