Saturday, February 20, 2010

To Change the World Campaign – Through Five Core Principles Part 10

Training a media missionary is a four-step process.

Step 1 is To Raise Up, which is the process wherein you determine if you are called by God to be a media missionary.

(1) You have to examine whether or not you have been called and what is your purpose.

A few years ago, I took a course called Experiencing God, Knowing and Doing the Will of God. It offered a process in which we can understand the will of God. Often we ask the question, What is God’s will for my life? For example, “Am I called to be a media missionary”, and “Should I go to Hollywood?” But the real question is, “What is God’s will and where is he at work?” God is at work everywhere, including every human activity. That also includes Hollywood and the entertainment industry.

If we are going to know God’s will, we must have a relationship with God. It has to be real and personal. We must know His character, His motives, and His purposes. It’s only then that we understand what we believe and why we believe it. He will then invite us to join Him in His work. God will speak by the Holy Spirit through His Word, prayer, circumstances and the Body of Christ to reveal His purposes and His ways. It is during this phase that we start to realize what our calling actually is. God’s calling will always lead us to a crisis of belief that requires faith and action.

Next , we have to decide if we want to make the adjustments in our lives to join God in what He is doing, not in what we want to do. That may mean going to Hollywood or accepting the fact that we are not called to be a media missionary. It’s at that point that we truly experience God by obeying Him. He then accomplishes His work through us.

(2) Check your motives. Do you want to serve God or serve your own self-interests?

Just because you have a love and passion for film and media doesn’t mean you have been called to be a media missionary. Having a desire to be rich and famous is not a good indication that you have been called. Right motives go a long way in determining your calling. Finding God’s will is dependent on a life focused on God and His activity and the ability to deny one’s self as well as be humble before God.

(3) Do you have a vision for Hollywood and the entertainment industry?
Can you love the people in this business? Why do you want to go to Hollywood? Sure, making movies is fun. But are you ready to serve people? A media missionary first and foremost is a servant. You are there to love people into the Kingdom. Can you love people that don’t agree with you? Who don’t share your values and morals? Who may consider Christianity a joke?

(4) Do you really understand the role and purpose of a media missionary?
This takes time and work. A lot of people think they understand what a media missionary is. And there are many Christians working in Hollywood and the entertainment industry, but they do no function as media missionaries. That’s not to say they are not doing good work, but to be a media missionary requires a unique skill set and a profound understanding of your role and purpose.

Here are a few scriptures to consider.

Galatians 1:15 But God had special plans for me and set me apart for his work even before I was born.

Romans 11:29 - God never changes his mind about the people he calls and the things he gives them.

Isaiah 49:1 Before I was born, the LORD called me to serve him. The LORD named me while I was still in my mother’s womb.

Hebrews 5:4 To be a high priest is an honor, but no one chooses himself for this work. He must be called by God as Aaron n was. 5 So also Christ did not choose himself to have the honor of being a high priest, but God chose him.

Romans 12:2 Don’t copy the behaviors and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect His will really is.

Media missionaries need support, especially during this first critical phase. Often parents, family members, friends and the Body of Christ can squash these dreams and hopes. If someone came to the Body of Christ and proclaimed that he/she has been called into the ministry or to the mission field, I can’t imagine that it would be met with criticism and doubt. Most likely they would receive support and encouragement. Shouldn’t we do the same for media missionaries? Isn’t their calling just as valid

Why so much opposition? Some can’t understand how you can be successful as a media missionary. The concept doesn’t make sense. God doesn’t call us to be successful but to be obedient. Some see Hollywood as an evil place. They are afraid that those we send as media missionaries will be contaminated by the dark side. Doesn’t the Bible say avoid all darkness? It really says to avoid sin. And what about the power of God that works within us to accomplish the calling and keep us safe? Christian parents realize that Hollywood and the entertainment industry is a hard business, which is true.

From a practical side, can you make a living? Some parents I have talked to would rather see their kids get a degree that leads to a more stable and predictable career path. But that violates the entire spiritual perspective of a calling. Serving God has never been practical. But with the right training and equipping, we can increase the likely percentages of getting a job.

I believe that parents, friends, and the Body of Christ would be more supportive of media missionaries if we had a training program. This would allow people to explore their calling in a safe environment before going to the mission field. In many cases, students may very well discover that they have not been called. For those who have been called, we will be able to focus on their development and training.

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