Silver Screen - Golden Opportunity: The Value of Film in Pastoral Ministry
Rodewald, Daniel L.
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The American movie industry is perhaps the premier entertainment industry in the world today. The films that are released every year dominate popular culture in the United States and have a profound impact on meaning-making in individuals and groups. Movies reflect, shape, influence, and are influenced by the societies in which they are created and viewed. As such, they provide a valuable look into the values, beliefs, and struggles of the everyday American – including the ones sitting in WELS pews and standing behind WELS pulpits. With movies being such an important influence in the lives of people, how can the Lutheran pastor view and utilize film in a way that benefits himself and his ministry? This paper presents a strategy for viewing movies in a way that enables a pastor to discern value from a film and explores the value that movies hold for the pastor in understanding his community and people. In addition, this paper will provide practical application of film study and usage in the life of a congregation, as well as an analysis of several recent movies using the method presented.