Monday, October 6, 2008

An unique church ministry -- making movies like "Fireproof"

Churches have a wide variety of initiatives for reaching out to people. One of the more unique ministries is making low budget but successful movies. Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia is doing just that. A church with 500 members has just released it's third movie, "Fireproof". It cost $500,000 to make and after two weekends in less than a 1000 theaters across the country has already grossed $12.5 million in revenues.

Apparently, the whole church is involved in making the movie. The latest effort, "Fireproof" is about a wonderful fireman who isn't such a wonderful husband. In fact, his wife is ready to get a divorce. He resolves to do all he can to save his marriage and in the process realizes he can't do it on his own. He's needs a relationship with Christ to change him so he in turn can be the husband he needs to be.

In some ways, it's a throwback to the days of black and white pictures in the 30s, 40s and early 50s. The focus on relationships and content without a lot of frills. The language is clean, no sex and a minimal amount of violence.

It certainly isn't a big budget Hollywood movie with lots of special effects. Yet it's very moving in places and definitely gets its point across about the importance of marriage and what needs to be done to keep them together when so many fall along the wayside.

It's the sort of movie a sizable segment of people in the nation are looking for. It's interesting how new technology is making this sort of movie a possibility.

I thought comments by the NY Times and LA Times were interesting. Certainly not glowing, but neither totally dismissive. The NY Times called it, "a decent attempt to combing faith and storytelling that will certainly register with its target audience." While the LA Times said it was "a mainstream relationship flick."

I like the church's mission statement for its movie initiative. "Sherwood Pictures was birthed with the purpose of engaging the culture in a format that is understood."

The purpose of "Fireproof" isn't to make money but to impact people's lives by inviting them to a relationship with God and in the case of "Fireproof" help them address problems in their marriages. I encourage you to see the movie.

No comments: