impacting the culture
"Facing the Giants" couldn't be a more
appropriate title for a movie. This charming independent film tells the story
of a Christian high school football coach fighting a losing streak. He dares
his players to harness the power of their faith to propel the team to victory.
The film culminates with a game between the comeback team facing the district
champs-aptly named the Giants. It's also a movie about facing the giants of
life with God behind you and in you. And behind the scenes it's the story of
Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia, facing the giants of the film
Alex Kendrick, associate pastor of media ministries at Sherwood Church had a
vision for making Christian moviesAlex sees this model for making movies as a
way of sharing Christ with contemporary culture while building the but
wasn't sure how his job at the church fit into that vision. God intervened when
pastor Michael Catt asked Alex to give him a proposal for making movies.
"When he brought me the proposal," Michael says, "I asked myself 'why can't
we do something like this at our church?'" And a new ministry was born.
The movies produced by Sherwood Church, first "Flywheel" and now "Facing the
Giants," have been whole-church projects. From funding to labor to acting
talent, both productions became a ministry and mission of the church.
Brothers Alex and Stephen Kendrick and an all-volunteer crew made "Facing
the Giants" for little more than $100K. There were no big stars. No expensive
sets. Not even a catering company (Sunday School classes took turns catering on
the set). And, here's the real giant, Sony Pictures is putting it in 400
theaters nationwide beginning September 29. Just in time for football
faith of people in the church.
"I hope this movie causes people to examine where they stand with the Lord
and pursue a closer walk with God, and I pray this will open doors for the
Christian community to make more films and impact mainstream culture for
And even when the film's theater run ends, its impact will continue. With
proceeds from the film, Sherwood plans to build a 40-acre recreational park for
This latest movie, while fairly predictable, is still quite watchable thanks
to some great football footage filmed by an ESPN camera crew, a feel-good story
line-think "Hoosiers" meets "Remember the Titans"-and a moving score.
Synopsis: Grant Taylor, (writer/director Alex Kendrick) a struggling coach
at a Christian high school, is trying to turn around a losing team while also
facing financial struggles, pressure from parents and his wife's infertility.
But, as coach Taylor begins to develop a God-centered view of his role,
attitudes of his players begin to change. Relationships throughout the school
are mended and students start coming to Christ. But for all its positive tie
ups, this is not your typical Christian flick with all the cheap hang-ups
(though it did receive a PG rating for "explicit Christian content"). It's a
quality family film. You laugh at the right times, and tears are inevitable.
When it's all said and done, you'll leave with a feeling that all things are
possible with God.
For more info about the movie visitwww.FacingtheGiants.com.
The homeless of Hawaii would seem to be
in paradise with the harshest weather a drizzle and the beach their version of
skid row. Not so, according to Gary Hamrick, outreach pastor of Valley Isle
Fellowship. "We are the ice capital of the world," he says, referring to the
island's problems with the drug crystal methamphetamine. "And many of our
homeless are families with young children. They're as good as they'll get, but
they're not happy. Nobody wants to be homeless."
Because of its high real estate cost ($800,000 for 1,500 square feet), many
are working homeless, including public school teachers who moved to the island
but can't afford the living expenses.
Following a 40 Days of Community emphasis, members of Valley Isle began
planning and praying for an intensive outreach to "Kahului Breakwater
Community," the nickname for the homeless community nearby in Kahului Harbor on
Late last fall, members began flooding the area with acts of kindness. They
picked up trash, cleaned up living areas, passed out first aid kits,
toiletries, bedding and food and shared the message of Jesus Christ. Children
took part in games and activities while parents and others were ministered to
by more than a hundred kind folks from Valley Isle.
"This is the largest community outreach project we've ever attempted," says
pastor Dick Smith.
In fact, it became a community-wide project with businesses donating most of
the supplies and city officials attending just to see what was going on.
It was incredible how receptive the people were to the ministry effort, says
Hamrick. "We had bathed this thing in prayer for days," he says. "They're not
an easy community to get into, but all their suspicion melted away because of
the love of God shown through us."
More than 500 public schools educate the
children in northeast Ohio, and it's a ripe mission field says missionary Lora
Smith, director of community impact at Cleveland Hope, a strategic initiative
of the North American Mission Board.
"I had been working with the Cleveland Board of Education and I asked them
'if you could do one thing in these schools that would transform them what
would you do?' One board member said 'I would have churches adopt the
So Lora began exploring the possibilities and praying for God's vision.
"I realized that when you adopt a child, you don't just feed him or her
every once in a while. You don't just spend one day a month doing things for
the child," Lora says. "You become integrated into that child's life. You
regularly provide emotional, social and physical nourishment. That's how it
should be when a church adopts a school."
Lora tells the story of her visit to a local elementary school and to a
third grade class holding a young authors day. Each child sat at a desk covered
by a white plastic tablecloth holding a pen and ready to discuss the small book
they'd written. She watched the excitement of the children as parents and other
adults sat listening to the young authors describe their creations. But she
also saw more than a dozen kids who had no one there to visit them.
"What would happen if a Sunday school class at a local church committed to
having somebody present at these special events-to be there and care for the
emotional well being of these children? Imagine what an impact we'd have on
them," says Lora.
In coming months, Cleveland Hope will partner with Tony Evans'
Adopt-a-School program to make those ideas a reality. Cleveland Hope also has
appointed Jo Anne Anderson, an MSC missionary, to work with schools by
ministering to the needs of teachers, students and parents. Jo Anne has been a
substitute teacher for six years. "I discovered you can have the greatest
impact on teachers if you're regularly in the classrooms."
For more information on how to support the ministries of Cleveland Hope
volunteering in missions
"Child of Anshun" | by Tracy Jackson
"I took a trip with Alpha Baptist Church in Morristown, Tennessee, to
the city of Anshun in the Guizhou Province in China. I took this picture while
doing ministry in the city there. In the image a boy is sitting outside a
Buddhist temple begging for food. It broke my heart that all any of our group
had to give him were a few pieces of candy."
Photographer Tracy Jackson, who also is a licensed cosmotologist, went on
this mission trip to learn the discipline of Chinese massage while teaching
Chinese hairdressers the techniques and practices of cosmotologists in the
United States. In the process, Tracy was able to share her faith with Chinese
hairdressers and with residents of Anshun such as this boy, who is pictured
holding some of the candy he received.
Find your favorite mission trip image, and send it to On Mission for our 2007
?PICTURE THIS! photo contest. Winners will receive $100 plus we'll publish
?your photo. Email photos to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to On Mission,
?North American Mission Board, 4200 North Point Parkway, Alpharetta, GA 30022.
?Entries due by August 30, 2007.
Moving season's over. The kids are in school. Your new neighbors are
settling into their homes and, much like you, into the even busier schedule of
fall. Don't let life keep you from those important relationships where you can
share Christ. Here are three simple ways to build and maintain relationships in
your neighborhood throughout the year:
The Spanish version of NAMB.net, NAMB en Espanol provides the latest
information for Spanish speakers about the mission in North America and how
Spanish-speaking congregations and believers can more effectively reach North
America for Christ. Log on for information about evangelism, church planting,
volunteering in missions and sending missionaries.
Este nuevo sitio de la Junta de Misiones Norteamericanas provee información
para los hispano parlantes sobre nuestra misión para Norteamérica y cómo las
congregaciones y los creyentes hispanos pueden alcanzar a Norteamérica para
Cristo. Vaya al sitio para más información y recursos sobre evangelismo,
nuevas iglesias, voluntarios, y misioneros.
The website of marketplace ministry leader Os Hillman provides devotionals,
resources and inspiration for professionals wanting to make a difference where
they work. You can subscribe to the TGIF newsletter and receive daily wisdom
about impacting the marketplace.
The website of the International Coalition of Workplace Ministries provides
tools and resources such as PowerPoint presentations, articles and other
materials that will keep you informed and inspired about doing God's work where
One Sacred Effort (B&H, 2005) by Chad Owen Brand and David E. Hankins
chronicles the history, function, purpose and future of the Cooperative Program
of Southern Baptists and how the program fits with New Testament teachings. The
Cooperative Program organizes and distributes the missions-giving efforts of
Southern Baptists, enabling state conventions and national SBC agencies and
educational institutions to carry out their tasks with greater
The Complete Evangelism Guidebook (Baker, 2006) edited by Scott Dawson
gathers the wisdom of Christian leaders, pastors and practitioners who have
years of experience in sharing their faith and have undergone the trial and
error process of getting it right. From the soul-searching research of George
Barna to the servant spirit of Steve Sjogren, The CEG is a practical companion
for any believer's shelf.
Making Change (B&H, 2006) by Ken Hemphill is the third book in a series
on Empowering Kingdom Growth. Hemphill provides a step-by-step plan for
refocusing the view on financial and other material wealth into a biblical
perspective that views wealth as a tool God uses to build His Kingdom and
provide for his people. With practical instruction on debt reduction, earning,
saving and spending, this six week study reminds us that "God is the owner;
people are the managers. When we operate from that mind-set, we avoid the
stress in life that keeps us from being kingdom-focused people."
A Little Primer on Humble Apologetics (IVP, 2006) by James Sire provides an
introduction to defending the faith the way scripture teaches: humbly yet
boldly. Sire presents snapshots of apologetics on college campuses and offers
the aspiring apologist wisdom in pursuing further study in the field. It's a
good little manual for college students, too.
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and theAnnie Armstrong Easter Offering® ©Copyright 2013 North American Mission Board, SBC