When I think about Christian movies, I don’t think about entertainment. Nor do I picture a night at the theater or popcorn on the sofa. To me it is an image of a potter’s hand molding a lump of clay. I see these films shaping our culture on a deep and lasting level. But, just making movies isn’t enough; we need to be actively involved in using them as a tool to impact our generation.
Every Building Needs A Builder
A hammer, nails, and wood are not enough to build a house by themselves. Swinging the hammer near the nails won’t get the job done either. Even hitting the nail with the hammer is not quite enough. All of the pieces need to come together along with effort and a plan, in order for something valuable to be accomplished. Christian movies are very similar.
An Expected Experience
The first Christian film that impacted my life was not one that I happened to view by curiously wandering into a theater alone. Someone brought it to my house; they encouraged me to see it and watched it with me. They were there when I needed to share my excitement, when I had questions, and when I just wanted to talk about certain parts. They gave me their take and their experience.
If that person was not there then I would not have understood all of the messages in the movie, and I would not have taken as much away, I probably would have never even seen the film in the first place. The scriptures tell us about how beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel. What we have not realized is that when it comes to Christian movies, feet are still involved.
What really shapes culture is not the amazing plot, special effects, or great acting; it is the small and subtle way that people form new ideas about things. The best films leave us with strong emotions and inspiration. But the most impacting films slightly adjust the way we think about something. Impact means to impress something or to leave an impression upon. Your watch might leave an impression on your wrist if you wear it for a long time.
Our culture changes when something leaves an impression on our minds and we begin to base our actions and habits on that impression. For example, if you watch a movie where a relationship is intensely strained and prevails, it may leave push an idea into the back of your mind that big relationship problems can be overcome. When you then encounter a relationship problem, that idea may influence you towards holding on and working through it instead of calling it quits. That idea can shape your life.
A Catalyst for Change
In its truest sense, Christian movie ministry is not about an organized church group. It is individuals who find a way to get people they care about in the same room with a movie that has Godly qualities. It is about being a friend or a mentor. It is about getting Godly ideas into the open and hopefully into people’s hearts.
The film is the tool, but we are the ones that enable that tool to leave an impact. We are using movies to leave the strongest Godly impressions in people’s minds possible. We are shaping peoples experiences and thoughts. We are a catalyst for changing our culture.
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