January 12, 2010
Go Ye into All The World With a Projector . . .
The recent Urbana student missions conference emphasized evangelistic films
The JESUS film has been going around the world for three decades, successfully bringing millions to Christ through thousands of screenings globally. So while the notion of "film as evangelism" is nothing new, it's taking on a new look -- and a new urgency -- among young Christians who are interested in international missions.
At the recently concluded Urbana 09 student missions conference, more than 1,000 students attended sessions devoted solely to the concept of evangelistic films, according to a recent story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The story noted that "younger filmmakers are turning away from using their craft as an element of the conversion process itself. Instead, they are taking the skills they've learned in film schools and using both documentary and fictional narrative techniques to change the direction in which their movies find an audience.
"Rather than making a movie that shows the story of Jesus to a Third World nonbeliever . . . today's Christian filmmaker might target an American audience and dramatize the dangers for those leading the underground church in China, or examining the role of the prosperity Gospel in Ghana."