Hollywood Is a Mission Field, Former Agent Says
- James Dotson Baptist Press
- 2004 1 Jan
DALLAS — Being a Christian in Hollywood can feel like a lonely existence in many ways, but a growing network of Christian fellowship groups in the entertainment capital are making it easier, former talent agent Victorya Michaels Rogers noted. And there is as much a need as ever, she said, for Christians in show business to influence those around them with the Gospel.
"People say, 'How can you be in Hollywood, one of the most evil places in the world, and still be a Christian?'" Rogers said. "How can you not be there? It is the most important mission field there is in this world. I passionately believe that. ... If Washington is the seat of power in this world, Hollywood is the seat of influence."
Rogers, who spent 10 years as a talent agent while maintaining a strong Christian faith, is now an author and speaker on how Christians are impacting Hollywood – as well as a Mission Service Corps missionary for the North American Mission Board (NAMB). She was featured during the NAMB-sponsored Elevate 2004 conference for young adults at Prestonwood Baptist Church in suburban Dallas, and she will be part of the second Elevate conference Feb. 19-21 at the Charlotte (N.C.) Convention Center.
Rogers said she learned early in her career that Christians can maintain their convictions without alienating themselves from those around them. Her advice: Don't worry about being perfect as much as responding well after others see that you aren't.
"You're going to make mistakes, but it's what you do next that matters," she said. "It's calling somebody up and saying, 'Sorry I lost my cool the other day. As a Christian it really made me feel bad, and I apologize.' Did you know you can go further in winning them to Christ that way than not making any mistakes ever?"
She also advised against condemning lifestyle issues among non-Christians. "I'm not trying to say you approve of their lifestyle. I'm saying, what good does it do to clean up a bunch of sinners if it doesn't get them to heaven? ... Your goal is to share Jesus with the power of the Holy Spirit and leave the results to God."
An example, she said, is her usual response when someone uses the Lord's name in vain in her presence. Rather than take offense openly, she simply quips, "He's my Savior," with a smile. She then finds more opportunities to talk about Christ later.
In her book, "How to Talk About Jesus Without Freaking Out," Rogers outlines a three-step process for sharing Christ 1) Allow people to tell their story, which often reveals parallels with the Christian's own spiritual walk; 2) share a three-minute personal testimony of how Christ has impacted your own life; and 3) share Christ's story in a simple, straightforward manner.
There is still plenty of room, she said, for Christians willing to make a difference by living and working in Hollywood – and for others across the country to pray regularly for stars and industry leaders.
"I know many movie stars and many actors, and I'll tell you – if they don't have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, they are empty," she said. "There are more hurting people in Hollywood than anywhere."
Photo by James Dotson.
© 2004 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press. All rights reserved. Used with permission.