My name is Jonathan Swenson
and I’m the Founding Director of Paraphrase Theatre. I travel around the country to churches, retreats and conferences creatively sharing stories about God’s radical love in Jesus and inviting people to deeper walks of discipleship. In addition to being an ordained pastor and professional speaker, I’m also a trained actor and vocalist.
Paraphrase Theatre is the drama and speaking ministry I’ve developed the past ten years to communicate the Gospel in fresh and relevant ways.
HERE ARE THREE WAYS I MIGHT BE ABLE TO SUPPORT YOUR MINISTRY OR EVENT:
I. ONE-ACTOR, MULTIPLE-CHARACTER DRAMAS
Eight eyewitnesses to Christ share their stories. You’ll laugh, cry and leave with a renewed under-standing of God’s love. Great for just about any worship service, retreat or gathering where you want a fresh way and impactful way to tell the story of Jesus.
CELEBRATE THE CHILD – A wonderful service of “Carols and Characters” to celebrate the birth of Jesus during Advent and Christmas. Perfect for Sunday or midweek worship, youth/family nights, special Christmas events, Church Christmas Programs and more.
VISITING HOURS – Set in a hospital, this is an intimate and meaningful look into the ways God works through each person’s gifts and story to bless the whole community. Works well in churches, hospitals or any care-giving setting. Also used as a training or thank-you event for professional caregivers, health-workers and anyone involved in lovingly ministering to those in crisis or need.
II. GUEST/KEYNOTE SPEAKER AND ADDITIONAL PRESENTATIONS
The three dramas listed above are written by Curt Cloninger and performed with his permission. In additional to these dramas, I am also available as a guest speaker, with a variety of creative presentations and topics including the following …
In this deeply personal and very moving presentation, my wife Jana and I share our journey with Jana’s two round of Breast Cancer. We talk candidly about our fears, struggles, doubts and faith in the midst of the storm, and we celebrate God’s presence in it all. If desired, Jonathan also performs dramatic monologues as we help the audience identify their own spiritual, relational and emotional needs during times of crisis.
A lively combination of teaching, drama and group participation that unpacks the basics of Christianity and explores & clarifies the relationship between Grace & Discipleship. Great for youth and/or adults and can take place in worship, a youth/family night, retreat or conference.
III. WORSHIP AND/OR RETREAT PLANNING & LEADERSHIP Let me and my team help you plan and/or lead your retreat or special event. (Youth, Family, Men’s, Women’s and Marriage Retreats and more!) We can provide overall theme and event planning, keynote talks/teaching, worship, drama, music, interactive games/activities, and more. We also have a gifted group of speakers and worship leaders/musicians to help lead the retreat if so desired.
All of these presentations work well in a variety of settings including Worship, Confirmation, Youth and Family Nights and any kind of Retreat or Conference (Youth, Family, Marriage, Men’s, Women’s, etc).
For more information please contact me at