Monday, October 19, 2009

Can a Movie Outreach Still Work?

Tried and True Method

Ever since the days of the prophecy “Big 3” men have tried to reach their cities through movie outreaches. It would be easy to look at what we’ve done here this week and say, “When’s that boy gonna get creative.” It’s such a simple thing. Find a movie you can preach on, and show it. Could anything be less complicated? In America, I could do a movie outreach in my sleep.

First of all there’s flyers. In California, no problem, a quick moment on the excellent and efficient So Cal Fellowship Graphics website. ( And flyers will be tastefully and artistically rendered with all pertinent information and delivered directly to your door. Note: No payment was made for this shameless plug, at least not YET!

Secondly, A few calls to pioneer pastors, who owe you one, and an announcement or two over the pulpit and a fully equipped ARMY, eagerly descends on your city to do battle with the principalities and powers of darkness; to snatch the souls of men from the very gates of hell. Sometimes they even pass out flyers, too.

Third, bright, shiny, newly purchased equipment is lovingly and gently set up and carefully prepared in pristine conditions for the comfort the visitors who come to your church to see the epic drama you will present.

Then finally it’s “Game Time.” Hundreds of open, hungry people show up, standing in line for hours to see the movie that holds the secret of salvation for them. They are literally making every effort to keep from throwing themselves on the altar and crying out, “What must I do to be saved,” before the movie is even over.

The words of your Altar Call drip from your lips. The response is overwhelming. The City is turned upside down. Okay maybe it’s not quite that easy.

But here, in Taiwan, it is only that simple for the men who have been here for years. I had a few struggles to overcome.

The first was flyers: Finding a printer was a little difficult. There is no phone book. You can’t just grab the yellow pages and look it up. And even if you could, I don’t read enough Chinese to recognize the Chinese word for printer. It does no good to drive around because I can’t read the signs, either. But, resourceful guy that I am, I called up Pastor Robert in Zhongli and he talked to his printer.

The second was the design: It takes special software and a special font to type in Chinese. I don’t have it. So each character has to be created by hand in a graphics program. But…you have to know the character to be able to do that; because of that a strategy was born. Aim for young people that are interested in learning English. So I made the flyers in English. Then I took a flyer that had the church name, address and phone number in Chinese and “cut and pasted” it onto my design. That way they could give it to cab driver and he could read it.

The Third was the language barrier with the printer: He had no idea what I was saying and I got about every 4th word of what he was saying. I understood marginally, he just smiled. So I had to ask Pastor Robert’s wife, Nicole, to communicate with him. Then I found out that I couldn’t design on 8 1/2 “ by 11” paper I had to use A4. A4 is a bit larger, so I had to fix it. Because of all this the flyers were received Saturday morning…the day of the event. I felt pretty stupid.

But my family and I, and a friend from the Zhongli church, Eugene, made it to the outreach. In two hours we passed out 700 flyers, and had an opportunity to witness to a number of groups of young (Middle School, High School and University) students. Three people made it to the event. We showed "Facing the Giants" and served popcorn and Coke. We got to know some people and contacts were made. One visitor, a teacher, wants to bring her entire class to see the movie. Maybe it will result in an inroad into the English School where she teaches. No one got saved at this event but we made some contacts and met a couple of people we can follow up on. Sunday morning we had two more visitors who did get saved.

Now I’ve got it figured out…Next month we are gonna TEAR IT UP!!

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