Laughs and inspiration from Jeff Lucas at Gorleston
International speaker, author and broadcaster Jeff Lucas, together with the Searchlight Theatre Company brought their comedy show to Gorleston last Saturday to round off their UK tour. Tony Mallion reports.
Not many preachers would range from the famed WW1 padre Woodbine Willie to Eric Morecambe to get across their message across, but that's what Jeff Lucas and Searchlight Theatre did at St. Andrew's Church in Gorleston when they told the story of the New Testament character Barnabas over a thoroughly entertaining and challenging couple of hours.
Based on Jeff's book There Are No Ordinary People, and using sketches, songs and the speaker's humorous approach, the evening brought home so much about the life of Barnabas, who encouraged St. Paul in his early Christian life and his church planting. All of this presented a clear message of the importance of encouragement, generosity and unity as well as the challenge that all Christians could follow the example of this first century ordinary man who, with God's strength and power could do extraordinary tasks.
'The call to us is to live those unspectacular, ordinary days (which are in the majority) in a way which is simply beautiful,' said Jeff. 'For inspiration about living the everyday life well I turned to Barnabas. Although much overlooked, he changed the world with quiet, wonderful living.'
Jeff is a prolific author of 27 books as well as producing daily Bible study notes, Life Every Day (CWR), and a monthly column for Christianity magazine. He broadcasts on Premier Radio, is a regular speaker at national events like Spring Harvest as well as leading holidays to the Holy Land. He and his wife Kay divide their time between the UK and Colorado in the States where he is the Teaching Pastor.
They have worked with the Searchlight Theatre Company, the talented and versatile David Robinson, Michael Taylorson and Judy Moore, for over a decade. Together, they've been touring the UK with There Are No Ordinary People for over two years and 41 performances.
Gorleston was the swansong and Jeff told Network Yarmouth he was very pleased with the way the final outing went. 'People seemed genuinely happy to be here and entered into the spirit of the event right from the start' he said, explaining that audiences were not always sure they should be laughing in a church. This was not a problem at St. Andrew's.
'The biggest problem is often getting people to relax in a church context. But laughter, if used well, can really help people connect with a truth. Humour is a great way of communicating truth. 'The audience laughed here. After nearly three years of touring we hoped for a good ending - and this was a really great way to end.'
He revealed that he and the company were working on a completely new programme which he hoped they could bring back to the seaside town in the future. On sale on the night was Jeff's newly published book and DVD Notorious which looks at some of what he calls 'the scallywags' of the Bible. Jeff and Kay's busy schedule meant they left Gorleston straight after the show to head off to London where they were meeting a group of Americans to lead them on a tour of Israel and Jordan.
The photo at the top is courtesy of Tony Mallion.
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