Unlikely Christmas Shepherd

Play #: 1507
Pages: 36 pgs
Cast: 5 m, 4 w, 2 flexible, 1 child, extras, doubling possible
What do a robbery gone wrong, a case of mistaken identity, and a small church’s Christmas program all have in common? For thief Collin Evans, the opportunity to change his life. Collin and his brother-in-law Tim rob a toy store, and in desperation Collin has to hide the money in a nearby church—ironically in the manger for the upcoming play. The director mistakes Collin for a substitute actor and he must play along. But for this young father, angry since his wife’s unexpected death, a change begins to happen as he talks with the pastor and feels the warmth and care from others. But will Collin be able to retrieve the money without being detected? Does he even still want the money? What will others think of this "good man" when they find out the truth? The message of Christmas is made real as Collin comes face-to-face with the love of the Christ at Christmas.
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Productions

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH GOLD HILL 1 Performance(s)
GOLD HILL, NC 12/23/2018
ROCKfoundation Ministries/Apostolic Fellowship Church 1 Performance(s)
McDougal, AR 12/22/2018
FAITH BAPTIST CH 1 Performance(s)
CREWE, VA 12/20/2018
CALVUE BAPTIST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
WHITE PINE, TN 12/16/2018
BUNKER HILL BRETHREN IN CHRIST 1 Performance(s)
INWOOD, WV 12/16/2018
Hancock Assembly of God 1 Performance(s)
HANCOCK, MD 12/16/2018
Enotah Baptist Church 1 Performance(s)
Hiawassee, GA 12/16/2018
Lynn Valley Baptist 1 Performance(s)
Elizabethton, TN 12/15/2018
Great Lakes Christian College 1 Performance(s)
Lansing, MI 12/14/2018
Raymond Baptist Church 3 Performance(s)
Nottingham, NH 12/14/2018
LITTLE PINE CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
ENNICE, NC 12/9/2018
BRAYTON BAPTIST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
GRAYSVILLE, TN 12/8/2018
BETHEL WAY 1 Performance(s)
GREENSBORO, NC 12/20/2017
BATON BAPTIST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
HUDSON, NC 12/20/2017
GRAHAM MEMORIAL 1 Performance(s)
NEWPORT, NC 12/17/2017
BEULAH BAPTIST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
TAYLORSVILLE, NC 12/17/2017
WOOD VILLAGE BAPTIST CHURCH 2 Performance(s)
WOOD VILLAGE, OR 12/17/2017
MEAD BAPTIST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
CALERA, OK 12/17/2017
HIGH VIEW CHURCH OF GOD 1 Performance(s)
RONKS, PA 12/16/2017
UPPER LAUREL BAPTIST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
MARSHALL, NC 12/13/2017
CALVARY TEMPLE WAYNE 3 Performance(s)
WAYNE, NJ 12/10/2017
CALVARY TEMPLE WAYNE 1 Performance(s)
WAYNE, NJ 12/9/2017
RED LION CHRISTIAN SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
RED LION, PA 12/7/2017
BOWLES RIDGE CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
LEON, WV 12/20/2016
URCOG 1 Performance(s)
ZOLFO SPRINGS, FL 12/18/2016
SULPHUR SPRINGS CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
GREENBRIER, AR 12/18/2016
TARRING CHURCH OF GOD 1 Performance(s)
PINE RIDGE, KY 12/18/2016
FREE WILL BAPTIST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
CHADBOURN, NC 12/18/2016
FREEDOM MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHU 1 Performance(s)
RICHMOND, IN 12/18/2016
THEATRE GROUP 1 Performance(s)
HOT SPRINGS, NC 12/18/2016
JESSUP GROVE BAPTIST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
PILOT MOUNTAIN, NC 12/18/2016
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
CHANCELLOR, SD 12/18/2016
BROWN DEER UNITED METHODIST CH 2 Performance(s)
BROWN DEER, WI 12/17/2016
LIBERTY BAPTIST CHURCH 2 Performance(s)
BRISTOL, CT 12/17/2016
PLEASANTVILLE PENTECOSTAL CHUR 1 Performance(s)
PLEASANTVILLE, TN 12/17/2016
COBB MEMORIAL BAPTIST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
ROCKINGHAM, NC 12/11/2016
DENTON VALLEY BAPTIST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
ABINGDON, VA 12/11/2016
NEW VISION CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
JOHNSONVILLE, SC 12/6/2016
MAPLE GROVE BAPTIST 1 Performance(s)
CANTON, NC 12/4/2016
LFPHC 1 Performance(s)
LUMBERTON, NC 12/1/2016
METRO CHURCH 2 Performance(s)
MARLBOROUGH, MA 12/20/2015
ROYCE BAPTIST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
OLIVER SPRINGS, TN 12/20/2015
UNITY HILL 1 Performance(s)
CENTRE, AL 12/20/2015
MOUNTAIN VIEW BAPTIST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
EASTHAMPTON, MA 12/20/2015
PINEY GROVE BAPTIST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
BRITTONS NECK, SC 12/20/2015
COW CREEK FWB CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
PRESTONSBURG, KY 12/20/2015
HILLSIDE FIRST CHURCH OF GOD 1 Performance(s)
MANSFIELD, OH 12/19/2015
PINEY KNOB CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
RUTHERFORDTON, NC 12/15/2015
COLLEGE STREET CHURCH OF GOD 1 Performance(s)
CHATSWORTH, GA 12/13/2015
LIBERTY BAPTIST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
BELVIDERE, TN 12/13/2015
OAK CHAPEL BAPTIST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
GOODWATER, AL 12/21/2014
TRUE GOSPEL BAPTIST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
MADISON, NC 12/21/2014
SHANNON FIRST BAPTIST 1 Performance(s)
BESSEMER, AL 12/21/2014
WEST SIDE CHURCH OF CHRIST 1 Performance(s)
SOUTH BEND, IN 12/21/2014
ROCK CAVE BAPTIST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
FRENCH CREEK, WV 12/17/2014
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH 2 Performance(s)
UMATILLA, FL 12/14/2014
OAK HILL ALLIANCE CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
WEXFORD, PA 12/14/2014
DRAMA MINISTRY 1 Performance(s)
HICKORY, NC 12/14/2014
THE GRACE PLACE 1 Performance(s)
STUART, FL 12/13/2014
RIVERSIDE MENNONITE CHURCH 2 Performance(s)
TURNER, MI 12/13/2014
BETHEL ASSEMBLY OF GOD 2 Performance(s)
ARITON, AL 12/12/2014
RIVERDALE BAPTIST CHURCH 5 Performance(s)
UPPER MARLBORO, MD 12/12/2014
THE SANCTUARY 1 Performance(s)
PERRIS, CA 12/12/2014
ALDAN UNION CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
ALDAN, PA 12/7/2014
THE SANCTUARY 1 Performance(s)
PERRIS, CA 12/5/2014
FULL GOSPEL FELLOWSHIP 1 Performance(s)
BURLINGTON, NJ 1/10/2014
FAIRVIEW FREEWILL BAPTIST 1 Performance(s)
KNOXVILLE, TN 12/24/2013
CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
DIANA, WV 12/23/2013
PAULS CREEK BAPTIST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
LOWGAP, NC 12/22/2013
DENVER FIRST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
ENGLEWOOD, CO 12/22/2013
DALTONS CHRISTIAN BOOKSTORE 1 Performance(s)
FRANKLIN, NC 12/22/2013
CHAPEL OF PRAISE 1 Performance(s)
REXFORD, MT 12/22/2013
HOLLY HILLS BAPTIST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
POWHATAN, VA 12/22/2013
DALTONS CHRISTIAN BOOKSTORE 1 Performance(s)
FRANKLIN, NC 12/22/2013
SAREPTA BAPTIST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
BLACKWATER, VA 12/21/2013
LSU PHYSICS ASTRONOMY 1 Performance(s)
BATON ROUGE, LA 12/21/2013
DENVER FIRST CHURCH 2 Performance(s)
ENGLEWOOD, CO 12/20/2013
THEATRE GROUP 1 Performance(s)
HAZEL GREEN, KY 12/16/2013
MILE STRAIGHT BAPTIST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
SODDY DAISY, TN 12/15/2013
CALVARY BAPTIST CHURCH 2 Performance(s)
NEVADA, MO 12/13/2013
CENTER HILL BAPTIST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
COUNCE, TN 12/8/2013
PARKVIEW UNITED METHODIST CHUR 2 Performance(s)
CUMBERLAND, WI 12/6/2013
BRAKE CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN 1 Performance(s)
PETERSBURG, WV 12/24/2012
GODS MISSIONARY CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
ALUM BANK, PA 12/23/2012
PILGRIM FWB 1 Performance(s)
LEXINGTON, NC 12/23/2012
MBC 1 Performance(s)
SHEPHERDSVILLE, KY 12/23/2012
CRESTON BAPTIST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
LIBERTY, KY 12/23/2012
BIBLEWAY HOLINESS CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
GRUETLI LAAGER, TN 12/18/2012
OAK RIDGE MISSIONARY BAPTIST C 1 Performance(s)
WEAVERVILLE, NC 12/16/2012
DRAMA MINISTRY 1 Performance(s)
PHOENIX, AZ 12/16/2012
FLAT ROCK FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
FLAT ROCK, AL 12/16/2012
LIVING WATERS CENTER 1 Performance(s)
MARTINSBURG, WV 12/16/2012
ANTIOCH BAPTIST CHURCH 2 Performance(s)
UNION, MS 12/16/2012
FOURMILE BAPTIST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
SUMMERVILLE, GA 12/16/2012
VICTORY CHRISTIAN CENTER 1 Performance(s)
EDMONTON, AB 12/16/2012
NORTH CALVARY CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
FRESNO, CA 12/16/2012
BRIDGEWAY CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
WAYNESBORO, MS 12/15/2012
CUMBERLAND BAPTIST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
PELHAM, TN 12/15/2012
CORNERSTONE BAPTIST CHURCH 2 Performance(s)
DAVENPORT, FL 12/15/2012
CALVARY CHAPEL 1 Performance(s)
TUCSON, AZ 12/15/2012
CECC 1 Performance(s)
SCARBOROUGH, ON 12/15/2012
PARSLEY BOTTOM FWB CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
DELBARTON, WV 12/15/2012
A.C.T.CLARKS VALLEY ZION E.C. 3 Performance(s)
MILLERSBURG, PA 12/15/2012
FALLS ASSEMBLY OF GOD 2 Performance(s)
MAYSVILLE, WV 12/15/2012
COMPROMISE BAPTIST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
TEN MILE , TN 12/15/2012
CORVIN ROAD BAPTIST CHURCH 2 Performance(s)
GRAYSVILLE, TN 12/14/2012
THE DWELLING PLACE 1 Performance(s)
HOHENWALD, TN 12/9/2012
PANTHER CREEK BAPTIST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
WAYNESVILLE, NC 12/9/2012
HOST 1 Performance(s)
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX 12/9/2012
RED LION CHRISTIAN SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
RED LION, PA 12/6/2012
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH 2 Performance(s)
TOCCOA, GA 12/1/2012
CHURCH DRAMA 1 Performance(s)
MARBLE, NC 12/23/2011
NEW COVENANT COMMUNITY CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
CAWOOD, KY 12/18/2011
LIGHTHOUSE BAPTIST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
FOUNTAINVILLE, PA 12/18/2011
POPLAR GROVE BAPTIST 1 Performance(s)
CONCORD, NC 12/18/2011
MELROSE BAPTIST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
ROANOKE, VA 12/18/2011
BETHEL BAPTIST 1 Performance(s)
HURRICANE, WV 12/18/2011
WARDENSVILLE ASSEMBLY OF GOD C 1 Performance(s)
MOOEFIELD, WV 12/18/2011
WEST BURLINGTON CHURCH OF GOD 1 Performance(s)
BURLINGTON, NC 12/18/2011
NEW BETHANY 1 Performance(s)
SWEETWATER, TN 12/18/2011
BETHEL CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
MCCAYSVILLE, GA 12/18/2011
NORTH PORT BAPTIST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
NEWPORT, TN 12/18/2011
FIRST ASSEMBLY OF GOD 1 Performance(s)
DOUGLAS, GA 12/18/2011
NEW BIRTH BAPTIST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
DALLAS, TX 12/18/2011
MOORE CHAPEL BAPTIST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
GRAHAM, NC 12/18/2011
WEST FIFTH AVE. FWB 1 Performance(s)
DALLAS, NC 12/18/2011
MAPLE GROVE BAPTIST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
NORTH WILKESBORO , NC 12/18/2011
BECKLEY CHURCH OF GOD 1 Performance(s)
CRAB ORCHARD, WV 12/18/2011
GLAD TIDINGS CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
GREELEY, CO 12/18/2011
VICCO CHURCH OF GOD 1 Performance(s)
SASSAFRAS , KY 12/17/2011
LIGHTHOUSE BAPTIST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
BEREA, KY 12/16/2011
NEW ZION BAPTIST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
GRAY HAWK, KY 12/16/2011
GREENVILLE FIRST ASSEMBLY 1 Performance(s)
GREENVILLE, SO 12/16/2011
CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE 1 Performance(s)
KEAVY, KY 12/15/2011
SWANNS CHAPEL MBC 1 Performance(s)
DANDRIDGE, TN 12/15/2011
MARS HILL BAPTIST CHURCH 3 Performance(s)
LAWRENCEBURG, TN 12/11/2011
HIGHLAND AVENUE BAPTIST CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
ROBINSON, IL 12/11/2011
CANTON CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP 1 Performance(s)
CANTON, MI 12/10/2011
THE RIDGE CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
SOMERSET, PA 12/10/2011
CENTRAL BAPTIST CHURCH 2 Performance(s)
ALBANY, GA 12/10/2011
CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
COLDWATER, MI 12/9/2011
PHILADELPHIA BAPTIST CHURCH 2 Performance(s)
CONYERS, GA 12/9/2011
COWETA ASSEMBLY OF GOD 1 Performance(s)
COWETA, OK 12/4/2011
CHARRETTE BAPTIST CHURCH 2 Performance(s)
MARTHASVILLE, MO 12/3/2011
FRANKLIN FURNACE BAPTIST CHURC 1 Performance(s)
FRANKLIN FURNACE, OH 12/1/2011

Behind The Scenes

Playwright Elisabeth Van Etten Talks About

“An Unlikely Christmas Shepherd”

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS PLAY?

I love writing, especially playwriting. Last year our church’s music pastor mentioned searching for a play. I felt the Lord saying, “You could do it.” When I first showed the script to our music pastor, I never thought he’d like it, let alone want me to perform it. It overwhelmed me when he said, this was the best play he’d read and he wanted me to direct it that Christmas. If you had told me that previous year I would present a Christmas cantata to a church of 600, I wouldn’t have believed it. We serve a God of wonders!

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PART OR LINE IN THE PLAY? WHY?

I have two favorite parts. The first one I knew from the moment I wrote the line. It comes in the scene where Jake walks Larissa home. She says to him, “We don't have to be what we set out to be. You know, directing the play, it's not just a Christmas thing for me. To me, every day is a play, a drama that we live. You and I, we're God's actors on this stage of life.” I love that line because that’s my motto as a writer and director. I am Larissa, and she cries out on stage what I’ve believed in my heart for so many years.

The second line comes when Brennan asks Jake if the thieves who robbed him know the peace of God, and Jake responds simply, “No, they don’t.” When the actor who played Jake said that line, he whispered it with a longing in his voice that, for an instant, made me believe I was hearing the words of an unsaved man desiring a relationship with Christ. It made me cry.

WHERE DID THE CHARACTERS COME FROM? ARE THEY BASED ON PEOPLE YOU KNOW?

While most of the characters are entirely fictitious, I did borrow heavily from my experiences as a director for Larissa Watkins’ character. Also, Pastor Richard’s salvation testimony is based on my father’s testimony. Hearing him recount it over the years-- it’s special to me-- I felt this was a perfect tribute to his numerous years in the ministry. Although Jake’s character is fictitious, the concept of a church that’s robbed at Christmas actually happened to my father’s church. I was a child when this incident occurred, but I never forgot the idea, and the Lord used it to help me create this plot line.

WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS PLAY?

To me there is no greater joy than watching a person, especially a thief, accept Christ. Seeing the love of Christ transform someone who is totally bad into someone used by God is incredible. It really shows the power of God in a person’s life: power to change and power to forgive. It reminds us that we don’t have to be what we set out to be. God can change our lives if we’ll just let him. It’s a message of forgiveness and transformation.

DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO ADD?

I wrote this because the Lord asked me to write it. He guided my words, revisions, and staging. If you go into this play saying, “It’s just another Christmas cantata,” it will be just that. But if you go into it saying, “Lord, open my eyes and help me to grow through this experience,” He will make this unlike any production you’ve ever done before. People still come up and tell me that this play changed their lives. Ask the Lord to use you through this work, and all the glory will be His.