Last Friday morning I got to see Jeff Obafemi Carr speak on campus. Carr spoke about his acting career, which he joked about his previous roles in films where he had one or two lines, and then would get shot. Now Carr is a co-star in the new movie, "The Second Chance," which is about two pastors whose lives intersect (or collide): Carr plays Jake, an African American pastor who ministers in the streets of the inner-city, and Michael W. Smith plays Ethan, a white pastor who leads music at a suburban mega-church. The movie highlights many crucial issues for the Christian faith such as grace, compassion and solidarity. It also raises issues for the Church, such as racial reconciliation, stewardship, outreach and social justice.
In the beginning of the movie Pastor Jake (Carr) tells the suburban mega-church that he and his inner-city church don't need their money, but rather their time. In our discussion, Carr was asked about the best way for wealthy churches to support struggling churches, and he said "ask them what they need," rather than going in with your own presupositions of the need.
Carr talked about the power of story telling, and how this movie tells a story that can break past people's biases, and move them in a different way. He described Jesus' parables as having this kind of power. Carr believes that this may have opened a window for more movies that can tell stories that move people to think about crucial issues regarding faith and life.
This is certainly a story that needs to keep being told, and is full of issues that need to continue to be engaged, especially by those of us who are future church leaders.