Influence in Mainstream and the Marketplace

Stan Russell   -  

I was thrilled to see that there are currently three movies that have a bible emphasis that are in the top ten for mainstream Hollywood movies this week. I can’t ever remember this happening before. Heaven is for Real is at #3, Noah at #9 and God’s not Dead at #10. Not to mention that the movie Son of God was also in the top ten just weeks ago. (See the results online here: http://www.boxofficemojo com/weekend/chart/.)
I know you can find fault in some way with each of these movies. Noah: not true enough to the text (I agree), Heaven is for Real: could have gone further to bring it home about how to get to heaven, God’s not Dead: close in quality but missed the mark by a bit, Son of God: too small a budget and looked like the TV series.  But come on people, see it!!! This is good! These movies are in the top ten of mainstream! The point is, we are making progress and we are going to continue to bring Jesus and the bible to mainstream America. I am thrilled about it and praying for the future movie makers, actors and actresses, business people, singers, entertainers, politicians and athletes. It is a new day. We are not going backward, we are going forward. God is calling us to shift the conversation, to change the perception, to show His grace and truth to mainstream America and to do this not just within the confines of church walls.
1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.” (NLT)
Romans 10:14-15 tells us, “But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, ‘How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!’” (NLT)
I love it when believers penetrate the marketplace. I have this conviction that we made a mistake a generation or two ago when we decided to hold up in the church and keep ourselves pure. We are called by God to shine our light in this world and when we left the mainstream with our music, our art and even decided movies were evil and that we should stay away, we left these things to the darkness. We can use the arts, entertainment and technology in a godly way to change the tide, to bring our nation back to God. The same is true with business. We are all ministers and business can and should be one of our main focuses for ministry. I believe God is calling His people to re-enter the marketplace. To be loving and caring, but bold to share who Jesus really is.
Please pray for and ask God how to support His servants who are missionaries in the entertainment industry. All too often we have made them feel they have left the faith, when in reality they are on the front lines, fulfilling a call that Jesus has given them.
There is a movement afoot to encourage and equip people to do just this. It is called the 7 Mountains of Influence. Here is a brief synopsis of how this got started:
There are 7 Mountains of Influence in Culture…
In 1975, Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade, and Loren Cunningham, founder of Youth with a Mission, had lunch together in Colorado. God simultaneously gave each of these change agents a message to give to the other. During that same timeframe Francis Schaeffer was given a similar message. That message was that if we are to impact any nation for Jesus Christ, then we would have to affect the seven spheres, or mountains of society that are the pillars of any society.
These seven mountains are business, government, media, arts and entertainment, education, the family and religion. There are many subgroups under these main categories. About a month later, the Lord showed Francis Schaeffer the same thing. In essence, God was telling these three change agents where the battlefield was. It was here where culture would be won or lost. Their assignment was to raise up change agents to scale the mountains and to help a new generation of change agents understand the larger story.
Follow this link if you are interested in more information about the 7 Mountains of Influence: http://www.7culturalmountains.org.
Grace and Truth,
Pastor Stan