Be it acting, performing a musical item, giving the scripture reading or even taking the sermon, nerves can strike for many at church. These three tips are what calms me down and refocuses me.
- It's not about me!
The biggest blessing we have presenting a church drama, in regard to nervousness, is that the drama isn't about the actors. Each drama is performed for the sole purpose of communicating a message that ties in with the day's theme. It's ALL about the message. Not about how well it's performed, or in efforts to gain accolade or further a career. While we want to perform our best to aid the communication of the message, it's ultimately all for the glory of God, not our own. Perhaps He's the one who should be nervous???
- Special Assistance
While we do our best to learn lines and know what we want to achieve, I believe God steps in in at least two ways to help out where needed. This is either by assisting the actors in their presentation, and/or by prompting the individual minds of those watching with the message they should gain from what they see and hear. I believe God wants us to communicate well and will assist us where possible if we dedicate our work to His glory. If we all do our earnest best in the aspects of the drama we are responsible for, and for the right motives, that's all we can do. As for the rest, God can step in and even tailor different specific messages for different people watching the same drama. Even errors can lead to more memorable experiences and ultimately stronger communication of the drama.
- The Prayer
The prayer I pray if nerves do hit in the moments before, when the heart starts thumping, is this:
"Lord, thanks for this opportunity to share a message for You. This is all about you. Support me now so at least one person receives the message You want them to hear. For your glory Lord, not mine. Amen"
Well, you can Google for yourself methods of remembering lines, but let me share how we operate to perhaps ease any stress.
- Your words
Usually the lines in our scripts are opened to your interpretation. While care was taken to get the words in the script right, generally they do not have to be stuck to word for word - as long as you keep the sentiment of the original lines and flow of the dialogue, all is fine. Adding jokes may or may not be appropriate, so check first it may add or detract from the message.
There are ways we can hide scripts, or give promptings, during a presentation. So if you have enough dialogue to feel you need some security, something could be set up. Just mention it.
- Short and sweet
Generally speaking, our lines are very short.
- It's not Shakespeare
People do not know the script. So when things come out differently, or ad-libbing comes to the rescue, most of the time, no one watching ever knows! As long as you know where the drama is meant to head and what the ultimate message is just keep rolling.