Courageous Living

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From the creators of Fireproof, Facing the Giants, and Flywheel comes Courageous, a powerful film that explores the concept and practice of biblical fatherhood. Set in Albany, Georgia – a town facing the effects of fatherlessness as evidenced by the increase in gang activity and present, yet passive fathers – four sheriff’s deputies strive to serve and protect the community; unfortunately, their fierce commitment to the job doesn’t always translate to the home front. When tragedy strikes, the men – led by Adam Mitchell (played by writer and director Alex Kendrick) – resolve to infuse their lives with faith and a renewed commitment to fatherhood.

The film opens with an intense sequence in which Nathan Hayes (Ken Bevel) chases down his stolen car and secures his infant son’s safety. Adam and his partner, Deputy Shane Fuller (Kevin Downes), are the first responders to the incident, and Nathan’s heroic actions prompt them to consider the lengths to which they’d go for their own children. Fittingly, the next scene sheds light on Adam’s relationship with his kids – the role of father seems fairly mechanical, and his favoritism toward Emily (Lauren Etchells) leaves teenage Dylan (Rusty Martin, Jr.) angry and hurt.

But, Adam isn’t the only one struggling. Nathan, the latest hire at the Sheriff’s department, is trying to teach his daughter, Jade (Taylor Hutcherson) patience and discretion with dating. For Shane, life after divorce has complicated his financial situation and created distance with his son, Tyler (Joshua Kendrick). David Thomson (Ben Davies), a newly minted deputy, is troubled by the fatherlessness epidemic because of a secret he bears from college. And Javier Martinez (Robert Amaya), Adam’s friend, wants to trust God, but also worries about economic uncertainty.

The men are fixed in their respective holding patterns. And then a tragedy changes everything.

One day, Adam and his wife, Victoria (Renee Jewell), receive news that no parent wants to hear: Emily, their 9-year-old daughter, has died in a car accident. As the Mitchells grieve and Adam laments the time he took for granted, he realizes that he is still a father. So, with his pastor’s guidance and careful study of the Bible, Adam seeks God’s direction for becoming a courageous, godly father to Dylan. The result is the Resolution, a written pledge that calls Adam to account. When he presents the document to his four close friends, they are stirred to take the oath as well.

After a special signing ceremony for the Resolution, the men endeavor to uphold their vows. David reaches out to the girlfriend and child he previously abandoned. Nathan forgives the deceased father he never knew. Adam begins calling out the man in his son. But, trials soon arise, and Adam, Javier, and Shane face challenges that test their integrity; of the three, Shane fails, and his consequence serves as a solemn reminder of the group’s increased accountability. Soon after, Adam reflects on his recent experiences during a moving speech at his church, and he encourages fathers to stand and take responsibility, to live courageously under God’s direction.

Theme One: Responding to Tragedy Guiding Scripture: Romans 5:3-5 (NIV): “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

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Published by LifeWay Press.  Copyright 2011 Sherwood Baptist Church
Copyright 2011 Sherwood Pictures.  A Ministry of Sherwood Baptist Church, Albany, GA
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