One of the members of the group asked me if I thought Tyler Perry was a media missionary. He had recently watched “I Can Do Bad All by Myself”. He observed how effortlessly Christian themes and concepts had been woven into the story. I have never met or talked to Tyler Perry. It’s my understanding that he has gone on the record to express his faith and belief in God. Based on his work, I think Tyler Perry is on to something. Yes I would consider him a classic example of a media missionary.
Let’s say for the sake of argument that an alien from a different world visited our world. What observations and views would our alien friend conclude about our society after a week of watching our mass media, network television programming and feature films? After close analysis and observation, he would probably think that we emphasize wealth, power, money, sex, and possessions. Although he would see isolated pockets of faith, belief, and Christianity being reflected, it would not be much of a factor in his overall conclusions and would consider faith and belief as not important. But we know that’s not true. Christianity is still important in the lives of millions of people in our society.
As my friend at the meeting of Christian magicians observed, Tyler Perry is a media missionary. However, Tyler is just one filmmaker. Yes, he is making an impact. But we need hundreds if not thousands of Tyler Perrys if we have any hope of making a significant impact for faith, belief, and Christianity.