Tuesday, August 9, 2011

How can you help ?

By Harold Hay, President of Flannelgraph Ministries and the founder of Media Missionary School.

It has been my dream and vision for years to open a media and training center for the development of visual storytellers for global outreach by utilizing visual media. Now that dream is within reach. We have recently acquired space for our new training center. It will be located right here in the Lunkenheimer building near downtown Cincinnati.

The new site is a fulfillment of what God has put on my heart concerning the need to raise up, equip, train and support future media missionaries entering into the mainstream media and entertainment industry.

We all recognize that today’s culture is in a crisis. Frankly, nobody is happy about the direction our society is headed. In fact, I believe that the media is primarily responsible for the state we currently find ourselves in.

Today, I believe the media culture defines our reality and certainly helps to create our worldview. In other words, it drives culture. In 1998, USA Today said, “Today’s culture can be best described as a culture gone toxic.” I would add that things have only gotten worse over the years. And I would describe our culture as one that has moved from toxic to deadly.

But there is hope. If media can be used in a negative fashion, then it most certainly can be used in a positive fashion. That’s why we need this new media training center.

We have moved from a word-based society to an image-based society. This has enormous implications.

In order to fulfill the Great Commission and reach the world for Christ, we must now speak the language of media, the language of visual image, and the language of visual storytelling.

Some have said that today’s cinema has become the new church, a place where people are finding meaning, purpose and spirituality. If that’s true, that means that today’s filmmakers are the new priests and ministers. Our vision here at Media Missionary School is to raise up future media makers, who are grounded in spiritual principles, to become the new priests who will speak the language of media.

For years, we have focused on faith-based training and film camps. Although they have been highly successful, this new media center will allow us to take it to the next level. Our plans call for an extensive six-month comprehensive training program.

Our students will live, work, study, and create media in a community setting. We certainly want to emphasize the hands-on approach to training. But we are primarily committed to the development of the messenger as well as the message because I’m convinced it’s the only way we can change and redeem culture.

You could say we are the new frontier of missions for the 21st century. Our ultimate goal is to support the media missionary on a practical, spiritual, and emotional level.

There are many ministries which help and support foreign missionaries. But who is there to support the young person who believes he or she has been called to the mainstream media as a missionary. Well, that’s all about to change.We are answering the call. If Hollywood and the broader entertainment industry are mission fields then we need missionaries.

How can you help make the vision a reality? There are many roles you can play. You can provide financial support.

Phase 1 calls for basic renovations, construction of office space, painting, cleanup, and new carpet. Phase 2 entails equipping our primary classroom. Phase 3 will allow us to acquire the needed video, audio and editing equipment necessary to equip our students.

Phase 4 entails the development of a working studio with a lighting grid, switcher, and set construction. Phase 5 will entail the construction of student housing.

Please consider making a financial donation, not only to support one of the phases but my own personal mission support as well. You can also give “in kind donations”, such as couches, chairs, desks, flat screen televisions, computers. We have a detailed list online at Media Missionary School.com.

You can donate your time to help with construction and cleanup projects or offer your expertise in areas such as graphic design, web development, accounting, teaching, and mentoring.

You can also consider hosting an event or party at your home, where I can come and present the ministry to your family and friends.

You can also consider having me come to your church to speak and teach on issues concerning media, faith and culture. We have an extensive list of workshops and seminars listed on our website.

You can encourage your church to become a monthly supporter by adding Media Missionary School for missions support.

Consider purchasing my book, The Red Pill, The Cure for Today’s Mass Media Culture, to learn more about the media crisis and how it affects you and your children. A special rate is available for orders of 20 or more books.

As you can see, there are many ways you can help. The good news is there is hope. We can redeem and change the course that our society is currently following. But your participation is essential. The media culture can best be described as an invisible force much like a low dose of radiation. At first, it may have little or no effect, but over time it will make you sick and will eventually kill you.

However, we now have the cure for today’s media culture. This new site and the launch of our new media center will make Media Missionary School a force for positive change. Thank you and God bless

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