You can download a PDF of The Empty Parking Lot. If you use it, let us know in the comments!
Themes: Grace, Summer
Introduction: The skit is designed to draw attention to the grace that God has given us through His Son, Jesus Christ and in turn, have us share that love by loving one another through our gathering together.
Scripture Connect: Hebrews 10:25 – Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Acts 2:42 – They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Setting: The scene opens on a Pastor pacing alone by himself with a Bible. He is having a conversation with God, who answers mostly through the use of thunder (Thunder can be replicated by shaking a thin metal sheet. You might want to practice a bit in order to avoid over/under shaking and making God’s responses seem more or less than what they are meant to be).
Pastor : Father, look at this empty parking lot. Twelve cars. Twelve! And six of those are from the group that gathered and left from the church a week ago! What do you think about that? Not saying much today huh? Well, mind if I vent a little? (Small rumbling of thunder) Okay, not too much.
Pastor : Where are your people? Why aren’t they coming to my church (small rumbling), Sorry your church? Just because the weather is nice? Just because they can be in your great outdoors, camping, fishing, water skiing, instead of listening to me tell them about you? I know I tend to ramble. And it is really nice out. (Halts.) Actually, that sounds pretty good! It is only six real cars, maybe I can scoot off too? (Small rumbling again). Okay, I’ll stay. (Pastor sits down on the ground).
Pastor: I understand that nature can be a powerful reminder of your majesty. I love being outside and I love admiring the handy work that is your creation. You constantly astound and amaze me with the wonders you have created. I can definitely empathize with those who love to worship you on their favorite lake. But they miss something don’t they? Your Word, Your Body and Blood, the encouragement of friends and loved ones.
Pastor : I guess it would be okay if they had a group of people gather together out there on the lake and read your Word. If they had thought enough before hand to have some sort of order of worship and then appointed a leader? Then they could have the best of both worlds, nature and Your Word! But that’s not how it works is it (said with suspicion and growing irritation)?
Pastor: (building irritation, gets up and resumes pacing, lines said excitedly and rapidly)People tend to just think about themselves, I know I’m guilty of it. We forget that in the midst of everything, we don’t come to church for ourselves. We come for everyone else. To encourage and show love to one another. Yes, it is efficacious to be in your presence, but that isn’t enough to motivate most people…it is and should be the Love that You have given to us through your Son, that spills over into love for our fellow man. (Crescendos) We should come for them, not ourselves! (Loud rumbling, The Pastor looks up and trips on an untied shoelace, dropping his Bible, when he picks it up he reads Hebrews 10:25 aloud) Hebrews 10:25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Pastor: Sorry. You are right. I’m glad you included these words. Didn’t I mention I ramble? You know I do. And listen to who I am lecturing…You never miss church (Looking upwards)! So what do I tell your people God, what? Of coursethe same message. Your Son, given for us. The importance of being mutually encouraged by that message shared amongst us. Help me to remember that and share it with your people. (Satisfied, but contemplative) (Then gesturing as new idea comes to mind). Oh, or we could come up with new schemes! (Talking excitedly)
Pastor: We could have important speakers come, like the Governor! Or we could host rock concerts! That would get both kinds of people to come, those who wanted to listen to rock music and those that oppose using a church sanctuary for anything other than pg 5 or 15! (Rumbling). Okay, okay. I know. Your message, Your Way. Thanks for listening God. (Rumbling). Pastor gets up and starts to walk away (more Rumbling) Oh, (stoops down and ties shoe then looks upward) Thank you! (Rumbling as Pastor walks off set/stage).