Tips for dealing with nerves for Christian actors and performers

Be it acting, performing a musical item, taking the sermon or even giving the scripture reading, nerves can strike for many (most) when 'up the front' at church. These four tips are what calms me down and refocuses me.
  1. It's not about you!
    The first, and biggest, thing to remember for church dramas, or any on-stage activity at church, is that the performance isn't about the performer.
    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 of the day and, ultimately, for God's glory - not yours.
    It's never about how well it's performed or in efforts to gain personal accolade or to 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 God's the one who should be nervous???
    So If you're nervous about how 'you'll look/perform', don't be, it's not about you!

  2. God on your side
    While we do our best to deliver a polished performance, and may often feel inadequate in their skills or rehearsal time, I believe God steps in with at least FOUR ways to help out where needed.

    -1. God assists the performer in their presentation, and if God thinks the act is needed to succeed - then it will succeed. I believe God wants us to communicate well and will assist us where needed if we dedicate our work to His glory. If we all do our earnest best in all the aspects of the presentation we are responsible for, and for the right motives, that's all we can do, and God will do the rest.

    -2. God can prompt the audience's minds with the individual message they should gain from what they see and hear. God can step in and even tailor different specific messages for different people watching the same presentation. So what might come out one way in a drama, the audience here's something different.

    -3. Errors can lead to better memorable experiences and ultimately stronger communication of a drama. So if things go wrong, don't assume it was a failure - it might be what was needed for a purpose beyond our knowledge and logic. See, a singer friend of mine, nervous as ever, had their backing track cut out half way through and they ended up finishing off the song a cappella - disaster? NO, it turned into a wondrously special moment that moved the audience more than planned.

    -4. God assists in casting too. I have seen this many times. So you have been called for this moment. (Don't be like Jonah.)

  3. Audience on your side
    The Audience want you to succeed, and will feel hurt, not rejoice, if you ever found yourself an a seemly embarrassing situation. In fact, if ever things did start to unravel, I guarantee there will be some who immediately start praying for you! (How neat is that!)
    The audience aren't (usually) paying customers, they're praying customers! The audience actually appreciates your willingness to step up, while many won't, and are your supporters.
    Don't be afraid of the audience.

  4. The Prayer
    When your heart starts thumping out of your chest as 'go time' arrives, THIS is the prayer:

    "Lord, thanks for this opportunity to share a message for YOU.
    This is ALL about you.
    Help me reach at least one person with the message you want them to hear.
    For your glory Lord, not mine."
    (I usually condense to just that last line, sometimes over and over...)
"For your glory Lord, not mine."


All items on this site are written by Scott Wegener, a multi award-winning Australian creative writer, specialising in fun Christian dramas and articles. He believes in looking on the lighter side of life while still valuing the eternal seriousness of life's decisions. This site is essentially a place Scott stores his works, sometimes without much copy-editing (do forgive any spelling/grammar creativity you spot on this site that comes free of charge due to his slight dyslexia).