A comedy skit can be effectively used in church worship services to communicate Biblical truth. And you don’t have to be a professional writer or actor to create funny characters and humorous drama that is entertaining, but still makes a powerful, spiritual impact on your church congregation. Although I work professionally as a freelance copywriter, I have also written church drama for over 20 years. Here are some skit writing techniques I use to create funny characters and humorous church drama.
Form church skit characters around your actors
A Hollywood script creates a character and then the director finds an actor to play that part. But that’s Hollywood. And those actors are professionals. They dedicate themselves to learning how to play a variety of characters.
The actors in your church skit are mostly amateurs. That doesn’t mean they aren’t talented. But they won’t be as versatile as a professional. So instead of making them adapt to a part in your skit, adapt the skit part to them. In other words, write the part to complement their natural personality and talents. If your actor is naturally gregarious, make their skit character gregarious. If in real life, they are thoughtful and analytical, make their skit character the same way. If they have demonstrated talents, like a French accent or an Elvis impersonation, incorporate it into the skit. By forming the characters of your drama around the actual personalities and talents of your actors, you create a part that is easier for them to naturally play and a character the church audience will enjoy.
Make use of stereotypes
A 3-5 minute skit does not allow enough time for much character development. So using common stereotypes makes it easy for your actors to assume a part and your church audience to understand the essence of the character.
o The dumb blonde
o The computer geek
o The insensitive jock
o The power hungry executive
These are all familiar characters that are easy for actors to play and easy to form into a humorous skit. When you think about the funny characters of movies and sitcoms you’ve watched, they are often built around a stereotype. I’m sure as you engage in your skit writing, you’ll think of many others.
Don’t just make the blonde in your church skit a little dumb. Make her really dumb. Your insensitive jock, completely oblivious to any life outside of sports. The computer geek unable to hold a conversation with an actual human being. Someone who is not just afraid of heights, but paralyzed in fear on the second step of a ladder. The more you exaggerate, the funnier it is and the less likely the actor in the skit will resemble an actual person in the church.
Even a person in your church with minimal acting ability will have your church audience laughing by simply putting them into a skit character that is the opposite of who they are in real life. And you may be surprised by that person’s willingness, not only to accept the part, but to ham it up on stage.
Is there a solemn usher who always wears a suit to church? Put him in a long wig and a rock band outfit. Let your children’s pastor portray a spoiled, bratty kid. Your most talented vocalist play an American Idol contestant that sings way off key. By using familiar people in your church with known traits and talents and putting them into a role that is the complete opposite of who they are in real life, you create instant humor for any skit.
By using these techniques in writing your skit, you will more effectively use your actors to create comedy that your church audience will appreciate, but still effectively communicates your message.