Thursday, August 26, 2010

Are You a Missionary? - Part 1

One of the major topics here at Media Missionary School is the purpose and role of Christians who work in mainstream entertainment in Hollywood. What type of project should I work on? How do I reach my co-workers? How do I survive in a difficult and sometimes hostile environment? These are the questions that Christians who earn a living in the entertainment business ask each day. But is it any different, for example, as anyone would face in the workplace? If you are a plumber, electrician, banker, or teacher, isn’t it the same situation?

I realize that Hollywood and the entertainment industry is unique in one sense because it is the world’s most influential mission field. The artists who made and produced Gone With the Wind in 1939 are no longer living. But their work continues and will influence generations to come. That’s what makes Hollywood so unique. But what it shares in common with every occupation is in one form or another its a mission field to those who work in it. We are to approach everything we do in life as a mission field. We are called to reach the world wherever we are planted by living a missional lifestyle. It’s no different in Hollywood as it is on Main Street. But most Christians have forgotten this concept. They see the mission field as something that happens in a far away country but not in their back yard. So how do you and I and those in Hollywood embrace a mission’s approach to the way we live our lives?

I see it as a five-step process.

1. You must earn the right to talk about Jesus. Why is it that we think we can save people by just preaching at them and telling them what is wrong with their lives? That doesn’t work in our culture. Step one requires us to realize it’s not our responsibility to save people. What we are required to do is to allow the Holy Spirit to control us. By doing this, God can work through us. It’s God who does the saving. How do you earn the right? You earn the right to speak into other people’s lives by loving and accepting people where they are and praying for them.

2. Be the person who you say you are. Whether you tell people you are a Christian or not, when you live and base your life on Christian principles you will be different. The people around you will see there is something unique about the way you handle yourself and your actions. In other words, you will demonstrate a spirit that is radically different than the world’s. It will be expressed in your talk, your actions, and your reactions. But, on the other hand, if your life is not consistent with what Jesus taught, how do you think people are perceiving you? Is that the kind of faith and beliefs people want to embrace. Probably not. You must be the person you say you are to establish credibility.

3. Put your faith in action. Faith without action means nothing. It’s a nice story but that’s all it is. As Christians, we are required to be the hands and feet of Christ. If you want to live missionally, that means you will have to go out of your way and inconvenience yourself to help people. That means effort and time. Sure people will take advantage of you, but Jesus said to turn the other cheek, love and forgive.

Friday Part 2

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