Local churches hoping 'Courageous' movie will be a boon to families

Local churches hoping 'Courageous' movie will be a boon to families

February 12th, 2012 by Clint Cooper in Life Entertainment

Law enforcement officer Adam Mitchell pulls a gun on a suspect in the film "Courageous," which is being screened by a number of area churches.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

Within a few weeks, a group of men from One Accord Community Church will stand before their families, their fellow church members and their God and recite promises to be the spiritual leader of their home.

The promises are the same ones made by a group of men after an examination of their lives in the movie "Courageous," which has been shown in a number of area churches this month.

"The five or six men in the movie probably all represent somebody in [any] church," said Ray Williams, pastor of One Accord, where the movie was shown last week. "They're so focused on work and everything and not there for their kids the way they should be."

The Sherwood Pictures movie, he said, suggests men should have a balance of work, family and church.

"Courageous," which cost $2 million to produce but earned $35 million following its September theatrical release, was the No. 1 DVD sold the third week of January, according to Studio Briefing, a daily digest of entertainment industry news.

Sherwood Pictures, which also produced the movies "Facing the Giants" and "Fireproof," is a ministry of Sherwood Baptist Church of Albany, Ga.

Marshall Thrasher, associate pastor and music pastor at Burning Bush Baptist Church in Ringgold, Ga., where the movie will be shown tonight at 6, said "Courageous" is good for the whole family.

"It's more action-packed [than previous Sherwood releases]," he said, "and it has a little more comedy. And I don't believe many men can sit through it without a few tears."

Jim Bennett, pastor of Fairview Baptist Church in Rossville, where "Courageous" will be shown on Sunday, Feb. 19, at 6 p.m., said he hoped it especially would touch the men in his congregation.

"Marriages [in general] are really suffering," he said, "and men are going to have to step up and become more responsible. That's what we're hoping to achieve."

Among other churches, Olivia Baptist in Dalton, Ga., will screen the movie today at 5 p.m.

Churches, which purchase a license to show the film, also can buy related Bible studies and other resources that can be used with small groups.

Thrasher said a "Courageous" sermon series and a four-week Bible study will follow the screening of the movie at Burning Bush Baptist.

"It gives you all the tools," he said of the movie. "You have to make the decision. It definitely challenges you."

Likewise, Bennett said he hopes a couples Bible study at Fairview Baptist using the "Courageous" materials will grow out of the movie screening.

Williams said the movie brought some watchers at One Accord to tears, sent some to the altar for prayer, caused some to vow spiritual leadership for their family and moved some to see to it their married children see the movie.

"If Satan destroys the home," he said, "he kills the church. [The movie] teaches a man how to biblically raise a child -- not in the way of the world but in the way of the Lord."

Men will understand that they're not doing the job with their children that they thought they were, Williams said.

"It had way more [impact] than I anticipated," he said.

Thrasher said the film calls men to godliness, to be godly fathers and examples, and to plug into their families.

"They're not just to be on the outskirts hoping their family comes out well," he said, "but to really dig into it."