By Kevin Penner
A satirical look at what it really means to play church.
Narrator: Here's Joe Christian. He's been a Christian for about 18 years. Physically, he's grown quite a bit in that time, but spiritually . . . well, let's just say Joe's still in kindergarten. Yes, Joe is a real kindergarten Christian.
Joe: A kindergarten Christian? Yes, I guess you could say that. I've been in kindergarten quite a while, but I like it here. No responsibilities, no unknown situations, no work. I don't mean to say I don't do any work in the church. I do my bit, leading singing sometimes and bringing cookies for the coffee fellowship. What I mean is, there's no homework. I go to church on Sundays, then I have the rest of the week to myself. After all, I've been in kindergarten so long, I pretty much know it all by now.
I know what you're thinking: if I've learned it all, why don't I go on, to grade one? Well, I actually tried it for a couple of weeks once, but it was pretty tough. They actually wanted us to spend ten minutes every day reading the Bible and praying. Hey, don't laugh, it's not easy! Do you people keep that up all the time? And you think grade one is bad, you ought to hear what grade two is like. You're supposed to share with your friends about Jesus. I got a couple of problems with that. First of all, I don't have any friends who don't know Jesus, so I'd have to make some new friends, and secondly, I wouldn't know what to say to them. You don't learn much about that kind of thing in kindergarten. I mean, the preacher does talk a lot about witnessing and evangelism, but it goes right over my head, 'cause I'm in kindergarten and I figure it's not for me, but he's preaching to the other people in the church who are in the higher grades.
Most of my friends are in kindergarten too, and that's another reason why I like staying there. There's a kind of peer pressure to stay in kindergarten. It's not cool to get too excited about spiritual things, so why rock the boat, you know what I mean? Hey, me and my friends have a lot of fun together. We go out for pizza, or just for coffee, get together to watch videos, or go to a Christian concert. If we weren't in kindergarten, we wouldn't have time to play with all our toys. Me and most of my friends have pretty nice cars, and I have a really expensive stereo and big collection of Christian albums. Some of my married friends in kindergarten are into starting families, and having their own homes, but they have a lot of toys, too. I gotta admit though, the problem with toys is you get bored with them after a while. Fortunately, I have enough money to keep buying new toys.
Now some people in my church say that when you get to the higher grades, you lose interest in toys. They get their thrills out of helping people, living by faith and finding out more and more from the Bible. They keep talking about the depths of the riches of God's word, whatever that means. You'd think they'd get pretty conceited with all that knowledge, but it seems they get more and more humble the higher they get in the grades.
I don't envy them, though. I mean, sacrifice is no fun. And who wants to always have to think about your faith? I like it here in kindergarten -- I have a simple faith. I believe in Jesus and I'm going to heaven when I die, that's all there is to it, amen-and-praise-the-Lord!
And you know, the funny thing is I don't feel any motivation to leave kindergarten. I'm really not a bad person. I go to church -- what more does God expect? My teacher said we're all the same in God's eyes. She knows what she's talking about too, 'cause she's in grade one.
I really don't like it when they talk about people going to a Christless eternity, though. I mean, I'm just a kid and I can't help those people -- it just makes me frustrated. Fortunately, I have a short attention span, so I don't think about it too long. Now when it comes to TV, there I have a long attention span. Yup, I sure like watching TV and movies. But in comparison, spiritual things are just a bit boring. Sorry to be so honest, but come on, admit it, how many of you have yawned during the sermon, or actually fallen asleep in a prayer meeting? I'm not saying anything against church, 'cause it's really important to me. I don't know what I'd do if I didn't go to church. At the same time, I'd find it hard to try and explain why someone else who's not into going to church ought to go. Like kindergarten's fun for me, but maybe the guy I work with wouldn't really enjoy it very much, so I don't talk about it. I think that's the real problem. Kindergarten seems so irrelevant when I go to my job. It's fun when I'm with my friends and we're singing choruses, but later on, it seems kind of childish when I'm outside the church. I guess that's what they mean when they say the non-Christians just don't understand. Something about the devil blinding their minds.
Hey look, it's been nice talking to you, but I gotta go and take a milk and cookies break. I'll just put on a tape; let's see, how about some old Amy Grant. (click, and music) Oh listen, she's playing my song, "Fat Baby". I really like the song -- catchy tune, neat lyrics . . .
Narrator: Yes folks, that's Joe Christian. A tragic case of spiritual immaturity. He's not just a slow learner. No, Joe's really retarded. While people all around him are hungering for spiritual reality, for a taste of the gospel made relevant, Joe is content to play church, dining on milk and cookies, and missing out on the real thrill of a life committed to doing God's will, no matter what the cost.
© Copyright Kevin Penner. All rights reserved.
This is copyrighted material, but you may use the sketches anytime, royalty-free. The only thing I ask is that you include my name and address in the copies. ("by Kevin Penner Box 2840 Swan River, MB, CANADA R0L 1Z0 firstname.lastname@example.org")