Bishop T.D. Jakes is attempting to change the “Hollywood machine” – what has at times been considered a “tool of the devil” by Christians – into a platform to potentially reach millions of unchurched with Christian messages.

Jakes’ film company, T.D. Jakes Enterprises , is concluding film shoots this week in Manhattan for “Jumping the Broom,” an upcoming faith and family movie that follows the clashing of two families from different backgrounds during a weekend wedding..

“We haven’t spoken to each other for a while,” said the well-known megachurch pastor of the relationship between Hollywood and Christians. He looks to widen the lines of communication between the two with the release of his family-friendly film.

Pastor of the more than 30,000-member church The Potter’s House, Jakes told The Christian Post that he was drawn to this film when he looked at the script and saw the many ways it speaks about bringing together people from different backgrounds. The story about a husband and a wife from fictional Taylor and Watson families with divergent socioeconomic backgrounds is also a step – in the bishop’s mind – to de-alienate Christians from Hollywood. It’s a chance for Christians to get their message out through Hollywood’s “megaphone.”

“There are millions of people who are going to theater who would not come to church, and we have an opportunity to just break down barriers and to reshape how we are viewed in the mainstream,” said Jakes. “We can go in there and bring our message.”

Jakes seeks to send a message through film, but not without wholesome entertainment and a good laugh from audiences.

“It’s funny, and it doesn’t take itself too seriously,” he said of the film.

The movie features actress Angela Basset (known for her Oscar nominated role playing Tina Turner and Emmy nominated role playing Rosa Parks) teaming up with Loretta Devine, Mike Epps, Paula Patton, Romeo Miller and Bishop Jakes himself, as they humorously address cultural and spiritual challenges. Abstinence, motherhood, family, and cultural and spiritual relationships are dealt with using comedy instead of a moral rod. The film is intended to firstly entertain and not preach to the audience like Christian films can tend to do, Jakes said.

“I think I will hold onto my day job,” the Dallas pastor noted.

The bottom line is that Hollywood movies with Christian and family values have to be profitable for Christianity’s relationship with Hollywood to grow, and more people are likely to see a movie that’s entertaining, he said.

As a megachurch pastor, however, Jakes is looking for that “sweet spot” where he can find harmony between Hollywood’s definition of entertainment – where blood, gore and sex often overrule moral concern – and Christian, family values.

“We are trying to find balance. I find that people, as a rule, don’t go to see films that are overtly medicinal. They really want to be entertained, so we are trying to find our sweet spot between entertainment and humor and message.”

From a pastor’s standpoint, he hopes the film, which will be released Mother’s Day 2011, will be a conversation starter for deeper conversations.

article courtesy of TheBelleReport

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