‘Jesus Theatre’ supports camp ministries
They shall come from the east,
They shall come from the west,
And sit down in the kingdom of God.
—General John GowansOn May 8–10, 2014, the Territorial Youth Department in conjunction with the Territorial Arts Ministry Bureau (TAM) offered a “Jesus Theatre Workshop” for the territory’s summer camp representatives. “Jesus Theatre” uses the performing arts to creatively present the Gospel.
Many camp programs conduct a form of “Jesus theatre” or “Jesus walk.” So it was logical for the leaders to share ideas and to learn new ministry techniques.
Jesus Theatre often relies on choreodrama, which is a drama expressed primarily through movement. Choreodrama helps staff members, who may perform at different levels in their abilities, to work together successfully.
The vision was to have delegates learn a specific piece, return to camp, and then teach it to their respective staff members. The delegates also received tools (scripts, props, costumes lists, music tracks, and a DVD) to help make this vision a reality.
Katie Luse, an anointed storyteller, directed the Jesus Theatre production of “Hats” and conducted the related workshops. She brought the gospel to life in ways that helped each delegate connect with the message. She was intentional about bringing the Word to them in a way that compelled a response.
This art form presents a unique and purposeful exploration into the Gospel. Delegates were able to see—through movement—the life of Jesus. For some campers and staff, this was the clearest visual they have ever witnessed.
“Forty percent of the kids that go to camp in the Salvation Army’s Eastern Territory get saved,” said Major Phillip Lloyd, territorial youth secretary. Our camp representatives discovered how great an influence Jesus theaters have on the way campers see, understand, and come to know Christ.
This summer when thousands of children and teens attend Camp Sebago, Camp NEOSA, or wherever, they will witness the truth of the Gospel in a unique way that will point them to the Greatest Common Denominator who completes us all—Jesus.
—Stephany Suarez is the creative arts director in the PENDEL Division.