21 July 2012

Gospel Mimes. Yes, Really.

This gives new meaning to the tired adage, "Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words."
Gospel mimes to ‘preach’ at Detroit gathering
Detroit — When James Hayes began performing mime in churches more than a decade ago, some congregations turned him away, saying the art form "was not of God."
But now, the artistry of silent film actor Charlie Chaplin and French mime artist Marcel Marceau has given way to an increasingly popular art form being used to preach the Gospel in pulpits across the country.
"We want to take the songs and bring them to life," said Hayes, founder and chief executive officer of Run the Race Performing Arts Ministry, which teaches mime to churches.
Hayes, a Detroit resident, is organizing a conference called the Gathering of the Mimes in the city, bringing together more than 200 performers and an estimated 1,000 observers.
Unfortunately, the Gathering of the Mimes has passed for 2012.

The more "gospel mime" YouTube videos I searched, the more convinced I became that "mime ministry" appears to be an excuse to get up on stage and dance. Of course, it is quite possible that the deeper meaning of this activity is escaping me, or is being hindered by the silliness of it all.

The above-quoted article from the Detroit News continued with an interesting observation from gospel mime James Hayes:
"In the past, churches were like, 'What is it?'" said 31-year-old Hayes, a member of Second Canaan Missionary Baptist Church on the city's east side. "But now you can't go into a church without mimes being there. They're everywhere." (Source)
Speaking for myself, I can honestly say that with all of the churches I've attended and visited in my life, including several megachurches from various parts of the country, I have never seen a mime performing. However, I can think of a few megachurch pastors who may want to try miming their sermon one week. After all, they do say silence is golden.

HT: Suspicious Berean