We all know about the golden rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." I believe we can all come up with something pretty close to that, if approached by a random interviewer on the street and asked to recite it. Jesus/Yeshua stated this principle in the Sermon on the Mount as
"In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets." (Matthew 7:12)
As a parent, I spend a good amount of my time repeating this highly important instruction. As a parent, I can tell you that I have to let the scriptures speak to me regarding this on a regular basis.
So, can I put aside my secret desire to be interviewed on a sidewalk to explain to you why I am applying this "Super Rule" to Christian Movie watching? I am referring to the specific action of watching Christian Movies. I could actually subtitle this article with: "How to help Christian movies succeed."
Note: Christian movies are defined as all movies which are made by professing Christians and which put forth a Christian message. I must add that being a poorly made film is not a prerequisite for a Christian film.
Here's basically the deal. If people go to a film, the film does well. In other words, if people buy tickets, the movie makes money and the theater makes money. I want to focus on the theater as our first point of impact for a film. In order to actually support a film, one must travel to the theater and buy tickets.
If a film does well on opening weekend, it will be "kept" by the theater management and offered for another week or so. If a film does not sell tickets (bombs) it will not see another Friday. As you know, people keep making movies - good ones, bad ones, yes, ugly ones.
Now, in the public square (wherever that place is) Christians are often known for the things we boycott. While it is certainly important to let it be known where our feet will not walk (like the counsel of the ungodly), it is equally vital that we make our footie prints visible in places that we appreciate. We simply must encourage each other.
Does your Christian friend have a sock shop? Go buy Christian socks. Does she have a butter bar? Go enjoy the 21 varieties of fancy spiced butter and bless her for her efforts?
Now, we Christians are a fairly loyal bunch, but we often don't take as many risks as Shadrach and his pals did. Maybe it's because we've seen a bunch of cheese squirting all over the place in Christian movies. Maybe because we think they are ALL about raptures. I don't know, but simply put, if we don't get to them right away, they may be gone. We might not see ithem until it's stuck in the $5 bin at Lifeway.
Grace Hill Media is a PR/Marketing firm which serves to get church and synagogue members out to the movies. They inform leaders about films (not specifically Christian films, but ones with an uplifting theme) so they share it with their congregations. I have even spoken with them about marketing to homeschoolers. This is what they did with A Dolphin's Tale. If a bunch of homeschoolers would visit the theater on opening Friday to watch a new Christian Movie they could accomplish two things: Cheaper prices for the matinee viewing and less crowds. But here's the secret snausage for this trick: the movie itself will show an early spike in sales for the opening weekend. It may just help the film stay for another week and get more eyes. If the message is of a gospel nature, perhaps more lives will be changed.
So the Golden Rule of Watching Christian Movies is: Watch Christian Movies at the Theater on Opening Weekend (or at least, opening week).
If you were a Christian Movie maker, this is how you would want to be treated.
Are you willing to invest in the latest Christian film?