"How could the main character have handled that differently?" I asked my kids after the movie ended.
Our family watches a lot of movies together. I sometimes try to find a spiritual lesson from the film that we can discuss. Some conversations are quick—others lengthy.
I don't always understand some of the responses I get from my children, but they are always interesting and rich with discovery. Their answers help me know where they are in their spiritual journey.
This method is used a lot during our mission trips at Jesus Film Project®. We use films to break down barriers and engage strangers in conversations that wouldn't naturally occur.
This happened in Ukraine recently. Our team was training a young believer named Fedir on how to use our films to share his faith.
A smile spread across Fedir's face as the two-minute video clip played. In "Jesus Calms the Storm," a segment from the "JESUS" film, the disciples cry out to Jesus to save them when a storm suddenly overtakes their boat. Jesus stands and stretches His arm out. Immediately the rain stops, and the seas calm.
After Fedir viewed the clip on the Jesus Film® app, he knew he wanted to use it to share his faith with others in Ukraine. Although he had been a believer for a couple of years, he had not yet learned how to evangelize. This was the reason he came to our training.
Finally, the time came for Fedir and a few others to go out into the city. Right away they saw a man, Oleg, sitting on a park bench. After talking, they asked Oleg if he'd watch a clip from "JESUS." The man agreed and watched "Jesus Calms the Storm" on a tablet (a gift generously provided by a Jesus Film ministry partner).
Fedir then asked Oleg if he'd ever experienced storms in his life. Oleg said yes, stiffening in his seat as painful memories washed over him.
"Jesus calmed the storms in my life," Fedir said, then he explained how Christ had saved him from a life of drunkenness and shame. Oleg nodded, clearly relating to the trials Fedir had experienced.
Fedir and his teammates used the tablet to go through a digital presentation of the gospel. When asked if he would like to have a personal relationship with Jesus, Oleg enthusiastically said, "Yes!"
Fedir later told the Jesus Film Mission Trips™ team this was the first time he'd shared his faith with someone.
Since then, Fedir has followed up with Oleg and connected him with a local church. And he's more excited than ever about reaching others with the gospel, knowing how easy it is to engage people using the media-rich Jesus Film app.
What are some ways you have used film, music or other media with your friends or family to talk about spiritual topics? Share in the comments below.