There is an increasing amount of discussion among Christian filmmakers as to the ideal type of films we should be making. These filmmakers, of which I am one, are a colorful variety. Some want to make overtly evangelical fire and brimstone films; others insist on having a Bible study scene, or a church scene, and absolutely MUST have a conversion scene in their films; others want to make films which target a secular audience but have a subtle underlying Christian message in them; some put message first and quality second; some have gone to film school, some have not; some are genuine professionals who know story; some are independent filmmakers of varying qualities; and others don’t want to be know as Christian filmmakers at all, but just filmmakers who might happen to be Christians. – There are a lot of different types of Christians making a lot of different types of films.
The problem with some of this discussion and disagreement is that it often moves from being constructively critical, to out-rightly knocking and making fun of Christian attempts at evangelism. We end up with Christians becoming the worst enemy of Christian projects. – and that just ain’t right.
What we really need to do is to get a consensus on exactly what we should all be doing. If we can first decide together what our aim as Christian filmmakers is, then we can work out the details later on. – We need an education program.
Perhaps what we need is an overarching mission statement of sorts which summarizes what the one thing is that we are all trying to achieve. We may all do this one thing in different ways, but at least we would all be heading in the same direction.
I don’t claim to have the whole answer, – just like you I’m trying to figure it out too, but I think it is vitally important that we begin to nut out exactly what we are all trying to achieve. – what are we ultimately hoping to achieve through the films we make? – what is the impact?
For myself I have worked out the following as my ‘this is exactly what I am doing’ statement:
“To be subtly evangelistic through entertainment.”
Maybe this isn’t for you, but maybe it is. For me the above statement is something that could very easily apply to many Christian filmmakers who I know, as well as to other forms of Christian media including radio and television. If this mission statement doesn’t fit you, well that’s fine – but I urge you to find your own so that you will be more focused on what you are doing and achieve more for Christ. And who knows, after sometime we might compare notes and find that we are not so different after all.