Christian Living


Faith-Based Films: Why They Matter and Why I Make Them

Dallas Jenkins - Filmmaker


The state of the so-called faith-based film world has never been more confusing. For one thing, the term faith-based has never been clearly defined.

What really is a faith-based film?

If you asked your friends that question on Facebook, you'd probably get at least five different definitions and no doubt tensions would rise.
Ultimately, it's a marketing term, designed to make it easier for the Christian audience to discern what movies may appeal to them. But even within that genre, there's debate — is it a faith-based film if there's no "salvation" scene? Many say 'no'. Others might say it's a faith-based film if there's anything at all about faith, even if it's Rated R. And in many cases, some only consider a film faith-based if it lines up with their theology (as evidenced by arguments about The Shack).
I consider myself a faith-based filmmaker. Here's what I mean. My films position Christian faith as a significant aspect in one or all of three factors: the main character's journey, the theme of the movie, or the setting.

Why do I make faith-based films? I make them because art and popular culture should accurately reflect life. Considering at least a quarter of Americans are Bible-believing Christians, it's safe to say that the media and entertainment industry do not genuinely reflect that reality.
You'll notice that my answer didn't include the phrase, "because I want my films to bring people to Christ." To be clear — it's not that I don't want salvations to happen. It has in fact happened on multiple occasions; and it's incredible and humbling every time it does.

But, I believe we make more of ourselves and less of Christ when we set out to make a film thinking, "I'm doing this to bring people to salvation" as opposed to "I'm doing this simply to be used by God however He wants to use it – for ALL audiences." Salvation is His work anyway.
My films aren't intended solely for Christians, but they're not solely for non-believers either. I want people at every step of the faith journey to be brought to the next step, whatever that may be.

That's why I made The Resurrection of Gavin Stone. Not only did Gavin Stone (a church outsider) grow in faith and learn more about grace, but the Christians in the movie did too.

Loading Webform

Can We Pray For You?

Error: There was an internal error submitting your form. Please check your information and try again or call us at 1-800-759-0700

Get FREE "He Cares for You" teaching sheet

Build up your faith as you mediate on inspiring Scripture verses of how much God loves you

Get more than a Sunday sermon. Get to know others seeking God’s guidance and wisdom for life.
We are here to help and encourage you! Send a prayer request now, or call 1‑800‑700‑7000
Can God change your life? God made it possible for you to know. Discover God's peace now.
Download the free myCBN app. Share your prayer requests, receive prayer and pray for others!
Living the Christian life is a journey. Discover steps to bring you closer to Christ.
Get Email Updates
Give Now