Summary: Based on the British TV comedy series, “Dad's Army”. The men of Whitehaven-on-Sea Home Guard Platoon brainstorm on ways to use evangelism to defeat the enemy. Note: It is recommended you check out some YouTube clips of “Dad's Army” to get the flavour of the characters.
Style: Light-hearted. Duration: 8min.
(The men march in two abreast and form two ranks. Captain Mainwaring, assisted by Sergeant Wilson, instructs them regarding the forthcoming visit by senior officers from District Headquarters. The Subject of the Lesson is Improvisation.)
Captain Mainwaring - Now men, pay attention! As you know we are expecting a visit to the platoon by senior officers from HQ. The purpose of this visit is to establish the effectiveness of our platoon as the threat of Jerry draws nearer. As you know weapons are in short supply but we British are a resourceful people. We have one weapon which we all can use: Inventiveness and Improvisation.
Private Frazer - (With right hand slightly raised) That’s two, Sir!
Captain Mainwaring – Very well Frazer! (Captain Mainwaring turns to the flipchart tapping it with his cane. Then speaks to Sergeant Wilson), Wilson, just flip the sheet over and we will begin the lesson. (pointing to the picture on the sheet) Pay attention men, this is Jerry!
L/Corporal Jones – (interrupts by raising his hand) Permission to speak Sir!
Captain Mainwaring – Very well Jones. What is it?
L/Corporal Jones – His name’s not Jerry, it’s Jeremy, Sir. He doesn’t like it, you know! He doesn’t like it!
Captain Mainwaring – OK Jones, But as far as we’re concerned he’s Jerry and he’s out to rescue mankind with his fancy philosophies of counselling and the like. (Slight Pause) On the other hand, we as God’s army with superior power and weaponry can effect a more lasting solution to mankind’s problems.
As we know, God’s power and love was demonstrated upon the battlefield at Calvary, where He defeated the enemy, giving to his people, not a man-inspired salvation but a Spirit-empowered redemption. We have been equipped to fight the enemy not with physical weapons but with spiritual ones which don’t jam up, break down or run out of ammunition. As Field Marshal Paul said, “The weapons of our warfare are not worldly but are mighty enough to demolish the enemy’s strongholds”.
So let us compile, an inventory of combat tactics we can use in order to further the ‘fight for right’ against Jerry and his armies. OK Wilson, start listing our battle resources on the flip chart.
Sergeant Wilson - Right away, sir.
Captain Mainwaring – OK Men who’s first?
L/Corporal Jones – Permission to speak Sir!
Captain Mainwaring – Very well Jones, carry on.
L/Corporal Jones- Well, Captain. It was Field Marshall Paul who spoke about the word of God being like a two edged sword, it’s a bit like a bayonet Sir, cold steel! We could give it to them straight (makes a bayonet stabbing movement). They don’t like it up 'em, Captain, they don’t like it up 'em!
Captain Mainwaring - Very well Jones, Wilson make a note of that.
Sergeant Wilson - Very well, Sir.
Captain Mainwaring – Ok, who’s next?
(Private Pike raises his hand).
Captain Mainwaring – Ok Pike, go ahead.
Private Pike – Captain Mainwaring, you know the Russian president who met Billy Graham?
Captain Mainwaring - Not personally. No. (Clears his throat) Carry on Pike.
Private Pike - Well Captain, he referred to Billy Graham as God’s machine gun. Well I could be God’s machine gun (makes machine gun noises and actions loudly)Aaah! Aaah! Aaah! Aaah! Aaah! Aaah! Aaah! Aaah!
Captain Mainwaring - (Blustering with indignation) You stupid boy! Keep the noise down!
Private Pike – Awww! Uncle Arthur said it was a good idea, didn’t you Uncle Arthur?
Sergeant Wilson - Well, at the time it seemed ok. (Scratches behind his ear) But, on reflection maybe it was a bit noisy.
Captain Mainwaring - Very well then! But don’t make so much noise.
Who’s next? (Private Walker raises his hand). OK, Private Walker, What’s your idea?
Private Walker - Well Captain, as everyone knows I’m in a reserved occupation. I distribute wholesale goods to the general public so, I thought when I’m selling the ladies nylons and elastic I could put in a New Testament as well.
Captain Mainwaring - Well, Walker! That’s a brilliant idea, and very generous of you to give free New Testaments with every purchase, excellent!.
Private Walker - Who said they were free? I’m doubling the price of the nylons! They’re now three and sixpence.
Captain Mainwaring - I might have known Walker. (Slight pause. Private Godfrey raises his hand). Well Godfrey what’s your idea?
Private Godfrey - Well, Captain Mainwaring, I’m not one for these loud, money making ideas. I just thought we could ask one of our friends to a meal or something, just like Jesus did. Think of the people who met Jesus over a meal and left the table changed people.
Captain Mainwaring - Very good idea, Godfrey. You have made a good point there. (Turns to Sergeant Wilson) Ok Wilson, make a note of that on the flip chart.
Sergeant Wilson - Very well Sir. Who’s next?
(Private Frazer raises his hand).
Captain Mainwaring - Ok Frazer, what have you thought about?
Private Frazer - Well, Captain Mainwaring, I would just tell them the truth. Fire and brimstone and all. I’d just tell them we’re Doomed, Doomed, aye and Damned! We’re going to burn forever in Hell! And there’s noo way out, noo escape!!!
Captain Mainwaring - Thank-you, Frazer. Well on that (clears throat) “Joyful” (Pulls a bemused expression on his face) note, we’ll conclude our brainstorming session and summarise our improvisation plans thus far.
Ok men, pay attention! As we said earlier, officers from HQ will be visiting to inspect our platoon at Whitehaven on Sea in the near future in order to see how well we are prepared for Jerry. As one can see, we have assembled a good strategy for the operation of personal weaponry which can be used to ‘open fire’ at close range, but what is lacking is long-range fire power to bombard the enemy with before final engagement on the ‘front line’.
(Captain Mainwaring looks enquiringly at Sergeant Wilson)
Sergeant Wilson - You mean “Fire A Volley!” sort of thing, Captain.
Captain Mainwaring – More than that! Wilson. Much more than that!. (Turns his attention to the platoon) We need repeated salvos of Spirit-empowered prayer to saturate the enemy’s lines in order for God to work effectively. Then when the enemy has had enough, they will surrender to the claims of Christ and become prisoners of the King.
Sooner or later Jerry will realize that is methods are no lasting solution to mankind’s deepest need. They will realize that the heart of the problem is the problem within man’s heart, until man makes peace with God, there will be no lasting peace on earth. Yet, Jerry doesn’t realize that the war is over, and the Battle is Won! All that has to be done is to accept this fact and surrender to the King of Kings and to receive the peace He gives – on His terms. Then human relationships can begin to be restored, nation with nation and so forth. This is the ‘Bottom line’ of the offensive which I’m sure the visiting ‘Top Brass’ from HQ. will realize we’re totally prepared for!
Ok men. That concludes the Lesson for this evening. ( Turns to Sergeant Wilson and says) Wilson ! March the Platoon away.
Sergeant Wilson - Right away Sir. OK men would you mind standing to attention, please? Right Turn! By the left, quick, March, please.
(Captain Mainwaring gives Sergeant Wilson a dirty look, then he gives a look of annoyed despair towards the congregation, finally he marches off with the platoon.)
(c) Copyright William Derek Graham, all rights reserved.