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LOS ANGELES — More than 80 percent of Americans profess a belief in God, but Hollywood has been slow to offer content that engages people of faith.
A prominent producer who is also a pastor is working hard to change that.
“I’m trying to get you to understand how life balances itself,” said Bishop T.D. Jakes.
He is the founder and senior pastor of the Potter's House, a non-denominational mega church in Dallas. He encourages his congregants to use their faith to fuel their dreams.
“To understand a better sense of priorities as it relates to who they are as believers, but to also use that faith to spread the message of Christ,” he said.
He is encouraged to see the message of Christ spreading across the big screen. Jakes produced "Heaven Is for Real," "Black Nativity," "Sparkle" and "Winnie."
“To finally have an opportunity to have equal representation within the Hollywood family is amazing,” he said.
Jakes is appalled the faith sector is still being discussed from a niche-market perspective since it serves 140 million consumers.
“So the more we can scream out and say, 'Hey, we are over here and we will support this kind of film' — we have gotten their attention because we have broken records this year in the faith-based arena,” he explained.
Jakes believes Hollywood may have to override its own skepticism in order to reflect faith on film.
“I think they are oblivious to those people because they don’t live in that environment,” he said.
At the same time, he realizes faith-based films need to be more inclusive.
“I’m interested in having a conversation on both sides that you don’t divide people into groups and say, 'This is how you are supposed to act,' ” he said.
His latest best-selling book, "Instinct," suggests that successful business only emerges when opposite interests find common intersections. The book also shows readers how to tap into their God-given intuition.
“How I have gotten it in my career, my business, my entrepreneurship, even how to hire people who are instinctive. How much more profitable business is when you place people in the area that they are gifted to perform,” he said.
Jakes hopes more movie producers will learn to trust their instincts and God, and give more faith-based films the green light.