Monday, October 3, 2011


"He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse." Malachi 4:6

Five years ago, a little film about a football coach and his ragtag team called "Facing the Giants" created major buzz and made a name for Sherwood Pictures — a ministry of Sherwood Baptist Church of Albany, Ga.  In 2008, the church released "Fireproof," featuring Kirk Cameron as a firefighter who worked through a love dare to win his wife back.  Now, Sherwood films has released a movie that features law enforcement officers, but the message is about a universal issue: the importance of fatherhood.  

The film "Courageous" debuted nationwide Friday.  Many of our congregation who saw the movie premier were greatly encouraged, challenged and blessed. It’s a movie about four sheriff's deputies in Dougherty County, Ga. and each man's struggle with issues related to fatherhood.  Adam Mitchell (Alex Kendrick) can't work up the effort to connect with his teenage son.  Nathan Hayes (Ken Bevel) is new to the force and has three children — including a slightly rebellious teen daughter and an infant son.  Shane Fuller (Kevin Downes) is divorced and shares custody of his son, with whom he is not close.  David Thomson (Ben Davies) just finished his rookie period with the department but has a secret that eats at him.  Javier Martinez (Robert Amaya) has to deal with job loss and providing for his family.  He befriends Adam, Shane and the others and joins the group's efforts at being better fathers.

David Taylor, associate pastor of Englewood Baptist Church in Tennessee said, "The family has deteriorated in America.  We want to be a part of strengthening families in our community.  The movie itself has a curriculum that comes with it that's sold through LifeWay.  'Courageous Living' is a four-week Bible study on strengthening the family."  NSBC’s Men’s Fraternity will soon be using this curriculum in a Men’s Bible Study.

Brothers and co-writers Alex and Stephen Kendrick have written four movies for Sherwood Pictures.  Stephen said a lot of prayer and thought went into the film.

“God led us," he told his congregation last year. "We believe God is calling men to rise up with strength and with leadership in their homes, with their families and with their children.

When you look at what is happening in the nation — crime rates, poor education, child abuse, criminal behavior, gangs, violence — if you look at what is causing these issues, it's fatherhood. Without a father, a child is more likely to be poor, uneducated, a victim of child abuse. Children are 20 times more likely to end up in prison without a dad in the home. Consistently, we see this as gigantic issues.

Dads are supposed to introduce the next generation to who God the Father is. He's supposed to be leader, protector, an example. When you remove that role, you have a generation that tends to resist and reject God, because he doesn't know what God is like.

What would happen around the world if this generation of dads gets plugged into their families? So many things would happen. It can change this country if the next generation of dads invest in their families. That is our hope with ‘Courageous.’"

While dads are not the only reason families are in trouble in America, they can certainly make a significant difference in turning the tide.  It may not be possible for you to see the movie “Courageous,” but we can all encourage dads to be courageous and recognize the great need their children have for a role model and protector.  The upcoming Bible study will be a great opportunity for fathers to sit with other men and create their own “band of brothers” in fighting against the things that threaten their families.

Our Heavenly Father, May we always remember that our children really belong to you.  Thank you for the privilege of having a role in their lives.  Help us to be faithful to your task.  In Jesus’ name, Amen

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