Big-Screen Evangelism Plays Featured Role in Reaching MultitudesBilly Graham's ministry creates movies to tell a profound message, though many say Christians have no business in the movie industry.
by Allie Martin
(AgapePress)...Being relevant to a changing culture while pointing people to Jesus -- that is the goal of one Christian ministry.
Fifty years ago, World Wide Pictures was formed as a way to film crusades by Dr. Billy Graham and show those crusades in theaters in smaller towns that could not host a crusade. Now, World Wide Pictures makes full-length movies with a Christian theme.
Barry Werner is managing director for WWP. He says the film ministry has impacted society.
"Through all the years, Dr. Graham has been very sensitive to the Holy Spirit and understanding where people were. And really, if you want to have people understand and hear the gospel, you have to go where they are -- and not necessarily always into the church," Werner says.
"Even though there's a tremendous ministry to Christians through our films, we're really dealing with more of a 'harvest' evangelism," he explains. "So our films try to go where people are that are not necessarily believers and haven't really made that choice in their life yet."
Werner says although many say Christians have no business being in the movie industry, it is an effective tool for sharing Christ.
"There are certain ways to make films that are entertaining -- and you have to follow, to some extent, the model that is out there of other filmmakers," he says. "If you can do that ... and then incorporate the gospel in a very natural way so it doesn't feel pasted on, you can take a story and turn it into an evangelistic story."
The ministry produced its first theatrical release in 1965. Recent releases include Road to Redemption, Something to Sing About, and The Climb. World Wide Pictures is planning to release a new movie sometime this year entitled Last Light Out.