Thursday, March 11, 2021

Church People: Review and Giveaway

 

It's almost Easter. What will your church be doing to celebrate? A play, songs, a virtual event? I laugh when I think back to a time when I was caught up in the production of making Easter an extraordinary event. I loved acting and had a pretty decent part in my church play. So much so that for years afterwards people would bring it up in conversation, beginning with, "remember when . . .?" We would then reminisce. Years later, once I had kids, the productions became more and more involved. And intense. One year, a skit was preformed where half a dozen teens dressed up as demons drinking alcohol and doing drugs. Of course in the end Jesus died on the cross freeing them of their addictions but I had young children. All I kept thinking was, if this were playing on the television I would NOT let them watch it. In addition the to acting, the music was a bit edgy. I didn't want to make a scene but I'm the type of person to walk out of a movie theater if the movie does not align with my beliefs so even though I hated walking out of my own church I calmly took my kids into the foyer until it was done. I was shaking. Was I being too dramatic? I hated being put in that situation but I did not want my kids watching that and my husband agreed. Once the service was over, someone (a leader in the church) approached me and said they respected my decision to remove my kids while another leader approached me in defense of the play. I do not regret what I did because it taught my children that our family, regardless of what others do, will not mix the gospel with worldly things. (In this case worldly music and methods to present the "gospel.") 

The movie Church People addresses the question, "Is the gospel enough?" Is it? Do we feel like we need to add to the gospel to draw people in? Do we need to pull on their emotions to prove to them that they need a savior? 

It is the Holy Spirt that draws sinners to repentance. Simple as that. We do not need to add worldly methods to see God's hand move. 
 




When Christians get upset about worldly teachings being taught in schools some homeschoolers (myself included) say, "the problem is not what is being taught in public school. The problem is that there are public schools in the first place." I would say the same thing about youth groups, which are addressed in this movie. This movie highlights a youth pastor who has gone a bit too far in trying to reach the youth (by following the example of the lead pastor who goes even further than him trying to reach the congregation). The problem is not that youth programs have gone too far, the problem is that youth groups exist in the first place. 

Coming from a youth group attendee who ended up being a youth intern and started out in the youth ministry program in college but ended by graduating with a Christian education degree, I learned a thing or two about this type of ministry and have concluded that it is not scriptural. Since it is not scriptural, it will not stand. This means that the problems this movie addresses in a semi-humorous tone cannot be fixed within the context it is in but by bringing the church back to focusing on the family unit as a whole, not adjusting the church to the standards of the youth. 

Curious about how this movie addresses the modern church and youth movement and the issues they face today? Enter the giveaway below by 11:59 pm 3/17 or view in select theaters and churches (browse showings here)! Download your discussion guide here.

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Disclosure: Many thanks to Collide Distribution for providing this product/product information for review. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

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