The pressure on Christians and the church to affirm all things LGBTQ is intense and undeniable. It not only reaches into corporations and the media but has also permeated almost every mainline denomination in America in one form or another. Despite this pressure, many godly Christian pastors and ministry leaders are stepping up to do something about it.
Since the release of American Family Studios’ (AFS) documentary In His Image: Delighting in God’s Plan for Gender and Sexuality, more than 150 groups have requested to host a screening or plan an event around this important topic.
Director Kendra White had this to say: “It’s been so encouraging to see all the creative ways people are sharing this film. We’ve had lots of churches host community wide events, including one in Las Vegas, which was a bit of a surprise.”
In addition, several prisons plan to show the film because inmates heard about it through American Family Radio and contacted their chaplains requesting to watch it. One of the more unusual requests to screen the film came from a businessman who wanted to host an event at his restaurant.
“God is so unique and peculiar in the ways He works,” observed White. “He desires that none should perish and is willing to work through anyone who is willing to say yes to Him! We recognize that it is not always an easy thing for people to bring this message to their congregations.”
One report from a youth group told AFS about their discussion following a screening. Apparently, several students were struggling with these sexual issues, and their discussion time was heated and tense, but productive.
“It’s been so cool to see godly men and women step up and contact their deacon boards and pastors,” said White. “Even though this issue causes a lot of tension, it has also been producing much fruit!”
Reports from others who have screened the film and have seen lives changed are pouring in to AFS. One Presbyterian church spokesperson said, “It was a tremendous encouragement to our congregation – both to those whose hearts are aching as they walk with loved ones through these issues and to those who are wondering how they can better approach these issues of our day with truth and love. Thank you all so much for this film.”
“Prayerfully consider hosting a screening,” urged Wesley Wildmon, AFA vice president of outreach. “Take a bold stand so those who are bound by the chains of sexual brokenness can hear the truth and experience true freedom in Christ.”
Four ways to share it:
AFS is eager to help others plan an event so more lives can be reached with this powerful message of hope and freedom. To request your Host a Screening kit and to get the ball rolling, visit inhisimage.movie and click on the Host an Event button.
▶ Movie ministry night
Host a one-night-only screening of the film and follow it up with a brief time of prayer.
▶ Small group study
Each week, watch about 20 minutes of the film, then discuss the content, look up the verses, and go more in depth. Bonus features have concise answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.
▶ Sermon series
There are several ways a pastor can break the film into smaller units to fit the church worship schedule.
▶ Weekend conference
Build a multi-day conference around the themes presented in In His Image. Screen the film and have special guest speakers, Q and A, or a panel discussion and a time of prayer and ministry for those struggling.
In His Image was runner-up for both Best Documentary and Best Gospel Presentation at the Christian Worldview Film Festival. The festival was held in Woodstock, Georgia, August 4-6.
(Editor's Note: This article is from an upcoming edition [October] of the AFA Journal. Look for it soon.)