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Latest Christian film ‘Courageous’ly making an impact

Latest Christian film ‘Courageous’ly making an impact

Posted: Friday, October 14, 2011 9:59 pm
By: By CHRIS MENEES, Staff Reporter

Latest Christian film ‘Courageous’ly making an impact | Christian movie,Courageous,Sherwood Baptist Church

The Messenger 10.14.11

It’s more than a movie.
It’s a movie with a message.
They’re few and far between, but when a Christian flick makes its debut, it draws my attention and gains my support.
“Courageous” is one of those special movies.
My 10-year-old granddaughter perhaps summed it up best in one word: Awesome.
And she’s right. It’s awesome.
“Courageous” is the fourth release from Sherwood Pictures, the moviemaking ministry of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga. It comes on the heels of “Fireproof” (the No. 1 independent film of 2008), “Facing the Giants” (2006) and “Flywheel” (2003).
Using action, drama and humor, “Courageous” follows the lives of four men with one calling: to serve and protect as law enforcement officers who face danger daily. But when tragedy strikes close to home, they and a new friend are left wrestling with their hopes, their fears and their faith as they take on the challenges of fatherhood.
From the struggle comes a decision that changes all of their lives — and one which will impact movie-goers’ lives in a positive way.
With its single-word title, “Courageous” calls for men to rise up with strength and leadership in their homes, with their families and with their children — at a time when over 24 million American children live without their biological fathers, according to Sherwood.
But this movie isn’t just for fathers or even just for men.
While watching the movie, I couldn’t help but reflect on my own relationship with my dad, who just died in April of this year. I found myself relating to one movie character in particular as he realized the power of forgiveness and I found myself wiping away tears more than once.
I also found it refreshing to watch a family-friendly flick with no profanity, no graphic violence and no gratuitous sex. With violence and perversion rampant in today’s society, why should I pay good money to see that kind of garbage on the big screen?
Hollywood needs to pay attention and realize there is a market for family-oriented Christian films — movies that don’t need filthy language or excessive violence to be appealing … movies that don’t drag God’s name through the mud and instead do the opposite in glorifying Him.
In its opening weekend two weeks ago, “Courageous” claimed the fourth spot at the box office with an $8.8 million debut. The movie held strong its second weekend to stay in sixth place with $4.6 million.
During opening week, leading ticketing website Fandango.com listed the church-made film as No. 1 among all movies in its top-five list of the week’s hottest tickets. The film reached a whopping $2 million in pre-sales tickets the day before it even opened.
What makes these feats even more significant is the fact that “Courageous” opened in far fewer theaters — about 1,100 — compared to most big-time movies.
And what makes this movie even more special is that the Christian filmmakers weave in important spiritual truths in the hope that viewers will leave theaters thinking about their own lives and relationships with God and with others.
Sherwood Pictures’ leadership team is led by God and prayer is the foundation which precedes every phase of movie development, production and marketing. The casts and crews are comprised largely of volunteers who share Sherwood Church’s desire to reach the world from Albany, Ga.
With movie funds, Sherwood has helped plant three churches in the U.S., supports missions worldwide and works at home to fund local outreaches such as a food pantry, a crisis pregnancy program and a drug and alcohol treatment center.
Christian movies like “Courageous” may never win Academy Awards or even be nominated, but those earthly things don’t really matter.
The films are making a far greater impact in so many other ways in so many people’s lives.
As far as I’m concerned, that makes “Courageous” already a winner.

Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by email at cmenees@ucmessenger.com.

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