Bringing God’s Truth through humour

Ervin TanFeature

Keith interviewing Fr Eugene Vaz for the IGNITE TALKS! series on CatholicSG Radio. Photo: Keith Neubronner

Bringing God’s Truth through humour

The GIFT programme calls each Catholic to give of their time, talents and treasures. Now a producer-presenter at CatholicSG Radio and a faith-based comedian on the side, Keith Neubronner shares how God led him on this journey of discovering his personal vocation in utilising his talents for God.

I had always known that I was a storyteller. Growing up around individuals who told stories differently created an environment for this passion of mine to grow. I remember vividly my dad for his dramatic antics, my mom for her very expressive face and my cousin Clyde for his sense of humour. All of them were the influences that helped shaped me to become the storyteller I am today.

Sparking the Flame

Even though my family contributed a great deal to the discovery of my passion, the person that truly sparked that flame in my heart for storytelling was not even real. At the tender age of five, I was not only entertained by the antics of this humorous, expressive and over-the-top character called “Mr Bean”, but there was something in me that wanted to be like the person who played him. I remember sitting in the living room watching him with my family and laughing, but at the same time, I would think to myself that I would also like to do that one day.

Looking back, that was probably my first aspiration. However, as I grew older, I grew deaf to the voice inside me (that I now recognise is God’s voice) urging me to fan that flame, and instead I succumbed to the many other louder voices that told me to pursue other things. As a result, I never really discovered “my own voice” until much later.

Fanning the Flame

Of course, this was a gradual process of discovery over the years, but God could not have given me clearer signposts on the journey. When I was in Upper Secondary level, I discovered that I enjoyed writing English compositions. Any assignment that involved writing had me thrilled and happily writing away. There was something about telling a good story that motivated me more than the grades.

It was only in polytechnic that I discovered more of “my voice”. Many people there, especially my lecturers, saw my potential and gave me many opportunities to grow my gifts by speaking at various functions. I steadily grew in my identity of who I am and what I am good at, which slowly allowed me to own this part of me, a part that loves to talk and tell stories. That led me to gradually respond to this unique call that God placed in my life.

Offering the Flame

Since then, whenever I look back at my day and try to notice where God has been present or where I felt most alive or joyful, it’s almost always the times I’ve been able to make someone smile or laugh or when I’ve told a good story. I would say that my present vocation is to communicate God’s truths through humour.

I live this out in two areas at CatholicSG Radio where I work: sharing the Good News and helping others to share their own lived Good News. As a faithbased comedian, I feel that I have the specific mission of being a mouthpiece for God to entertain and challenge Catholics with God’s truths through humour.

Whenever I do either a radio show or a comedy show, I am almost always asking God to use me and praying for the right words to say. I recognise how He can use me to bring other people to encounter Him through this unique vocation of mine. This is truly life-giving for me.

There have been times when I felt that a message was too hard-hitting and found it a bit difficult to deliver. I have also felt unworthy to articulate certain messages that God called me to say, but often I am reminded by Saint Paul, “We are fools for the sake of Christ, but you are wise in Christ” (1 Cor 4:10).

Sharing the Flame

If I am meant to be God’s Mr Bean, then I am more than happy, even if I look like a fool in the process. So when I think about being a storyteller or comedian for God, I consider it a privilege. For me, it is a prayer, a way to glorify God. If that has an impact on someone’s heart, then all the better.

St John Paul II, in his letter to artists, said, “That is why artists, the more conscious they are of their ‘gift’, are led all the more to see themselves and the whole of creation with eyes able to contemplate and give thanks, and to raise to God a hymn of praise. This is the only way for them to come to a full understanding of themselves, their vocation and their mission.”

I firmly believe that if we remain in Jesus, He will most definitely remain in us, as what He has promised us in John’s Gospel. Then we will most definitely bear much fruit. For me, that is no laughing matter.

Adapted from a video testimony done for the Catholic Foundation Young Stewards Conference.

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