THE UNIVERSAL SOLUTION!
How does one promote social change?
Plato once said, “Those who tell the stories, rule society”. What he meant was that our ideas of right and wrong – the very moral structure of society – are created not by teaching or any other method, but by the repeating of stories. Famous author Michael Gurian agrees. He claims that culture has always been passed on by telling stories. If this is true, then Netflix and YouTube are the main cultural creators of our day. The good news is that if we can learn to create compelling characters and make gripping stories – stories that honor virtues and values – we too can have a voice in the creation of culture.
Can we open hearts to the gospel?
Not only do movies impacting culture, but they also provide much-needed “pre-evangelism”. Many today are hardened to the things of Christ. Maybe this is because Christianity is often impugned or ignored in movies. Whatever the reasons are, there is a remedy. If we can create compelling stories with fun and interesting Christian characters, we can soften the opinion of the audience to hearing more about Christ. Blaise Pascal, the great apologist, asserted that we should first make Christianity beautiful, and then show people that it is true.
Is it possible to reach difficult groups?
The power of movies to impact people is not limited to any single nation, group or culture. For example, Muslims are some of the hardest people on earth to reach. They have their own culture and are very protective of their religious heritage. However, they will watch as many movies as non-Muslims. If we can tell a great story, no one is unreachable. Even third-world dictators love movies! What takes missionaries decades to do – gain a hearing within a culture – could be done in minutes with a movie.
Encourage and Inspire Christians
Young Christians want to be relevant but often see the church as peripheral to their life. If we could equip churches to make movies, we could literally put the church on the cutting edge of societal evolution. This would re-engage the youth unlike almost anything else.
Another benefit is this: when Christians start consuming more stories with a Christian worldview, their faith will become whole. We all swim in the same cultural water (that is, we all watch the same shows) and as a result, most Christians have a worldview that is more secular and hedonistic than biblical. Stories build worldview. If we can sow a revolution in storytelling, we’ll reap a revival of godliness.
Giving hope to the poor and the oppressed
There are several ways to help the poor. 1) First, we could raise an army of intercessors and workers from the church. This can happen if there is a widespread spiritual renewal. And movies can help make that possible. 2) Second, we can also help the poor by touching their leaders. How could we do this? It seems hard to believe but warlords, dictators, and thugs all watch TV, which means that we can move them if we learn to tell better stories. (This could also lessen the worldwide persecution of Christians.) 3) Third, we can help the poor by sharing the good news with them. This too can be done with movies.
One young lady went on a mission trip to Central America and was surprised to see nearly everyone with a cell phone (and a giant TV). That means that a video story created in America can be seen all over the world. Subtitles eliminate language barriers. While it may take a missionary several years to learn a new language, a movie can be subtitled for a few hundred dollars. All this makes movies one of the most cost-effective ways of reaching around the globe because the infrastructure is already in place.
Visual story (movies, streaming, and TV) is like a super-tool that can accomplish nearly everything that is in our hearts to do. The problem is that few Christians know what to do or that they could actually do something about this. That’s what we are all about. We’re here to train, inspire, empower and motivate students and churches, and we will lead by example.