5 Things that Hollywood taught me about ministry

HollywoodMovies are great aren’t they?! They make you feel lots of different emotions. Movies tell a compelling story that is intended to touch your heart in some way. But you know what? Wait for it…….they are not real! I know, I know! Complete shocker.

I love movies but at the end of the day they are just a good distraction from real life. Or are they? Here are 5 things that I learned about ministry from Hollywood.

1. There will always be an antagonist

Movies have enemies or antagonists because it makes the plot more interesting. In the real world, we have people who disagree with us. Period. You can’t make everyone happy. At the end of the day, you have to do what you believe God is calling you to do even if someone disagrees with you.

2. Even hero’s need help

Ever seen a movie where a problem occurs and the hero of the movie swoops in a solves it in an instant? Nope. That wouldn’t be very interesting. Usually the hero tries to solve it on his/her own but is met with defeat. Only then does the hero consult friends or a wiser (usually older) person to help them figure out a solution to the problem. Take away- Don’t try to make it through life on your own. We were made to be in community with each other.  We need to fully rely on God and our family and friends to make it.

3. There is a bigger picture

Well why did that character do that? OR

Why is that character acting like that?

These are a couple of the questions we ask ourselves in the beginning of the movie. As we try to figure out the plot of the movie we are only given bits and pieces otherwise there wouldn’t be much of a story to tell. Same reality with God. We don’t have all the facts because……..well……I guess God just didn’t want to give them to us. No really, if you had all of the facts would you feel like you need God? Probably not. There is a much bigger picture unfolding all around us that we need to remember. Life is full of mysteries and we need to be OK with that.

4. Sometimes we run upstairs when we should have gone downstairs.

Most horror films include, somewhere in the movie, a helpless person running upstairs from the monster/killer only to trap themselves when they should have gone downstairs. That’s the point where we are all yelling at the TV screen “No don’t go up there! What are you doing?!” You know you’ve done that :).  God has a path for us and it’s a good one but sometimes……we run “upstairs” and trap ourselves. What this “movie truth” taught me is that I’m not alone. We all make mistakes. Thankfully we serve a God that forgives us and gives us the opportunity to get back on track.

5. At the end of the day relationships are what counts the most

I can’t count the number of movies that end like this……You see a close up of the major characters of the movie holding each other. The camera begins to pan out and you start to see that they are surrounded by debris and devastation. They embrace each other and then the theatrical music and credits begin to roll.  By the end of the movie it didn’t matter that their house was blown away, or the dog was abducted by aliens, or the car was smashed. What mattered is that they were still together. As we race through ministry together, it’s not about the songs we play/sing, how we play/sing them, what new fancy toys we have, or who gets to do what. It’s about relationships. Relationships with each other and our relationship with God. The other things that we do are tools to achieve deeper relationships with each other and God. That’s it. That’s all they are good for. We need to keep this in perspective at all times.

Let’s keep the conversation going! What other things can Hollywood teach us about ministry? Thoughts or questions are appreciated below!

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