On March 13 the movie I Still Believe, the real-life story of chart-topping singer Jeremy Camp is coming to theaters. The film, made by the creators of I Can Only Imagine, is a powerful reminder that in the midst of life’s storms, true hope is only found in Christ.
Camp’s wife passed away unexpectedly months after they were married, sending Camp into a crisis of faith out of which his hit song “I Still Believe” sprung. This movie is the story not only of that song, but of how God brought something beautiful out of indescribable tragedy.
But more than just an amazing film, I Still Believe is an opportunity for student pastors everywhere to challenge, encourage, and build their ministries. Here are six reasons why you should take your students to a showing of I Still Believe.
I STILL BELIEVE IS A SPRINGBOARD INTO GREAT CONVERSATIONS
Jeremy Camp’s story touches on several deep topics that are extremely relatable to your youth. It addresses questions like “why do bad things happen to God’s people?” “Why isn’t life going the way I thought it would?” “What do I do when God seems a million miles away?” and “Does God really care about me?”
One way to use this movie in the life of your student ministry is to spend time discussing the film after it’s over, either as a whole or in small groups, and inviting your students to dive into these challenging questions. You could also base a sermon series around “life’s hard questions” either leading up to the film or following it.
Regardless of how you do it, “I Still Believe” is a great catalyst for addressing the honest questions your students might not know how to ask.
I STILL BELIEVE MODELS FOR YOUR STUDENTS HOW THE ARTS AND FAITH CAN MELD TOGETHER
More than likely, your student ministry is filled with kids with a variety of artistic gifts and abilities, including the areas of music, writing, drawing, photography, or graphic design. Taking your students to I Still Believe gives them a concrete example of how they can use their passion for artistic expression to point people toward the God who made them that way!
I STILL BELIEVE IS AN EVANGELISTIC OPPORTUNITY
There are students in your community who aren’t ready to attend a church service, but they will accept an invitation to a movie. Buy tickets to watch I Still Believe as a student ministry, and use the 2-week sermon series kit as a momentum-builder with your youth group. Tell your students that the movie will be discussing the topics you’re preaching on, and remind them that their friends, classmates, team members, and neighbors are struggling with the same issue—finding hope in the middle of pain—that they are.
As God works in your students’ lives, invite them to invite others to come see the movie with them, and to have conversations afterward. What a great chance to reach people who with the good news of Jesus!
IT’S A WAY FOR THE WHOLE CHURCH TO CONNECT
Far too often student ministries can feel like a sidelined or siloed ministry of the church. Use the movie as an opportunity for your whole church to buy out a theater and watch the movie together. Encourage different age groups to sit together, and discuss the move after. This could be a great opportunity for members of your church who rarely see each other to have meaningful conversations about life.
I STILL BELIEVE IS A CHANCE TO TEAM UP WITH LOCAL CHURCHES TO REACH YOUR COMMUNITY
You can also expand your reach and impact your city by teaming up with other student ministries to go through the sermon series and attend the movie together. This is a great way to demonstrate the unity of the church to your students, reminding them that God’s people exist outside your church walls. It’s also a powerful expression of unity to the community around you, and could lead to more student ministry team-up events in the future!
USE THE FREE I STILL BELIEVE SERMON KIT AS A RESOURCE TO GO DEEPER
I Still Believe and SermonCentral are partnering together to provide a free 2-week sermon series kit for your church. This kit contains slides, graphics, and messages for both adult and student services, and is a great lead up to watching the film. If you’re looking for a break from sermon planning or want to build momentum toward watching the film, this free kit is a great resource.