Last week, the Believe Me movie was released in theaters. The premise of the movie is that the main character needs to find means to pay for his final year in college and does so by creating a fake Christian ministry and steals money through it. Along the way, the leaders of this fake ministry partner up with a Christian Youth Organization. The movie pokes at many of the Christian stereotypes.

While this movie has been labeled as unfair by some Christians, the directors (who are Christians) claim that they really are wanting to get down to the question of “why”. Why do Christians believe these things? Which beliefs are sincere, which are just part of being a “good Christian”?

While the themes in this movie are important considerations to make before watching, they bring up important conversations. This week, Barna Group released new statistics about teens who participate in church. According to the study:

  • Nearly three out of ten teens had an adult mentor at the church.
  • Teens who participate in church are nearly four times more likely to understand their purpose in life.
  • Teens who have remained active in their church attendance are three times as likely to say that they learned to view their gifts and passions as part of God’s calling.
  • Teens who remain active in their church attendance are much more likely to believe the Bible contains wisdom for living a meaningful life (65% versus 17%).

Often, culture picks and pulls at Christian culture. While the media may often insinuate that church and faith have a negative impact on teens, the current studies are showing that this is not the case. Actively participating in church are very positive steps in the life of a teen.

While Believe Me takes some liberties in conveying some of the stereotypes within the church- in the end, the heart behind it is to leave viewers considering what really is important in Christianity and in faith. It is important to note that Christian culture is different from Christian values and benefits. Challenging teens to take ownership of their faith rather than simply fitting in with Christian culture can be a great step for teens making strong foundations in life.