Fall is here, and as you all know, fall = Football! You may wonder what football has in common with Christian Movies, but you’d be surprised to learn that there are a lot of football movies that are specifically Christian Movies, and other great Football movies that could easily fall in the category of “family movies.”
In a moment, I’ll talk about my favorite Christian movie about a football team – Facing the Giants.
For many of football’s fans, players and coaches, the contest on the football field mirrors the struggles we all experience in our daily lives. Another common parallel that is often drawn is between football and war. In life, war and football, there is always a sense of back and forth – there is a feeling of “one –step-forward – two-steps – back.” Even in cases where the outcome of the game is very clear – it’s not a 100% linear process of the dominant team making big plays on every down. It’s a back and forth – one play turns out well, one fails completely – it just goes back and forth.
What is clear at the end of the football game, however, is that one thing has happened and another has not. Team A has either won the game or lost the game – and the same is true for their opponent. Our lives’ struggles can often be the same way. Imagine a college student is struggling to pass a difficult class. He goes through ups and downs of one day feeling like he understands the material as he turns in an assignment he is able to ace, and another day feeling as though he will never be able to pass the class because he struggles to gasp one concept or another. The key in this instance, as in the game of football is to continue exerting effort and doing one’s best – knowing that there will be a result at the end, pass or fail.
I am not a huge sports fan, and would rather spend afternoons in the fall walking in the forest rather than sitting in front of the TV, but it’s easy to see why such pageantry and drama is woven into the act of watching a football game. It’s not just the networks trying to bring gravity to something, that’s in actuality just a game, it’s related to the fact that the drama of a football game mirrors the drama of our lives.
Some of the most popular Christian films of the past decade have had something to do with football. When I first started working in the Christian Film industry, I was living overseas and was surprised to hear that a “Christian movie” that we sold was being shown on the Turkish Airlines flights. In those days, all passengers had to watch the same film, and I was eager to learn about this Christian film that was so far into the mainstream that it was showing on international flights from airlines based in the Muslim world.
I watched Facing the Giants and the film did not disappoint. In Facing the Giants – DVD, the primary character is a football coach who is struggling with the battle of life in multiple ways. His job, his coaching career, his finances and his marriage are all in trouble. He’s struggling. As a Christian man, he knows that the end result of the game of life is God’s victory over darkness and heaven for the believer, but he feels worn down by the opponent (the world, the flesh and the devil.)
Overcoming insurmountable odds, this inspiring coach sees a major turnaround in his team, his career, his family and his finances. I love the hope that is infused in the movie along with the classic football movie scenes – hard practices, nail-biting games and frustrated coaches.
Facing the Giants was the second film put out by brothers Stephen and Alex Kendrick. Two pastors who God had called to film-making , these guys have been at the center of some of the most exciting Christian films of our era – War Room, Courageous, Fireproof, and Flywheel (their first Christian Film.)
As Football and fall are upon us, I can’t recommend Facing the Giants highly enough. At the time of writing, this film has a very good price and is available here for only $5.
Here are some other Christian Football Movies to check out:
You can check out all of our Christian Sports Movies here.