Friday, July 14, 2006
Facing The Giants
I've intended to make this post for a while, but kept getting distracted. For any of you who haven't already heard about it, there is a new moving being released this fall on September 29 called Facing the Giants.
Personally I'm very excited about it because the movie was made by the church that Diane and I attended when we were first married…Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia. Coincidentally, our first day there in 1989 was the pastor's first day there. His name is Michael Catt. A dear friend from college, Katrina Hutson, was in town visiting Michael and took the opportunity to introduce us to both him and the church. We were a part of the church during our brief stay in Albany in 1989 and 1990.
I have probably more respect for Michael as a pastor than I do for anyone I know...and I also have a high degree of respect for the ministry of Sherwood. I've kept up with Michael's and the church's ministry through the years and have been happy to see how the Lord has worked through him and the church to do amazing things.
To level set you, frustrated by the content of the movies emerging from Hollywood, rather than cursing the darkness the church made the decision to shine their light.
A few years ago, they made a very low budget film ($25,000) called Flywheel. Yes, when you watch it you might observe that it is low budget because of the lack of bells and whistles that holiday includes, but when I saw it I can personally vouch that the Holy Spirit is using this movie to reach people. Often the media doesn't have to be perfect for the message to flow through. Long story short…Blockbuster picked up the movie and put it in 4000 stores nationwide. The movie was shown on various Christian cable networks and to this day the church still gets mail from how that film is impacting lives. It's about a Christian used car salesman. For a good family evening, check out Blockbuster for this movie.
Ok, that's just an intro…recently the church decided to make a second movie. Again somewhat low budget ($100,000 is all they spent, just to rent equipment). This one is called Facing The Giants. It appears as though God has bigger plans for this film. The movie late last year, pre-release, was picked up by Provident Films (owned by Sony Pictures) and with the help of Samuel Goldwyn Films will be released nationwide in theatres this fall. This film is about a burned-out, depressed high school football coach at a Christian high school. The distributors plan to release the film to coincide with fall high school football season (September 29, 2006). The film has been previewed around the country at places such as national conferences for church activities' ministers and has received standing ovations. Earlier this year it was shown at the Merrimack Valley Christian Film Festival near Boston and over 600 people were turned away from the packed theatre. Next it was previewed at the Greater Syracuse Christian Film Festival where it quickly became the most popular film at the festival. It was most recently shown at the Purpose Driven Worship conference at Saddleback in California.
It appears as though the Lord is wanting to get news of this film to a broader audience. Recently the Motion Picture Association of America released its rating on the movie and designated a PG rating. Their reason? The movie is too evangelistic and may offend persons of different religions. They even used the word proselytizing in their comments. See this article on the rating.
Some Christian groups...and even members of Congress...have taken notice. From what I can read, Sherwood is not angry about the rating...rather they prayed that God would use the rating to cause more people to see the movie. The pastor of the church (Michael Catt) and the movie director/star actor (also the church's media director) Alex Kendrick have been interviewed recently by Foxnews, Time magazine, CNN, and Good Morning America. In other words, word is getting out.
I'm posting this because I think this movie could have an impact on the country. Fro any of you who read this who might be in ministry, there are screenings planned around the country for pastors. Check out this web site to see if there is one in your area. www.filmpr.com/facingthegiants/events.
For more info, including movie clips, please see the movie's web site… www.facingthegiants.com.
For more info on the church, see www.sherwoodbaptist.net.
Let me know what you think!