Christians are seizing the opportunity afforded by Mel Gibson's The Passion of The Christ to spread the good news.
At Teen Mania's rally in Indianapolis on April 2-3, President Ron Luce will challenge youth to use the movie for pre-Easter outreach.
"I think it will be as big as 9/11's impact on churchgoing," Luce said before the film opened. "It's so shocking that people will wonder, What have I been doing? Why have I not been in church?"
Dallas-area businessman Arch Bonnema agrees. "I think this movie has the potential to be one of the biggest things that has impacted the church in this [past] century."
After Bonnema bought all the seats in a suburban, 20-theater complex for the February 25 premiere, he persuaded owners to allow several ministries to set up booths there.
The film has sparked a host of tracts, books, posters, websites, and TV commercials. The Southern Baptist Convention offers resources for prayer, evangelism, and follow-up. SBC Executive Committee President Morris Chapman compares The Passion's potential to Billy Graham's rallies.
Dare 2 Share, a teen evangelism training organization in suburban Denver, offers a free, four-week curriculum. "[I hope] it will raise questions about the claims of Christ and his historicity," said Lane Palmer, who wrote the material. "That way, it's easy for members to say, 'Come on back to the youth group because our pastor's going to be talking about this stuff.' "
Christianity Today Movies has a special section devoted to coverage of The Passion, which includes articles going back to June, 2003.1