On Tuesday, January 13, 2015, Nyack graduate Ryan Walters premieres his short film Going through the Motions which tackles the persistence of lukewarm Christianity. After months of planning and prayer, the film releases to the public along with kits and materials to help churches and youth groups grapple with the idea that some Christians don’t truly and actively engage with what it means to be a follower of Christ. Walters stated that he has a “holy discontent for lukewarm Christianity” and even though he hated writing, this passion “made it a favorite hobby.’ The hobby became a driving force in his life as Ryan began to write the script for his film.
So what does it take to write a script to a fantastic film? And why does Walters say that he refuses to be a cliché? We asked a few simple questions at the end of the year to help us understand Walters’ process better.
How did the idea for the film arise?
Ryan stated that he wanted to get people together and build passion around following Christ. So he began with a slogan: “I refuse to be a cliché.” Starting with youth groups, he had church members say the slogan over and over again. This began the foundation of the film.
A year ago he wrote a blog post from which the film stemmed. A deep thinker and blogger, Ryan’s website 98.6 Too Cold discusses the idea that thoughts and actions and faith can be tepid. He questions how best to make a life as a Christ follower and says that the average human body temperature is actually lukewarm. He writes that being lukewarm is not what we are meant to be. “Because we need to set our hearts and lives ON FIRE for God!”
What makes this film experience different?
Walters stated on the film’s website: “At this moment, connections are being made through networking with churches and Christian colleges across the country. We’re praying for these groups to come alongside us and RSVP to be hosts for January 24th (a Saturday) for an hour and a half nationwide one-time event consisting of meet & greet/icebreakers, a six minute-film screening, follow up Q&A and discussion as well as a thirty minute live stream panel discussion on Google hangout.”
Pastors, bible study leaders and community group members are invited to RSVP and receive a package to help facilitate discussion. The movie is not meant to be passively viewed but instead actively engaged with. Donations of $95 are appreciated and are tax-deductible. With an online ticket, participants will then be in contact with Going Through the Motions team in preparation for the night’s event on January 24. All materials are mailed so please register and find out more details now. Post-premiere, please call for special arrangements to host discussions around the movie.
Walters never considered himself a leader or an artist who would stand up and create something that would challenge all Christians to examine their lives. He said that at Nyack College, he was given the opportunity and encouragement to step out of a passive role. He was inspired by his teachers in social work and began a path of action. This created the foundation for his role as a filmmaker. “By the last week in September 2014, [Walters] began to live, eat and breathe the film. It took a life of its own.” Life is busy as he works in Seattle and prepares for the movie premiere with a cross-country team. But he says “this is the season in my life to do what I am doing” and it has been an amazing journey of walking through production with prayer and creating a script based on action.