EDITORS’ NOTE: This story is part of a series of Baptist Press stories about Fireproof, which hits theaters Sept. 26. To read an overview of the movie click here. To read a review of the movie click here. Stories about movie volunteers are available here and here. Finally, a story about the director and producer is available here.
ALBANY, Ga. (BP)–“Fireproof,” the latest release from the makers of “Facing the Giants,” will offer churches a unique opportunity this fall to underscore the importance of a biblical view of marriage.
It opens in theaters Sept. 26, but churches already are thinking ahead about ways they can use the movie to help their congregation. Officials with Sherwood Pictures — which made the film — are emphasizing the importance of Christians watching the movie on opening weekend and not waiting until the second weekend.
Leaders of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Focus on the Family and FamilyLife are urging their constituents to see the film.
One website, FireproofMyMarriage.com, offers a host of resources for churches, couples and singles. Following are several ways churches can use the movie and help promote it:
— Buying all the tickets for a particular showing. In many such instances, theater owners will allow pastors and church leaders to address the audience before and after the movie if they have purchased all the tickets. Additionally, if “Fireproof” isn’t scheduled to come to a particular city, churches can call the local theater and offer to purchase 1,000 tickets to get it to come to their city. (For information, visit FireproofTheMovie.com and click on “Take Action.” Additional resources are available at FireproofMyMarriage.com.)
— Offering babysitting on a particular night — promoting it as a date night — to allow couples with small children to go see the movie.
— Planning a sermon/sermon series on marriage to coincide with the film’s release.
— Having Christian couples invite other couples to see the movie together.
— Giving movie tickets to local firefighters and encouraging them to take their spouses.
— Showing the movie’s trailer to church members. (A link for a free download is available through the FireproofMyMarriage.com website. Click on “Churches,” and then click “Click Here for Fireproof Church Campaign Resources and Information.” Lastly, click on the “Free Fireproof Resources” banner.)
— Placing Fireproof icons on the church’s website. (They can be downloaded at FireproofTheMovie.com. Click on “Free Resources.”)
— Purchasing copies of “The Love Dare” book as seen in the movie and giving it to church members. The paperback version is scheduled to be released by B&H Publishing Group.
“That opening weekend determines how it spreads,” said Michael Catt, executive producer of the film and senior pastor of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga., the church behind the not-for-profit production company. “We had a great opening weekend with Facing the Giants, and so it spread to other cities. We started in 400 theaters and ended up in over 1,000, and a lot of that was based on what happened the first weekend, because it let people know this is a legitimate film. The key to that was churches, the key to that was pastors standing up in their pulpits and saying, ‘We gripe about Hollywood. Here’s something positive. It’s a film we can go to and support.'”
Michael Foust is an assistant editor of Baptist Press. For more information about “Fireproof,” visit FireproofTheMovie.com. For resources, visit FireproofMyMarriage.com.