Films That Strengthen Family Life
While at my local fitness center, I overheard two women discussing Fireproof, which was then playing at movie theaters. Their enthusiastic comments confirmed for me the effectiveness of evangelistic efforts to reach the public through film.
Some critics dismiss these films as simplistic, poorly acted and overly emotional. Film, however, is a relateable and evocative medium fixed in our culture. Regardless of their cinematic quality, these evangelistic movies portray real life struggles and how the characters labored and ultimately coped through newfound or recovered faith.
Since 2003 Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia, has raised money and enlisted volunteers to produce faith-based theatrical films later released as DVDs. Each film's website offers and sells follow-up resources and study guides. Churches encourage members of their congregations to attend screenings and to schedule discussion times afterward.
Sherwood Baptist Church has been involved in the production of
- Flywheel (www.flywheelthemovie.com) - an unscrupulous car salesman finds faith and redemption
- Facing the Giants (www.facingthegiants.com) - a coach of a losing football team who turns to faith and brings his team to victory
- Fireproof (www.fireproofthemovie.com) - depicts the healing of hurt and conflict in marriage while illustrating the dangerous lure of internet pornography
- Courageous (www.courageousthemovie.com) - portrays four law enforcement officers facing challenges at work and at home
Find other ministry films at www.outreach.com. Church Campaign Kits are available for many of their titles, including
- Letters to God (www.letterstogodthemovie.com) - encourages ministries of compassion and hope for those facing life’s most difficult challenges
- Soul Surfer (www.soulsurferthemovie.com) - inspires perseverance in the face of adversity and demonstrates the importance of family support when facing life’s challenges
- To Save a Life (www.tosavealife.com) - addresses issues for teens, parents and youth workers --including substance abuse and teen suicide
- The Grace Card (www.thegracecardmovie.com) - dramatizes the power of forgiveness
Churches using faith-based films as tools attest that seeing engaging stories come to life onscreen has touched hearts, transformed lives and nurtured discipleship. Isn't that what the church is all about?