In the last edition of this newsletter, I announced eight new experiments. It was pretty cool stuff.
Among the experiments, there was one called "Drunk Bible." The concept was to take the premise of the top-rated Comedy Central program, "Drunk History," and make it about Bible stories.
Many of you wrote in to say how cool and innovative that was. Some even offered to be personally involved. It felt pretty good and affirmed what I thought was a pretty neat idea about how to teach a new audience about the Bible.
I also heard back from some who felt that the church has no place ever making fun of alcohol and what it can do to a person and their life. Some of these stories were very personal, raw, and showed pain.
And so I huddled with others. And I responded to address the concerns as best I could. And I prayed. And I prayed some more. And then it hit me, no matter how good an experiment may seem and what sort of impact it may have, it's not worth it if we hurt people along the way. As doctors say: first, do no harm.
Honestly, I felt a little sad that we wouldn't be doing the show. I enjoy the Comedy Central program. But then the Spirit kicked in as I reimagined what the show COULD be.
What if we did "Street Bible" instead? We get a host to interview folks on the street about Bible stories (old Jay Leno style). "Tell me the story of Job from the Bible." It'll be wild answers for sure! We cobble a few of them into a narrative, and that narrative is the re-enactment. We also interview a young priest-type or academic person who does know the story. They interrupt here and there in the video to correct the story. The reenactors then also fix what they just did. As I imagine it, I think it can still be pretty funny.
And so that's what the experiment became. Still funny. Still teaching. No hurting.
Remember, TryTank itself is an experiment, and that means that we won't always get it right the first time. But we can adapt. And that hopefully is also a good model for the church.
The Rev. Lorenzo Lebrija is the founding director of the TryTank Experimental Lab.