God is my Director

Youth ministry, movies, no drugs and a variable amount of Rock ‘n Roll

Amazing thing at Eastbourne (2 of 2)

Posted by Martin on November 30, 2006

The other big thing that happened to me at the Eastbourne Youthwork the conference was much more personal, but hopefully goes some way to finally explaining (to me as much as to anyone else) the title of this blog.

As I’ve explained in other posts, I’ve felt two different callings from God over the past few years, and they’re both crystal clear. One is to youth ministry; the other is to the Hollywood screenwriting industry. I’ve had huge, God-ordained ‘breaks’ in both areas, and I’ve often found myself scratching my head as to how on earth they fit together. Many around me have confidently predicted that at some point it’ll all just fit into place, but right now I’m not sure if that’s prophecy or just wishful thinking.

This incident went a long way towards confirming the both/and sense of calling I’ve had to these two seemingly distinct areas, and also a little way towards demonstrating how they might begin to feed and inform and link with one another.

To recap then, I both find myself heavily involved in the UK youth ministry scene, and simultaneously in the movie industry. I have one script with ‘attachments’ which the producer is looking to take into production soon, a great manager who’s trying to shape my career, and a bunch of opportunities with some great execs at some massive studios. I talk to one of these people most nights, and through those conversations am learning more about film and writing than I could ever hope to pick up from any film course. Recap over.

I was delivering a seminar on the impact of media on young people’s lives, and unsurprisingly found myself majoring on the film industry as a point of focus. I gave an overview of Hollywood’s current obsession with high-concept, and went on to talk about some of the movies which I think are particularly good for prompting spiritual and life discussion among young people. But then we had time for questions, and that was when it happened…

I’d revealed my secret screenwriting double-life, and it had clearly caught the interest of the delegates. The questions began to rain in, both on my writing, and on using film in youth ministry. And what really surprised me was not that I was able to give half-decent answers, but that those answers were being directly informed by what I’d learned on the phone to those movie execs. To cut to the chase: the things which I was learning and experiencing in my ‘other’ life – those things which I thought were supposed to be kept separate from my life in youth ministry world – were now becoming directly useful in a youth ministry context. I was answering difficult questions, and resourcing youth workers, thanks directly to what I’d picked up in film world. It dovetailed. At last!

Clearly that’s not as big a collision between the worlds as I was hoping for, but it was a start, and a massive indicator for me that in some way, it’s all part of a much bigger plan. I continue to enjoy the journey.

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