Oh. My. Gosh. This movie made by Netflix has made me so happy! Here are a few reasons why!
- It is NOT so overly Christian you want to puke from embarrassment.
- It represents many real-life archetypes you find when you are at church camp.
- It doesn’t end with this overly spiritual conversation moment.
For the very conservative Christians who are rolling their eyes or scoffing at me need to sit down and read the rest of this to understand why I have my reasons.
NOT So Overly Christian You Want to Puke from Embarrassment
Haven’t you ever watched one of those faith-based movies, and it is shoving scripture down your throat every single scene? Those movies make me want to scream because that is not real life! Yes, as Christians, we encourage each other with scripture and wise words about God, but not the way these movies deliver it. You can’t approach every person/situation that way. Sometimes you have to show God’s love without saying a word about God.
This musical delivers the songs beautifully and does not make you feel like it is being shoved down your throat. The characters who are trying to help Will are giving him the truth without scaring him away. Sometimes it’s an art sharing God to non-believers; actually, there are many skills on doing this, and traditionalism doesn’t always work.
Represents Many Real Life Archetypes
I am an avid Church Camp alum who honestly would work/live at church camp the rest of my life if God opened up the door, so as I was watching A Week Away, the characters felt so normal. You had Will, the MC who doesn’t believe or at least like God and is a trouble-maker. You have Avery, a Staff Kid, and she thinks she has to be put together in front of everyone, when on the inside, she is battling doubts, mistakes, etc. You have Sean, who thinks that if he does all these ‘good’ works, he will seem more spiritual, and God will give him what he wants. Lastly, there is George and Presley, who doubt themselves and their worth.
These archetypes are real struggles that many teenagers battle and ones I can personally say I have met in all my years of attending Church Camp. The song choices for each situation and character fit perfectly. My favorite was the mash-up of Awesome God and God Only Knows. I mean, think about it. There are many times we try to hide our flaws to the world around us by being “the good Christian,” but when underneath it all, we feel less than worthy because God knows what we are struggling with. If you watch that scene and don’t feel a twinge of truth, you are in denial.
Doesn’t End with an Overly Spiritual Conversation
Okay, yes, Will returns to the last event for the week and sings about God’s love, but it doesn’t end with him saying the prayer out loud or saying he was committing his life to Christ. I think this is a great ending to the movie because sometimes it does take students, especially teens, to get to that place. Sometimes teens just need to feel like they belong before they start to understand what following Jesus means. This open ending is a perfect representation of what happens at Church Camp. (I mean not the musical part, lol).
Honestly, with how they ended it, they could make a sequel so they can dive into him understanding what following God means. They could then even bring out what Avery is struggling with.
This movie is an excellent representational start to how we need to package Christian movies for the public, especially teens. I recommend this for any teen or family of teens. There is no language, and it has a great message – God made you, which means you are worthy of his love.