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Acting out the gospel

The Mark Drama has a simple premise—to take the Gospel of Mark and turn it into theatre with evangelistic intent. Checkpoint approached CMS missionaries from Europe, East Asia and South America and asked them to talk about their experiences in ‘acting out the gospel’.

Naomi Brunacci, Italy

CMS missionary Naomi Brunacci has worked alongside students from the GBU (Gruppi Biblici Universitari, an Italian university Christian group) as they presented The Mark Drama.

The Mark Drama was performed in May 2018, in my first year serving in Padova. We had a team of 15 student actors from across several regions, and almost 200 visitors over two nights. Non-believing friends and colleagues came along. They asked questions and took home free copies of the Gospel of Mark.

Over the past few years, The Mark Drama staff team in Italy has been expanding. Many students have participated multiple times and are growing a passion for telling the gospel through this drama project.

I’ve had the privilege of seeing one of these former students, Pedro* grow in his ability to share the gospel with others eloquently. He now understands the intricacies of the Gospel of Mark and has learned to explain to the actors how to convey the meaning of the text while acting it out. The Mark Drama is a great training tool for encouraging students to love Jesus, love the gospel and grow in their confidence of telling it. The opportunity to immerse 15 students in a Gospel for two days of rehearsals is so valuable, it would be worth it even if they never got to perform!

“As a staff worker I think one of the main benefits of The Mark Drama is having students memorise the whole structure of Mark’s Gospel, then spend an intense weekend in rehearsals…one of the challenges is that we don’t have many great follow-up stories: students are still in touch with their friends, and every now and then someone comes to Bible study or another outreach event.”   Gillian Law, CMS missionary and GBU Italy staff worker

“The opportunity to immerse 15 students in a Gospel…is so valuable, it would be worth it even if they never got to perform!

Peter & Terry Blowes, Argentina

CMS missionary Peter Blowes, serving with Terry in Argentina, shares their experience presenting The Mark Drama with university students from ABUA (Asociación Bíblica Universitaria Argentina, an Argentinian university Christian movement).

The cast only met as a group on the Friday night just before the production later that weekend—half of them meeting for the first time. It was great seeing them form a team that became like a family, learning and growing together as they walked in the shoes of Jesus, the disciples, the Pharisees, and the many people to whom Jesus ministered. 

The two venues for the production—a small Anglican church and a large Pentecostal church—were full. Lots of visitors attended and were impacted by the performance. At the end of the first production there wasn’t a dry eye in the building.

“In The Mark Drama I experienced mercy, forgiveness, and the love of God towards humanity despite our lack of understanding, fears, and sin. I saw a source of love and grace that gives us a new start …” — Leonardo, ABUA Argentina

“As I made mistakes and fell it was great to see Jesus’s love demonstrating God’s reality despite my failures. It was so good also to be able to share the gospel with my non-Christian friends so intimately.” — Leandro, ABUA Argentina (who played the role of the Apostle Peter)

You can learn more about The Mark Drama here.

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The Mark Drama is just one way that university students, and others, can learn and share the gospel. If you have a passion for evangelism in universities, find out more here.