Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Rise of the Media Missionary Part 2

God is moving and pouring out his Spirit on Hollywood and the entertainment industry. But here’s the question. Is this movement continuing to expand and grow or has it reached its pinnacle? I don’t believe there is any clear indication either way. But I am convinced there are five key points that will determine the future of the movement.

1. When the Body of Christ tries to take control of what God is doing, then the move of God will end. This is a fundamental truth. Every major move of God or revival has ended when man has tried to take control. The movement then becomes more about what we want than what God is doing in the world. In other words, it becomes man driven rather then Holy Spirit driven. Why do we feel the need to institutionalize movements or turn it into a programs? Instead of trusting God, we turn our focus to logic, reason and understanding.

History teaches us that God uses the most unlikely people to start his revivals and movements. But as the move of God matures, we decide we must legitimize it by taking control and bringing in the PhD’s and others that we think are qualified to manage what God is doing. It happens every day in churches and ministries throughout the world. And it can and will happen to what God is currently doing in Hollywood and the entertainment industry if we don’t guard our actions and motives.

2. This movement is not about projects but about people. We must invest our time, energy and resources into developing people as media missionaries. The movement stops when it becomes about projects. A film or television show may have a very short shelf life or lasting impact. But a media missionary’s career could span thirty to forty years. Imagine the influence one person could have over a lifetime of work. If the movement has any lasting impact, it will be in the form of the people who emerge from the movement.

3. This movement requires a commitment to education and training. What will be the story of these future media missionaries? Do they have the ability to express God’s glory and truth in their work? Without training, it would be like sending a fireman to a fire without a hose. What would be the point? It’s not enough to teach future media missionaries how to direct, shoot or edit. They must understand their role and purpose. Hollywood and the entertainment industry can be a harsh environment. They also must understand how to survive in this industry. The entire point of our ministry here at Media Missionary School is to help raise up, equip, train and support future media missionaries.

4. This movement will not reach its full potential until the local church becomes involved. So far, there is no evidence that suggests the local church is actively involved in what God is doing in the entertainment industry. That must change. Without boots on the ground or the local media missionary actively working in the local church, the movement will eventually come to a standstill. Their work is essential. The local media missionary does not have to be a media professional but can be someone who has a burden for the media culture crisis and has a calling to reach his or her church so that the Church can be engaged in what God is doing in Hollywood and the entertainment industry.

In my new book, A Media Culture, Crisis or Opportunity, I have laid out practical solutions for the local media missionary so they can empower the local church to become actively involved in this movement. By creating film nights, prayer groups, film camps and mentoring programs, the local media missionary will provide the resources which will allow this movement to grow and expand.

5. Christians working in Hollywood and the entertainment industry must recognize their responsibility to this movement in order for it to grow and expand. Currently, Christians who are working in Hollywood have many different views about their role and purpose. We need a clear direction that allows us to mobilize and commit to a common goal and strategy. Some estimate that over 5,000 Christians are working in Hollywood. But only a few hundred are functioning as media missionaries. How do we reach the others who go to work every day but are not connected to the community of believers working in the industry? Or how do we get everyone on board with a common goal and strategy? This movement will grow only if current Christians who work in this industry decide to give up their personal agendas and commit to what God is doing and mentor the next generation of media missionaries.

That’s why we need Media Missionary School as a base training ground where future media missionaries can be equipped and trained in all aspects concerning how they can join God in what he is doing in Hollywood and the entertainment industry.

God is moving and at work right now. Are we ready to get prepared to join God in what he is doing or to provide support for those who are called by God to go into this mission field? The future of this movement depends on the answer to these questions.

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