The lights dim, train cars rumble, followed by the sound of a whistle blowing. Then the shout of “All aboard!” calls out and a performance of No Ordinary Story is underway.
The auditorium is packed out as 35 choir members find their places on the stage. From the beginning songs, “Train Ride” and “Let Me Tell You What the Bible Says,” to the climax of “Praise the Risen Lord” and “Trust Him,” the audience remains engaged. As the final notes fade away, they break into applause and some are soon on their feet in a standing ovation.
For the choir, director, cast and church leadership, this doesn’t just mean a successful performance. What is far more important is that the gospel has gone forth in clarity, to many people who have never heard it before.
From March 24–26, First Baptist Church in Olds, Alberta, Canada, put on three performances of No Ordinary Story. These performances were free and widely publicized through social media, radio, newspaper and personal invitation. Over 1000 people ended up attending the three performances. People came from as far as two hours’ drive away. The night of Good Friday saw over 530 people in the audience. The performance ended up being slightly delayed because ushers had to rush to set up additional chairs in the back and in the foyer for the overflow.
One man wrote us after the performance:
“First of all I need to emphasize the quality of the production. I was mesmerized with the main characters, the chorus was superb and the solos performed by such talented singers! I’m still absorbing the fact that this was a volunteer cast with such incredible talent!
The story of Christ’s life, love, sacrifice and resurrection was captivating. It was delivered with incredible thought to the challenges of evangelism and so clearly answered many of the questions people have when it comes to Christianity.”
For the church, this was an outreach event. The goal was to reach people in the community who had potentially never heard the gospel clearly before. These people may never set foot in a church for Sunday service, but who would attend a drama or a musical with friends. This was exactly what happened, as people brought unbelieving family members and friends. Some brought a big group of loved ones!
It was encouraging to hear from unbelievers who watched the performances:
“You do such a good job of communicating what you believe.”
“I’ve been to a lot of Easter cantatas. This was by far the best I’ve ever seen.”
“I wanted to give a standing ovation after every song.”
“I have learned three things tonight: That God’s name is Yahweh, that Jesus is God, and that Jesus can make me perfect.”
“It wasn’t pushy.”
“It was very clear. We never heard the Bible explained this way before.”
“This play answers the questions my son who is in university is asking me!”
Believers said over and over again that it was so clear and so simple how the gospel was shared. Representatives from other churches asked how they could put on performances of No Ordinary Story for their communities and congregations.
This production had a great impact on the cast and choir as well. More than one expressed humble gratitude for being able to be a part of sharing the message of God’s salvation. One also spoke of following up with unbelievers he had invited and said he had more confidence to do so now.
As part of the program, the church offered complimentary copies of The Story that Matters and By This Name to the audience. The pastor said, “As you saw Susan and Tim [the characters] being invited to learn more by reading a book, we also have the same book available for you.” As a result, more than 400 copies of The Story that Matters were handed out, along with many copies of By This Name and its accompanying workbook. Our prayer is that those who took these books will read them and believe the gospel for themselves and then pass them on to others.
The musical is by no means over. One man who brought his whole family to watch said that he was waiting to see what God would do. His children and grandchildren had been very engaged with the drama and songs and now, he was looking forward to talking to them about what they had learned. He was confident that God would continue to give them understanding of the precious gospel message.
If you would like more information or would like to discuss with us on how to put on a production of No Ordinary Story, please go to www.goodseed.com/no-ordinary-story or call us at 1 800 442-7333.
- Sharing the Gospel at Easter - February 24, 2021
- Preparing for Christmas - November 9, 2020
- Salvation comes to a woman in China - October 23, 2017
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