By Jennifer Johnson
Story of God was designed simply to enhance a sermon series—and now it just might go international.
Sherri McCready originally developed visual and performance art to accompany a four-month sermon series focusing on 16 key stories from Genesis to Revelation. At the time she was the creative arts director at Highland Christian Church in Asheville, NC, and her husband, Shannon, served as lead pastor.
“Shannon was burdened by how many people don’t read the Bible—or anything else,” she says. “He began researching missionaries who dealt with people groups without a written language and how they communicated the gospel. He and another member of the church staff identified 16 stories that, taken together, tell the story of God.”
McCready began wondering what it might look like to combine the scenes into one production, and during a trip to east Asia she had a “God encounter.”
“On the trip we were with a people group so deprived of the story and there were so many of them that it just broke my heart,” she says. “At the same time, in various ministry settings I was seeing how dance and performance were transcending culture and language barriers. One night on the trip I awoke from a deep sleep and felt like God was telling me, Do the story with a cast of only eight people and with portable sets and sound. I want you to perform it in venues of all sizes. I got up and started writing and stayed awake until I’d written the first half of the show with eight people.”
Every cast member plays a similar character throughout the story; for example, the actors playing Adam and Eve also play other “patriarch and matriarch” roles like Abraham and Sarah and Joseph and Mary. The character who plays Christ also portrays Isaac, Joseph, and even an animal sacrifice.
As McCready finished the script, she also began raising money and finding cast members. Meanwhile she and Shannon began praying about resigning from their church positions.
“Around this time one of our mentors visited us,” she says. “Without knowing anything that was going on, he said to us, ‘I’ve been praying for five years that you would write a creative presentation that we can take to the world.’ I told him, ‘It’s halfway done.’”
McCready and her team have now taken the 100-minute production to churches across the United States, with new dates being added into 2016. Visit www.storyofgod.com to learn more, view a trailer, and find information on bringing the story to your city.