One of the key principles that the movie industry in Hollywood is founded on is understanding how popular ideas and trends connect to an audience. It's no surprise that when comic books are popular, films like X-Men, Wolverine, Superman, or Batman hit the screen. When teen girls start buying romance novels, films based on books by Nicolas Sparks fill the theaters. When the Christian audience finally began buying tickets, once again, Hollywood responded. As a result, even in the middle of this economic recession, the entertainment industry is doing remarkably well.
Simply put, Hollywood understands the power of connection.
The truth is, connecting the ideals, dreams, and concerns of the culture to a compelling message is something the Apostle Paul discovered when he addressed the thinkers and philosophers at Athens in Acts 17. He didn't speak in a vacuum. He connected, because he understood and respected the issues that mattered to them.
As a result, they listened.
Today, the church has another remarkable moment where we can speak to the culture and connect them to a timeless story of faith, hope, and redemption. Even better, 20th Century Fox and Walden Media are making resources available from the movie for you to use to help tell that story.
Pastors, ministry leaders, and media directors across the country can download backgrounds, graphics files, photographs, video clips, and other resources connected to The Voyage of the Dawn Treader for free to use in supporting sermons, worship experiences, concerts, and more.
By using these resources, are we selling out to Hollywood? Absolutely not. We're simply using the resources and artifacts of a great movie to help tell our eternal story in a language and style our congregations understand.
How can you do it?
1. Create a sermon series based on one of the many themes of the movie. If you already know the Dawn Treader story, you'll understand how many Biblical ideas, concepts, and themes can be pulled from the text. Themes that perfectly match with the struggles people wrestle with today - struggles the Bible speaks to perfectly.
2. Support the message using graphic backgrounds and illustrations from the film. Use the backgrounds on your projected video screens for your scripture graphics, words to songs, key sermon points, and more.
3. Use clips of the film to illustrate points of your message. Nothing comes alive like a dramatic story, and using elements of the Narnia story in your message will really help connect to the audience.
4. Finally - advertise and promote your series using the graphic resources from the film. Trust me - these designs and materials cost a fortune, and their impact will immediately separate you from other local churches. Local post card mailers, billboards, print ads, and other promotional resources will help connect your messages to a movie everyone will be talking about.
It's been said that "Hollywood is great at making fake things look real, but Christians are great at making real things look fake." Now, you have the chance to change that perception. Here's your chance to share one of the greatest stories of C.S. Lewis, and create a platform to engage your community with the greatest story ever told.
Dr. Phil Cooke is a writer, speaker, filmmaker, & media consultant who's work focuses on creating personal and organizational cultures where real change happens.
This article originally appeared at NarniaFaith.com. Used with permission. Visit Crosswalk's Narnia page, and become a fan of our NarniaOnCrosswalk Facebook page!
Publication date: December 6, 2010