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IMPRESS  6'?m3f Spiritual warfare, success vs being impressive

(all three demons wear black)

NEWBEE -- (enters carrying file folder, crosses, exits, reenters
looking at watch, paces leafing through file folder)

OLDEE -- (enters carrying file folder, approaches) If you're
waiting to see the boss, you can forget it. I have a ten o'clock
appointment with him to talk about my promotion.

NEWBEE -- Me too.

OLDEE -- You what?!

NEWBEE -- I have a ten o'clock...

OLDEE -- ...I heard what you said. I suppose he asked YOU to
work up a strategy too, huh?

NEWBEE -- Yes.

OLDEE -- He can't do this! I was here first.

NEWBEE -- Actually, "I" was here first.

OLDEE -- That's not what I mean. I mean, I have seniority. This
was MY project.

BOSS -- (enters opposite) I will be the one to determine who
gets this assignment.

OLDEE -- But I was here first!

NEWBEE -- Actually, "I" was here first.

OLDEE -- But I have seniority. I was a demon while you were
still in diapers.

NEWBEE -- Demons don't wear diapers.

OLDEE -- It was a figure of speech. Boss, tell this... this
beginner that this project is too important for someone without
any experience.

BOSS -- I think it's time for a fresh approach. That's why I
invited a demon who hasn't been tainted by establishment
thinking. The Christians are winning. We need to think OUTSIDE
the box. Let's see what you came up with. (holds out hand)

OLDEE -- (gives file folder proudly) I think you'll like the
numbers on this one, Boss.

BOSS -- (leafing through file folder) I see you're going after
the small churches here, huh?

OLDEE -- Yes, boss. I envision closing thousands of churches
this year. And the weakest churches are the smallest churches.
They are the ones that are having a hard time paying the bills.
You see there... (points) that I'm emphasizing the declining
churches. With just a little nudge with red ink, thousands of
churches would go out of business next quarter alone.

BOSS -- Waste of time. (slaps folder back at Oldee) Let's see
yours. (holds out hand)

NEWBEE -- (gives folder)

OLDEE -- Waste of time?! How can you say that closing thousands
of churches in one quarter is a waste of time?!

BOSS -- Do you know why declining churches are declining?

OLDEE -- Well, I, ah....

NEWBEE -- Because they stopped growing.

OLDEE -- Oh, brilliant!

BOSS -- She's right.

OLDEE -- She is?!

BOSS -- Yes. A declining church is declining because it isn't
reaching out. Do you know what that means?

OLDEE -- Can you give me a hint?

BOSS -- Tell her.

NEWBEE -- A church that isn't reaching out is useless to God
already. Why expend resources on a church that will ultimately
fail without any help from us?

BOSS -- Good answer!

OLDEE -- Show-off!

BOSS -- Now, (opens folder) let's look at your strategy. Uh huh.
I see that you want to go after the churches that are still
growing.

NEWBEE -- Yes. As you can see, (points) our resources are aimed
at changing their focus.

OLDEE -- (under breath) I was here first. This isn't fair.

BOSS -- What kind of resources will you require?

NEWBEE -- (points) Page four.

BOSS -- (flips pages) There's only one word on this page.

NEWBEE -- Lies.

BOSS -- Very clever!

OLDEE -- (mocks) Very Clever.

NEWBEE -- In the final analysis, Boss, the only weapons we
demons have in our arsenal is lies.

BOSS -- And what lies will you be implanting in these growing
churches?

NEWBEE -- Well, as you know, when a church begins to grow, the
Christians see some very impressive changes. And sometimes they
get side-tracked by the impressive changes.

OLDEE -- Oh, yeah, smarty! Just what changes?!

NEWBEE -- The numbers.

OLDEE -- What about the numbers?

NEWBEE -- When the outreach is effective, the first thing people
notice is the number of people coming to Christ.

OLDEE -- I don't get it.

BOSS -- That's why you're getting passed over for promotion.

OLDEE -- It's not fair. I was here first.

BOSS -- Let's get back to the lies.

NEWBEE -- As I see it, we only need to inject a few lies into
these growing churches. The first lie is that the numbers are
the same as success.

OLDEE -- Gotcha!

BOSS -- What do you mean?

OLDEE -- That's not a lie. The more they outreach, the more
people convert to Christianity.

BOSS -- What about that?

NEWBEE -- It's true that numbers are a way to measure success.
But we need to convince these churches that numbers and success
are one and the same thing. It's like a magician who dazzles you
with one hand while he fools you with the other hand. Once we
get the church looking at the numbers instead of the souls, the
next two lies will push them over the edge.

BOSS -- Two more lies?

NEWBEE -- We'll convince them that they'll get more numbers if
they make it easier for unbelievers to convert. (mimics) "You
don't have to talk about sin." (mimics) "You don't have to count
the cost."

BOSS -- Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant!

OLDEE -- I don't get it. What's so brilliant about that?

BOSS -- People will THINK they're converted to Christianity when
they haven't really repented.

NEWBEE -- No repentance, no salvation. But it's even better than
that.

BOSS -- What could be better than filling the churches with
unrepentant souls?

NEWBEE -- Without the Holy Spirit, these new "believers" won't
last. The church will count them as converted, then they'll fall
away. And when someone from another church talks to them about
Christianity, they'll say, "Oh, I've already converted."

BOSS -- Brilliant! They'll be inoculated against REAL conversion
for life! Brilliant! The promotion is yours. (gives file folder)
Go to it.

NEWBEE -- (exiting) Thanks boss!

OLDEE -- But what about me? I was here first.

BOSS -- (exiting opposite) Why don't you go waste your time on
those declining churches. It will keep you out of trouble.

OLDEE -- (exiting scanning file folder) This sounded like such a
good idea. Where did I go wrong?

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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