As the lights dimmed to showcase a movie theatre screen in Wilson Hall at Christ Church at Grove Farm on August 28th and 29th, it was obvious that Urban Impact Live! 2021 was going to be a different experience than any previous Urban Impact production. UI Live! celebrated the premiere of a film project that had been months in the making, involving over 60 students, volunteers, staff, and alumni. The production beautifully explored the central theme of what it means to be created in the image of God. Resting on a strong theological underpinning, the show traces the image of God back to creation, its distortion in the fall, its restoration through the work of Christ – who is the perfect image of God – and our call to discipleship as we reflect His image in the world.

One of the most innovative aspects of UI Live! was its commitment to originality. Everything that the audience sees and hears was written, built, and designed specifically for this show. Additionally, it features all original music developed and performed by Urban Impact students, staff, and volunteers. The film represents students growing in their gifts, leadership, and most importantly, their spiritual walk. In addition to worshiping through music, students vulnerably shared personal testimonies, presented the gospel, and recited scripture passages from memory in their entirety.

During the summer, each student participated in weekly programs where they rehearsed and engaged in Bible studies designed around the content of this show. They spent time in fellowship eating, worshiping, and growing together. Alumni were even provided with opportunities for growth, as UI Live! enabled them to build their professional resumes with relevant work experience, embodying goals of Options full-circle.

Being able to understand and communicate the gospel is a fundamental aspect of being a disciple who makes disciples. We are blessed to equip our students to use their gifts in a gospel-centered film with the goal of bringing others to Christ and to reflect the “Image of God” in their daily lives long after the show ends.