Let’s face it: the business side of filmmaking probably didn’t draw us to the industry. We are willing enough to spend blood, sweat, and tears getting our stories on film, but the thought of balancing our passion for storytelling against the harsh realities of the marketplace seems like cold water dashed on hopeful dreams. Could it be we are not really thinking God’s thoughts after him (Isaiah 55:8)?
Wayne Grudem’s book, “Business for the Glory of God,” clears away common misunderstandings about business. These misunderstandings may have given Christians an undue hesitation to use the good business practices it takes to succeed in filmmaking.
One such misunderstanding is that ministry is more important to God than business. In Grudem’s words,
“I realize that to most people, the expression ‘glorifying God’ sounds like—well, it just sounds like it belongs in church, not in the business world. When people hear the phrase ‘glorifying God,’ it probably first implies worship—singing praise to God and giving thanks to him. Then it might suggest evangelism—glorifying God by telling others about him…[But] one way that we can glorify God is often overlooked…This additional way to glorify God is imitation—imitation of the attributes of God.” (p. 12,13)
In a filmmaking context, it can happen that a Christian is so enthusiastic about the message of their film that they neglect what it takes to be a financial success. But if they realize that even productivity in itself glorifies God by imitating God’s productivity as Creator, and as a consequence, employment, profit, competition, and investment also glorifies God, they will have a more rounded view of filmmaking. They will take satisfaction not only in delivering a timely message, but also in glorifying God through the process.
Understanding the Biblical view of business is essential to successful Christian filmmaking. Grudem’s book is great introductory resource on the topic. Christian filmmakers would do well to get it, read it, and pass it along to others.