I spend a lot of time helping missionaries and those associated with missions to learn how to pray more effectively for those they are trying to reach with the Gospel. Any Great Commission Christian will passionately desire for all tribes and nations to hear and respond to the good news. There are good and accepted ways for us to reach out to an unreached people group.
Can you imagine a missionary attempting to bring the Gospel to a tribal group by:
* refusing to learn their language
* condemning all of their cultural practices
* refusing to spend time with them because their lifestyle might affect you
* in effect, cursing them by criticizing everything they did.
Hollywood is very much a tribal group. Thought not unreached in a technical sense, they are still predominantly pagan. My friend, Karen Covell, who founded the Hollywood Prayer Network in 2001, speaks often of her Hollywood Tribe. When you accept that perspective, you suddenly realize how often we have found ourselves using those absurdly poor ways listed above of reaching a tribal group. How often have you heard Christians (yourself?) denounce and condemn Hollywood? In the process, we have forgotten that we are speaking of people for whom Christ died and who He loves completely.
Can I share with you three reasons why I pray for the Hollywood tribe?
- Because Christ loves them and I want to please Him
- Because I have asked the Lord to give me a love for lost people and Hollywood is filled with lost people.
- Because the entertainment industry is perhaps the main instrument of cultural transformation and Christ needs to be overseeing that transformative process.
Our prayers are making a difference. We are increasingly seeing more movies and shows that reflect biblical values coming out of Hollywood. What once was a values wasteland is beginning to be transformed. Churches are being established in Hollywood that target the entertainment industry. Christians that once cursed Hollywood are coming to bless Hollywood. God is reclaiming His lost Hollywood tribe!
One very practical, hands-on way you can pray for Hollywood is to join many of us this fall who are coming to pray during The Summons: Hollywood. From October 1-5, hundreds of Christians will be coming to learn from Hollywood professionals how we can be praying for them, and of course, we will be praying. Prayer walking at key strategic places and prayer drives through places that desperately need us will take much of our time. My friend Steve Hawthorne describes prayer walking as praying onsite with insight. You will pray with much greater intensity and focus as you join us in Hollywood for The Summons. You can register at: www.hollywoodprayer.org
See you in Hollywood!
David Butts, Chairman of the National Prayer Committee