Alabama Baptists expect to use 'Son of God' film as outreachcomment (0)
February 28, 2014
By Carrie Brown McWhorter
Fans of the History Channel’s “The Bible” miniseries hope the Feb. 28 national release of the film “Son of God” will open the door to more conversations about the life of Jesus.
The film, produced by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey and adapted from footage shot during the filming of “The Bible,” brings the full story of Jesus’ teaching and ministry to the big screen — the first time it’s been done by a major Hollywood studio in more than 50 years. Such a film is long overdue, Burnett said.
“A story larger than life needs to be experienced larger than life,” he said.
“Now people can bring their family, friends and neighbors to experience together the incredible story of Jesus,” Downey said. “We pray this film will really spread the word about Jesus’ love and sacrifice for all of us.”
Many religious leaders, including Baptists in Alabama, are citing the movie as a natural opportunity to talk about the Gospel.
Eureka Baptist Church, Talladega, in Coosa River Baptist Association, is planning to an outing to see the film on Sunday. Pastor Jason Grissom hopes the film will encourage as much discussion as the miniseries did.
“I was inundated with questions after ‘The Bible’ miniseries and caught off guard by its popularity and the thoroughness of questions asked. So this event is a means to be ready to give an account of the hope that is within us,” Grissom said.
Grissom hopes to use the film as an outreach event as well. He has encouraged members to invite unchurched friends, family members, neighbors and co-workers to see the movie and join them for dinner and discussion afterwards.
Starting conversations about Jesus is one of the goals Burnett and Downey have for the film.
“We don’t want the experience to end for audiences when the credits roll,” Burnett said. “There is so much to learn from and apply to our everyday lives in the things Jesus did and said.”
A companion study written by Warren and published by LifeWay Christian Resources offers a guide to churches who want to dig deeper into the life lessons of Jesus’ ministry, Burnett said. “Son of God: The Life of Jesus in You” is a six-session DVD small group Bible study, which features video clips from the film. Topics include baptism, temptation, suffering, death, resurrection and ministry. Scenes from the movie such as Jesus being baptized by John the Baptist will help illustrate each topic.
The study also features Warren explaining how you can find your purpose in studying the life of Jesus. The study was released Feb. 15 and is available at LifeWay Stores and LifeWay.com/SonofGod.
“Through the ‘Son of God’ study, people will receive practical teaching on the life of Jesus and its impact on individual lives and life purpose. Jesus’ teaching transforms from the inside out,” Warren said.
After Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” made $612 million, observers expected to see more films about Jesus. Though several Bible-inspired films are currently in production, it has been 10 years since “Passion” was in theaters, which means many young people have never seen a depiction of Jesus’ life on film, said Heath Miller, minister to students at Golden Springs Baptist Church, Anniston, in Calhoun Baptist Association.
Miller plans to attend “Son of God” this weekend and hopes some of his students, most of whom were preschoolers when “Passion” was released, will come along. He believes the greatest potential of the film is that it will open doors for believers to talk to others about Jesus.
“Any time that I can do something to initiate spiritual conversations with my students, I want to take advantage of that,” Miller said. “I don’t know that the film itself serves as a witnessing tool, but having this film in theaters everywhere will have people talking about Jesus with their friends, coworkers, or in my case, students, and open doors for Christians to explain the significance of what Jesus did on our behalf.”