Christian comedy is finding a place in evangelical churches as well as “crossing over” and receiving a hearing in the secular world, reports Charisma magazine (May).
The new interest in comedy is not just about humor in sermons; comedy is now intentionally used as a tool for evangelism both in churches and secular venues. Steven Lawson writes that “Whereas Youth With A Mission’s and Jews for Jesus’ mirthy antics — which often featured whimsical street drama as an entree to evangelism–were once seen as extreme, today every other church in America seems to follow the Willow Creek [a megachurch] include-a-comedy-bit-on-Sunday morning mantra.”
Several of the pastors in churches practicing such “entertainment evangelism” have even turned to stand-up comedy full-time. Other congregations use the growing number of national Christian comedy acts in their services, such as the Gospel Komedy Slamm and Isaac Air Freight.
With the recent formation of the Christian Comedy Coalition, clean comedians [those not using off-color humor], Christians who do comedy, Christian comics and church comedians have come together under one umbrella to share resources and techniques. As with Contemporary Christian Music, there appears to be a tendency to bring Christian comedy into the mainstream.
Lawson reports that non-Christian crowds “these days at least seem to be more receptive to Christian comics,” with some clubs even featuring a “Christian night.”
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