Movies With a Message
October 1, 2006 - The temperature was minus 20 F the evening that 13 people turned out for a showing of “The Restless Ones” at a youth activity center in central Norway. Film evangelist Asbjørn Häger had helped a local pastor arrange the showing in the small countryside town.
by Decision staff
“In the evenings it was so cold that the people had to leave all their [outerwear] on,” recalls Häger, who had driven all day in heavy snow to get to the venue. When he saw the small crowd, he was somewhat disappointed.
Several weeks later, the local pastor called Häger to say that a man came to his home to tell him that he had committed his life to Christ that cold night he came out to watch the movie.
Instances like this have made Häger’s four decades of trekking throughout the Nordic countries all worthwhile.
“Norway is a hard place,” says Häger, whose travels have taken him more than 1 million kilometers. The country has a state church, and though 85 to 90 percent of the people may belong to a church, only about 5 percent of Norwegian people actually attend. Nowadays, with the country’s strong oil production and sound economy, Häger says, “People are more filled up with materialism than thinking about God.” Häger sees the value in using the popular medium of films—films that contain a Gospel message—as effective tools for evangelism. “I hear many times, ‘It’s only a film,’” he says. “But a film can be for many people a real good bridging.”
Häger’s passion for people to hear the truth of the Gospel through evangelistic films is shared by other BGEA film evangelists around the world who are helping to organize film outreach events.
- In Panama City, Allen Henry has equipped a bus with chairs, a film projector and sound equipment in order to present films throughout the city and surrounding areas. Passersby watch the movie projected on a screen attached to the side of the bus.
- In Ghana, Spencer Duncan showed “Something to Sing About” to 120 prison inmates condemned to death; 12 received Christ as their Savior.
- Outside Johannesburg, South Africa, in a crime-ridden area known as Orange Farm Township, Peter Sekhonoyane reports that in one month’s time, after repeated showings of “The Prodigal,” more than 1,100 people accepted Christ and more than 250 rededicated their lives to Him. “We’ve abandoned the idea of showing films in small church buildings,” says Sekhonoyane, because “we cannot squeeze people in anymore.” He has resorted to showings in open-air places. All new believers are discipled through prayer centers in the area.
- In Argentina, “Road to Redemption” and “The Climb” were shown at a summer camp where about a dozen teens came to know the Lord each week.
- In Ukraine, a Christian ministry has formed a soccer league to reach out to 50 teams of players ranging from 15 to 65 years old. “The Climb” is shown during meetings with the various teams.
- Sydney, Australia, is the city of departure for port missionary Rob Flinders, who ministers to sailors. He places films onboard ships for crew members to watch during their one- to three-month voyages. Flinders writes, “I am often able to use the content and message of a film as a springboard to talk to a sailor about his relationship with Jesus Christ.”
- In the Philippines, after a showing under a mango tree in Rizal province, the film evangelist saw people in nearby homes watching from their windows as the pastor gave closing remarks and an invitation to a Bible study.
BGEA has produced more than 100 films since 1950. If you live in the U.S. or Canada, go to grason.org for a list of films available for purchase. If your church is interested in using films as part of an outreach, contact us at 1-800-733-4997 or email@example.com.
If you live outside the U.S. or Canada and are interested in using a BGEA film for an outreach, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.