I realized last night that I had forgotten how uplifting, empowering, and inspiring a good movie can be.
We rented and watched Facing The Giants. Put together largely by members of the Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia, Facing the Giants is anything but a big budget film. In fact, the total production budget was about $100,000. But it went on to exceed $10 million in ticket sales.
Most of the actors were unpaid. And you can see throughout the film that these are not professional actors. Normally, that would bother me. But, in this case, story takes over. The story is predictable but it is also powerful and enduring.
Is it a true story? Technically, no. However, the producer / director / writer / leading actor has said that all of the individual stories within the movie are true. They just didn't necessarily happen to those specific people nor in that specific order.
There are all kinds of messages in this movie. Keep in mind that it was given a PG rating because it had too many references to Jesus Christ and His impact. Most of the messages are based in Christian faith and that is a big part of what makes the movie so inspiring.
However, in this movie, I saw a strong secular message as well ... a message about teamwork. Now, if someone wants to press it, yes, you could say that ultimately this was a message of the Holy Spirit empowering a team that is God-centered. And I won't argue that. But the message I saw about teamwork was something that I have found myself focusing more and more on lately.
The success of a team is based more upon how that team relates to each other and how they relate to their various publics ... including their "self-talk" (what they think in their private moments about one another and about the greater world around them) ... than it is about any individual performance or "what" they do as individuals. I firmly believe this. As soon as any team members begin thinking as individuals with personal agendas ... and they stop caring about and loving one another with all their heart ... team dynamics break down and the team will fail. It is not about "what" you do so much as it is about "how" you do it.
You can see that in the Sherwood Eagles, the struggling football team that, through Christ-centered teamwork and love for one another and those around them, comes back to tremendous victory over overwhelming odds in Facing the Giants.
And you can see it other places in the world around us as well. This story makings Facing the Giants one of the most inspiring and humbling films I have ever seen. Check it out ... or better yet ... bring it to any organziations you're involved with and encourage them to check it out as well.