By Caleb Hennington
Digital Content Editor
The Rev. Mark Waynick, a deacon at St. Paul UMC in Fort Smith who has served his church for more than 30 years, can now add another accomplishment to his list: published author.
Waynick’s new skit series has been published by Christian Publishers, a publishing company that has been a source of Christian plays and musicals since 1967.
His play, Magi in Advent, is about three traveling friends, Balthazar, Caspar and Melchior, who pop up throughout the story of Advent to offer humor, fun, and a strong Christian message.
The play consists of four weeks (a call to worship, sermon introduction, offertory, and children’s story) that lead up to Christmas Eve, where The Wise Men present their gifts to the child savior.
We asked Rev. Waynick about his play and why Arkansas United Methodist congregations would want to add this story to their 2020 Advent celebrations.
Where did the idea for Magi in Advent come from?
Actually, the first skit in the series was written years ago. We had a youth group at the time that had presented several musicals and skits, and if I remember correctly, we had three young men that I knew would excel in wisecracking one-liners.
How were you able to get your skit published?
We had bought several skits from Christian Publishers so I decided why not give it a chance. I submitted that first skit and the publisher wrote back and said she really liked it but they don’t publish single short skits. She challenged me to come up with a series – one that would perhaps serve as a sermon intro, a children’s moment, “call to worship,” etc.
Is this your first time writing something like this for churches?
Yes, this is the first time.
Why should churches look into purchasing and performing this skit for their Advent services?
Originally, the first skit was written as a creative way to collect the offering. The editor wrote in the description of the Magi in Advent that “the congregation will delight in these recurring characters, anticipating how and when they’ll show up next.” I’ve always been interested in trying to find ways to keep the traditional acts of worship fresh and engaging. Hopefully, these skits will fit the bill for churches interested in creating a winsome worship experience while maintaining Scriptural meaning and relevance.
Do you have any plans to write future skits for Advent, or perhaps a different celebration?
I have a new set of skits in the works now. They’re not seasonal but will work well as sermon intros or fun youth group activities and conversation starters. Even though they’re fun and humorous, they also contain serious thought-provoking spiritual lessons.
To purchase Magi in Advent for your congregation, visit https://bit.ly/magi-in-advent.