An attitude of gratitude makes life better. For others and for you too. I discovered this from a church mission trip, fixing up homes in Kentucky Appalachia. In an area with one of the highest levels of poverty in the country. And the experience reminded me how well I have it.
Here’s how you can discover an attitude of gratitude too.
Serve Others For An Attitude Of Gratitude
Gratitude begins with a mindset that gets out of yourself. Looks at the plight of others and asks the question: what can I do to help? To make a difference?
It moves beyond fault finding and blame shaming. Rises off the couch of social justice arm chair quarterbacking and gets in the game. Becomes a problem-solver rather than a problem identifier. Moves from talk to walk.
Serving others broadens your perspective. No, your problems may not go away. But it prevents them from dominating your life. And adds significance as you lift up others.
Learn Contentment For An Attitude of Gratitude
We live in a culture that promotes accumulation and comfort. And the answer to the question, how much is enough? Is always a little more than what we have now.
Because contentment is like a fishing lure of enticement…always trolling just out of reach.
But scripture reveals the secret to contentment. It is from God and is LEARNED.
It’s not an unexpected epiphany. A warm fuzzy someone gives you. A level of enlightenment achieved somewhere on the quest for more stuff. You learn it on the journey of discipleship. As you seek first the Kingdom of God while navigating times of scarcity and plenty. And you realize God provides for you in both of them.
Compare Down For An Attitude Of Gratitude
We naturally compare ourselves to other people. And usually compare up.
I was doing exactly that one day as I drove through my neighborhood. Comparing as I looked at all the nice cars in driveways. An SUV here. BMW there. Mercedes around the corner. Wait. Dude. You should move further up town!
My 15-year old, compact car with 175,000 miles was an eyesore. At least in my view. Rust spots appearing on the doors and fenders. Dimpled like a golf ball after driving it in a hail storm. Although it otherwise ran great.
Then as I left the neighborhood and pulled onto a main road, I passed a bus stop where a group of people waited for their ride. And I felt a spiritual nudge and a gentle voice say, “those people don’t have a car.”
It switched the direction of my comparison. And provided a lesson I will never forget. There is always someone who has it better than you. And someone who has it worse.
So take a pause the next time you start a comparison pity party. And compare down. Your inventory of blessings will change your attitude into gratitude.
Thank God For His Blessings For An Attitude Of Gratitude
Don’t wait for a comparison pity party wake-up call. Regularly and intentionally reflect on your blessings. Do you have a place to live? Food to eat? An income? Generally in good health? Surrounded by loved ones?
Chances are you can say “yes” to at least some of these. And you know people with much less. The point is, there are always things you can appreciate. So take the time to appreciate them. Stop looking at the glass half-empty and start seeing the one half-full.
And thank God for his blessings. Because God is the source of all that is good. And his best gift is eternal life through Jesus Christ. When you’ve received that gift, there is no comparison.
Writing a church comedy drama can be fun and rewarding. They may be amateur productions, but don’t have to be amateurish. You have many talented church members to call on. Maybe not professional comedians, but they can still be funny. Other professionals in your church can also provide needed resources.
In one of our church productions, a church member who was a commercial, graphic designer created a set design that far surpassed what a local professional scene designer accomplished. He also produced all the visual marketing material. And another church member who owned a local manufacturing company made a fake display of elevators that supported the event.
They were so real looking that during the night of the production, guests that didn’t attend the church tried to use them. Now that was funny!
Use these tips to guide your efforts for church productions that make a spiritual impact.
Decide on a Theme for Your Church Comedy Drama
Whether it’s a 4-5 minute skit or a full play, start with the theme. Write it down in one or two sentences. If you start writing your script without nailing down the theme, you may write funny jokes just to get a laugh. It’s a common trap for those who enjoy writing comedy.
Humor is extremely effective when writing church comedy skits and drama. But in a church context, it should always focus on making a spiritual point. So be clear at the start what that spiritual point is and keep that target always before you.
For example, in my one-act, church comedy drama, What’s In a Promise? the theme is… God made a promise to us that He kept, so we should keep the promises we make. The entire church comedy script is written to support that theme and the resolution supports it too.
Create Characters For Your Church Comedy Drama
Professional actors are skilled at changing their persona to match a variety of different funny characters. Their professional career depends on the ability to be versatile. You give them a funny character and that’s who they become.
In church comedy, you’re mostly working with amateur actors. Although, there are many people in your congregation with natural comedy acting abilities too. It’s just not what they do all the time, so they’re not as versatile in portraying humorous characters as a professional actor. They tend to have a few, funny personas where they excel, but as they move away from characters that are natural for them, they become more stilted.
So rather than create funny characters and then ask your actors to portray them, create humor that is tailored to the natural strengths of your actors. In other words, think of the natural abilities and personalities of the people you want to use as actors, and then create comedy characters and humor that feature their strengths.
Does someone have a funny, foreign accent? Can they impersonate someone famous? Do they have a natural tendency you can exaggerate to create humor? The more you capitalize on their natural, humorous abilities, the more natural and funnier they will be.
Use Popular People in Your Congregation For Your Church Comedy Drama
Is there a favorite church usher that everyone adores? And he has a funny habit you can exploit? A church youth pastor with a well-known quirk? Impersonate these people and exaggerate their particular traits and quirks to make your church comedy skit funny. Of course, be sure they possess a sense of humor and don’t mind getting picked on a little. People can be a little funny about laughing when the joke is on them.
Things that might not be that funny generally, will be hilarious to your congregation. And can be used effectively to make a spiritual point in a church comedy skit used to enhance a sermon.
What about the time someone slipped in the church baptistery and splashed water into the choir loft? Something funny that happened on a church retreat or mission trip that everyone knows about? They make great material for church comedy skits and your congregation will laugh harder because they’re all in the joke.
Keep these three tips in mind as you write your scripts and you’ll produce church comedy skits and dramas that are both funny and spiritually effective.
Some people claim Jesus was a great salesman. But I think he was the worst marketer ever.
I’ve been a professional copywriter for 25 years. I’ve written the words…
Simple… Easy… and convenient…
Probably, like a bazillion times in every form of media invented. Except maybe stone tablets.
I’ve been a follower of Jesus Christ even longer. Not just a once a week church goer. But one who studies and applies his teachings to everyday life and leads my family on the same path.
Okay, I regularly fail in my efforts. Still, I press on with an intentional, Spirit-led focus.
So when I read material that extols Jesus as a great marketer or salesman, I don’t get it. I think he was terrible at marketing.
The worst marketer ever
Because nothing about my life as a Christ-follower has been simple, easy or convenient. Nor did Jesus use those words in his marketing efforts. Or try to persuade people to follow him.
He proposed the opposite.
Sure. Christianity offers one really attractive benefit statement—the hope of eternal life. But it’s an open ended invitation. You can always play the odds, risk it and put that decision off to the last minute.
Beat the buzzer, as they say in sports. And enjoy the best of both worlds. But that’s a separate discussion.
Bad Recruiting Statements By The Worst Marketer Ever
Here are some of Jesus’ marketing statements recorded in scripture:
Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. –Matthew 10:37
Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. –Matthew 24:9
Then he said to them all: Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. –Luke 9:23
In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples. –Luke 14:33
The point being…
Following Jesus involves costs.
Wow. Really? Well, sign me right up.
But wait, there’s more!
Sorry, couldn’t help myself.
There’s also, no simple, provable and easy answer on why you should sign up for it. I think God planned it that way.
For me, it has been a challenging journey with some costs. Fortunately, not the ultimate cost some have paid.
Why Follow The Worst Marketer Ever?
On the positive side, I’ve enjoyed some of God’s pretty cool promises.
So why spend a professional career as a marketer myself? Why persuade people to buy products and services that are simple, easy, and convenient and live a life following someone whose marketing message offers the opposite?
Because there’s something undeniably compelling about Jesus. Something authentic, real and genuine. Something that tells me following him is worth it. That he’s worth it.
And it demands a response. First, a decision of belief. Followed by acts of faith.
Join my list and I'll notify you of new blog posts and send you a monthly newsletter. It features inspirational thoughts, writing tips, and a peek into writing projects. I'll also include my article: Exaggerate to Make Your Presentations Funny. It shows you how to punch up presentations with humor and make them more compelling.