I was looking forward to a nice cozy night at home Friday night watching a movie. We decided that my wife would go to the video store and pick out a flick while I watched the kids and cooked a frozen pizza (pizza is a Friday tradition at our house). When my wife got home I asked, "What did you get?" I had given her a couple of recommendations, knowing that there was a good chance she's come home with a chic flick. Her answer: "I got this movie starring Michael W. Smith and some other guy. It's about a praise and worship leader at a suburban church who pushes the envelope and get sents to work in the inner city."
My heart sunk. She had to be kidding. Don't get me wrong. I think Smith's music is great. But I had very little faith that this movie I'd never heard of about a praise and worship leader would meet my standards for cinematic excellence.
In review: This movie was surprisingly good. Did it have some cheesiness? Of course. But overall it was like a powerful one point sermon about the mission efforts of churches. The movie makes a strong statement about how many Christians really get behind efforts to minister in thriving, expanding communities, and even do world missions, but at the same time, neglecting the inner city poor who live within a short driving distance. This movie really convicted me about the difficulty of inner city ministry and about the issues that drive children into gang life.
I can't say that this was a movie I was excited about seeing. After seeing it, I can say this is a movie that you need to see. It will probably challenge you and break your heart for the pain and poverty that exists within a short distance from your house, and also inspire you to remember that Jesus is the answer even there.