MEDIOCRE 5'?m2f Discipleship, ministry, success, failure

(both characters wear black clothing)

LIZ -- (enters briskly, turns, looks back carefully)

AMY -- (enters opposite)

LIZ -- (turns, nearly collides with Amy, gasps) Boss!

AMY -- Where you going?

LIZ -- Going? Where am I going?

AMY -- That's what I asked. Where are you going?

LIZ -- To the church. Yeah, that's it I was going to the church.

AMY -- The church just happens to be in the other (points)

LIZ -- What I meant was, I was just coming FROM the church.
Yeah, that's it. I was reporting back to you.

AMY -- What a coincidence. I was just coming to check up on you.

LIZ -- Well, here I am.

AMY -- So, how's things going... at the church?

LIZ -- The church?

AMY -- Yes. You know, your assignment. The church.

LIZ -- You want to know how it's going.

AMY -- Yes.

LIZ -- Fine. Everything is just fine, Boss.

AMY -- Isn't that odd. That's not what I've been hearing.

LIZ -- Listen, I can explain.

AMY -- The church is still going strong. The people there are
making a difference in the world. If you're a demon, that 
doesn't sound FINE to me!

LIZ -- Boss, I tried everything! I tried the leaky roof
strategy. I tried the boiler malfunction strategy. I tried
harassing them with city inspectors.

AMY -- And?

LIZ -- And nothing works, Boss. Nothing. That church keeps on
doing good works. I can't even slow them down.

AMY -- So, what you're saying is the church is a success.

LIZ -- (pauses) Yeah.

AMY -- Do you know what that makes you?

LIZ -- Yeah.

AMY -- What.

LIZ -- It makes me a failure, Boss.

AMY -- Do you know what happens to demons who fail?

LIZ -- Please, Boss, I tried really hard to shut down that
church, but nothing seems to faze them! Nothing!

AMY -- Haven't I taught you anything?!

LIZ -- Are you saying there's something I haven't tried yet?

AMY -- Listen, kid, the purpose of demons is not to SHUT DOWN
Christian ministries.

LIZ -- It isn't?

AMY -- Absolutely not!

LIZ -- But you said.

AMY -- I said, the job of a demon is to render Christian
ministries ineffective.

LIZ -- Isn't that the same as shutting them down?

AMY -- Absolutely not!

LIZ -- I don't get it.

AMY -- Obviously.

LIZ -- Please, Boss, don't send me into oblivion. I can do it!
I'm a good demon! I just need the right strategy, that's all!
Tell me how to shut them down.

AMY -- (removes hat, smacks demon on the head) I just told you!
You're job is not to shut them down. You're job is to render
them ineffective.

LIZ -- Alright. Alright. I'm sorry. How do I render them

AMY -- What's the opposite of success?

LIZ -- The opposite of success is... failure.

AMY -- (removes hat, smacks demon on the head) How many times do
I have to tell you?! The opposite of success is mediocrity!

LIZ -- Oh, yeah, I remember now. But I have just one question.

AMY -- Alright.

LIZ -- How come the opposite of success is not failure?

AMY -- Because you're up against a CHURCH.

LIZ -- (tilts head, shrugs shoulders)

AMY -- Alright, nitwit, what happens if this church fails?

LIZ -- It goes out of business. It closes down.

AMY -- And.

LIZ -- (tilts head, shrugs shoulders)

AMY -- And when Christians look around and see no church, they
say to themselves, "Hey, this neighborhood needs a church"

LIZ -- And they start another church.

AMY -- And what does another church mean for us?

LIZ -- It means we have another fight on our hands.

AMY -- So, would you like to spend the next 2000 years fighting
one church after another?

LIZ -- Well, no.

AMY -- So, rather than create a void by closing down a church,
we make sure that the existing church survives, but...

LIZ -- We make it ineffective. Hey! That's clever! An
ineffective church is worse than no church at all.

AMY -- So, I'll ask you again. What's the opposite of success?

LIZ -- The opposite of success is mediocrity.

AMY -- Now you're getting it! We get the people in the church to
settle for something that LOOKS just like church, but it's
really a place where people go to waste time and money.

LIZ -- I just have one question.

AMY -- Alright.

LIZ -- How do we do that?

AMY -- We get them spending lots and lots of time and energy
doing things that make no difference in eternity: things like
building a taller steeple or debating over the color of the

LIZ -- Oh, I get it! We get them planning pancake breakfasts for
themselves so they don't notice that homeless people don't have
breakfast. I'll get them fighting over who does the most work
and pretty soon nobody will be doing anything worthwhile.

AMY -- Now you're talking like a demon.

LIZ -- I'll get them fighting over who gets to be a deacon, so
they won't remember that a deacon's job is to serve others.

AMY -- You got it! Now, (points) go get 'em! (exits)

LIZ -- (exiting opposite) Our new motto is "Excellence in

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