Be Encouraged by ’Courageous’

From the opening scene of the film – you are hooked on this intense, authentic drama about four men and their families as they live out their lives in relationship to God and each other.

Courageous, which opened nationwide September 30th, 2011, has generated critical and emotional acclaim.  In its first week, it was the #1 new movie in America and for good reason.  This movie has heart and soul.

Marketed to the Christian audience, there is surprisingly little “church” in this movie.  The most refreshing theme is that faith isn’t about being in church together, but rather, walking through life together.  The men and their families are connected through work as sheriffs in Albany, Georgia.  This movie doesn’t preach and in fact, the Gospel isn’t presented until three-quarters of the way through the movie.  Rather, Courageous demonstrates the hardships we all face.  The movie makes it plain that there is no immunity for Christians from suffering.

Courageous doesn’t pull any punches – it is a gritty picture of the state of our nation; going deep into the issues of our culture: divorce, absentee fathers, crumbling relationships, racial disparity, financial struggles and death.  It explores the realness of a life of faith.  It honors that the human experience is hard, and that while bad things happen to good people, how we respond makes all the difference.  The humor displayed throughout the film and the genuineness of how the characters relate to each other makes it so true to life.

The film is produced by Provident and Affirm Films, along with Sherwood Productions.  It is the fourth film of the movie-making ministry of Sherwood Baptist Church, following Fireproof and Facing the Giants.  This is truly a ministry – as Sherwood Senior Pastor Michael Catt states:

Any money we receive goes to fulfill our twofold purpose to reach the next generation and to reach the world from Albany, Georgia.

Sherwood Pictures has allowed Sherwood Baptist to pay the debt on their current facilities, accelerate build-out on an 82-acre sports park, as well as put funds into other church ministry and missions.  They also use the money generated from the films to fund their Generations campaign: an effort, they state, to:

Support and encourage young families; offer a hand-up to people in need and help to redirect people on destructive paths – all in Jesus’ name.

This is not a hokey, feel-good inspirational film from a cheesy ministry.  The movie stars Alex Kendrick, who also directed and co-wrote the script with his brother Stephen.  Alex founded Sherwood Pictures, and the experience he gained from the ministry’s three other films and associated books are evident.  This is a well-crafted picture and will encourage anyone of any faith who goes to see it.

Sherwood Baptist is serious about reaching the next generation and fulfilling the Great Commission, as evidenced by the content of this film.  In Courageous, they may work as law enforcement officers – but are first and foremost, husbands and fathers.  And their journey to being the men God called them to be is an emotional roller coaster worth of your time.

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