Ark Almighty – helping others or shameless movie promotion for Evan Almighty?

Evan Almighty, ArkAlmighty, Ark AlmightyOn June 22, the movie Evan Almighty opens in theaters across the U.S. It’s the latest movie to be heavily marketed to Christians. In conjunction with the movie a new website has been launched called Ark Almighty, which bills itself as a way to help churches live out Jesus’ call to love one another by facilitating the posting and fulfilling of needs within the church. Is this really a generous effort to help others or just a slick movie marketing campaign?


Evan Almighty is the sequel (or perhaps spin-off) to Bruce Almighty, which starred Jim Carey and Morgan Freeman. In this film Evan Baxter (Steve Carell) wins a seat in Congress and moves to Washington with his wife (Lauren Graham) and three children when God (Morgan Freeman) intervenes and asks Evan to build an ark. The movie plays out as a humorous, modern-day story of Noah’s Ark as Evan attempts to follow his new calling in life. (Watch the trailer to the right.)

This PG-rated movie with biblical references is obviously intended for families and Christian families in particular. It’s being promoted by Grace Hill Media to Christian organizations, leaders, and pastors complete with video clips and sermon resources. But the most innovative and potentially impactful aspect of this movie’s marketing is the website Ark Almighty. The site is self-described in this way:

ArkALMIGHTY is a good deeds program that matches up the needs in your congregation with the talents and skills of the members of your church. Gathering the needs of your attendees, these requests are compiled on a Craigslist-type website administered by your church. Then, the members of your church can easily search through the needs and find ways they can help.

Maybe there’s a single mom in your midst who doesn’t know how to teach her son to throw a baseball, or an elderly person who needs a ride to the doctor, or a young couple who would love advice on saving for a home. Maybe there’s a college student who could use help moving into her first apartment, or a widow that could use a helping hand washing her windows, or a recently laid-off worker who could use help polishing up his resume. There are countless needs out there that, up until now, have had no way to be met. But now they do, thanks to ArkALMIGHTY.

Ark Almight is completely free for churches and their attendees to use. It’s free of advertising except for a small “About Evan” navigation tab on the top right which takes you to page with information about the movie. The website also includes the emblems (and presumably the endorsements) of Youth Specialties, International Bible Society, and Willow Creek Association, some very well know and reputable Christian organizations.

Based on the information and sample church available on the Ark Almighty website, I think I can safely say there is really nothing terribly innovative about the website itself. A church could easily create a similar needs/skills board on their own website an using open-source classified ad application like Noah’s Classifieds. Many web hosting companies such as OurChurch.Com offer cPanel/Fantastico which allows a web administrator to install Noah’s Classifies in about 60 seconds and completely customize it’s appearance to match the rest of the website. Additionally, many content management systems also have a classified ads component that integrate seamlessly, eliminating the need for church members to register separately for the needs/skills board.

But, that doesn’t mean Ark Almighty is a bad idea or I’m dissing it in any way.

After all, how many churches are actually operating a needs/skills board on their website? How many even thought about it until now?

What I like about Ark Almight is:

  • It’s raising awareness about an innovative way for churches to help their attendees to serve one another, which is good for those in need as well as those who serve. Plus I think it will enhance the sense of community within those churches who participate.
  • It’s easy. If your church doesn’t have a website or your web host doesn’t provide Fantastico/Noah’s, now you have another option.
  • It’s got momentum. I don’t know how many churches are using Ark Almighty and I can’t exactly describe it, but there is something exciting about being a part of something that other churches around the country are also doing.

What I would really love to see is a church start an Ark Almighty group that extends outside their wall to the community. Or perhaps a couple Christian families taking the initiative to start an Ark Almighy group for their neighborhood. That would be an awesome way to extend grace to those outside the church.

But back to the original question… Is Ark Almighty helping others or a shameless movie promotion for Evan Almighty? I say, yes and yes. Yes, it’s helping others. And yes, it’s obviously a tool to help promote the movie, but in my opinion its been done in open, forthright way which they can be proud of.

What’s your opinion?

P.S. If you found this article interesting or helpful, please vote for it on Blogs4God and GospelShout so others will see it.

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, elder of CypressMeadows.org, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

31 Responses to “Ark Almighty – helping others or shameless movie promotion for Evan Almighty?”

  1. It’s good that we finally have something positive to say about what the movie industry is doing for those on the side of moral consciousness! Bravo Christian Web Trends – and let’s all help spread the word!

  2. I think it is a great concept. We have too many pew sitters. This could spark the church to get out of it’s four wall and help others. Promoting the movie is no big deal. It nice to know of good family movies.

  3. I am not impressed!

  4. Jabs Michaels Jun 6, 2007 at 2:30 am

    Being in Africa and wanting people here to watch more of Christian movies, I am very excited with the new movie. I can’t wait to finally have it watched in Africa, especial Zimbabwe my country – that needs God’s Arch now than ever.

    Keep more Christian movies coming and lets win the world for God

  5. I THINK ARK ALMIGHTY WILL DO A GREAT JOB. ANYONE WILLING TO HELP OTHERS IS GOOD, VERY GOOD. MOST PEOPLE ARE NOT CONCERNED ABOUT ANYONE BUT THEMSELFS. MOST OF THE TIME THERE ISN’T REALLY ANY TIME
    OUT THERE TO DO ALL THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE. I ALWAYS TRY AND HELP ANYONE WHO NEEDS IT AND SOME WHO ARE NOT EXPECTING IT. BUT IT CAN BECOME OVER WHELMING AT TIMES. THERE ARE SO MANY TO HELP. SO THE MORE GOOD THAT EACH OF US DO THE BETTER. WE CAN’T DO IT ALONE.

    ALWAYS AND FOREVER
    KAREN ROSE SPEAKTHEWORDNOW.COM

  6. Saw the movie and posted my review and comments here on my blog:

    http://www.provocativechurch.blogspot.com

    I would love to hear what you think.

  7. I am trusting that the advantages of the Ark Almighty ministry tool will far outweigh the negative impact that the movie might generate, however if the movie is anything like Bruce Almighty it may not. While many thought that the Bruce movie was cute and tounge-in-cheek, I felt that it disrespected the holy nature of a loving and merciful God. I do hope that Evan Almighty will be different.

  8. Jeremy Payton Jun 11, 2007 at 9:16 am

    I think that secular businesses are becoming increasingly aware that the “Christian” market has vast untapped potential but in order to do that, they have assimilate themselves to that culture. We see it all the time in the music industry. There are “Christian” radio stations owned by non-Christians. Are they being slick? Maybe, but regardless I think we can see Biblically that the body of Christ can benefit from pagan people. We see it with Moses and the Israelites leaving Egypt with the Egyptians’ idols and then fashioning them for worship to God. We see in Nehemiah that he is able to able to use the resources of the pagan king. I think we have to feel some conviction that the secular world is seemingly more interesting in meeting the needs of our communities than the Body of Christ is. Well, those are my thoughts!

  9. I think this movie is just a mockery of our Lord and Savior. Jim Carey is making millions or trying to make millions off of making fun of what the Bible has to say. If he doesn’t choose to believe in God that is his right. But he should not be making light of the gospel. That is something that him and God will have to work out. But he should keep it to himself. It really bothers me that people take God in vain by what ever means they choose to do so. They do not take him seriously. It is as if it’s all one big game. Well the day will come when they will not only see but know the truth. I only hope it’s not too late for them. I will just have to Jim Carey to my prayers and anyone else that thinks or believes the way he does.

    Deena

  10. Jeremy, it is interesting that secular media companies used to belittle Christians and Christian values. The movie industry stood up and took notice with the huge success of the Passion of the Christ. Since then they’ve done a complete 180 and are putting out more movies specifically created for a Christian audience and marketing them to Christians.

    The question is… Is it better to have Hollywood openly mocking Christians and Christian values or better to have them supporting and reinforcing them even if it is primarily for their own financial gain?

  11. [Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind! !_] The “MOVIE,” Shows The Power, In Our: HANDS!

    (A)-Anointed Little Fingers! (;-:)-Spirituality! (Inward, Parts!)
    (S)-Son Ring Fingers! (L)-Love [John 3:16-] “For God so loved the world!”

    (D)-Divine Middle Fingers! (K)-Kingdom Key! [Mat 16:19-]“keys of the kingdom!”
    (_*F)-(G)-Favor-Gods, Left Hand: (H)-Hope-(_*J)-Uesus: Your Righteous, Hands!
    (In Your Mind; Spirit And Hearts!)

    The Film was, “MADE!” Inn The Right, ***SPIRIT! [John 1:3 All things were made by him!” (Even the Hands we use to say the Film is Good Bad Or, Ugly!)
    http://www.ourchurch.com/member/r/Recovery21stGen/

  12. I HAVE JUST SEEN THE TRAILER TO THE MOVIE AND IT DOES GOOD AS ITS GOOD TO LAUGH AS IT HEALS PEOPLE AS IN THE WORD IT SAYS LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICEN AND I DONT THINK GOD HAS A PROBLEM WITH THIS MOVIE AS IT DOES SAY SOME THING ABOUT THE WORD. IN SOME WAY ALSO ( A GOOD LAUGH IS GOOD FOR EVERYONE ) AS IT HEALS THE PERSON AND MAKES THE PERSON FEEL GOOD AS THATS WHAT THE LORD WOULD WANT PEOPLE TO BE HELPED BY LAUGHTER AND FROM HIS WORD IF IT HELP AND IT RIGHT BY THE WORD OF GOD WHAT IS THE PROBLEM THERE SHOULD BE NON YET ALOT OF CHRISTIANS DO HAVE A PROBLEM WITH IT ( YET IT SAYS IN THE WORD NOT TO GET INTO FUTILE ARGUMENTS ABOUT THE WORD OF GOD IT ONLY RESULTS IN COURSING PROBLEMS ) CHRISTIAN AND NON CHRISTIANS LET ALOT OF PEOPLE RULE THERE LIVE IN WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK. I HAVE BEEN THE SAME AS TO WHAT PEOPLE THINK AND I HAVE NOT ACHEAVED AS I HAVE ALLOWED PEOPLE TO DICTATE WHAT I SHOULD AND SHOULD NOT HAVE OR DO ( YET I AM GETTING SLOWLY BETTER IN NOT LETTING PEOPLE TRY AND CONTROL ME WIH WHAT THAY THINK ) P.S.R.S U.S.A. nov 1995 – feb 1996

  13. Did God not promise that He would not flood the world again? Did He not set the rainbow in the sky as proof of His promise? Is He not THE Almighty? This movie says that God lied and changed His mind(which is something else He says He won’t do). It also applies the term Almighty to a mere human(as the Bruce movie does) that is not worthy of one of God’s titles. As Steve says laughter is good, however shouldn’t we consider the harm humor might cause? God says He is Jealous of His name and watches over His word. That alone says these things bother Him. The whole thing smells of blasphemy. The only one who has a right to rule in anyone’s life is He who created all things. He has shown us in His Word what He expects of us, and it is our choice to do His will or not. Please make the right decision

  14. Preacher – it is quite obvious that you have not seen the film or you would not condemn it in the way you do. I will just say that God does not create another flood to wipe out humanity in this movie. Perhaps you should see something before you condemn it. On another point – while it is a good film with entertainment value and positive values and makes God seem more like us (we were created in His image, afterall) it does not mention Christ or salvation, but instead seems to teach that good works entitles us to eternal reward. This is already much of the world’s view, and this film seems to solidify that view. On the other hand, this film is clean with no filthy language or nudity and shows a man being obedient to God. Perhaps that’s all we can expect from the world at this point.

  15. Tom, You’re right, I did not see the film, trailer, not the film . I really have no right to condemn something that anyone else enjoys. I do pray something good comes out of it. I do seem to remember that in Genesis God said He would never flood the earth again, and I don’t see any reason He would create another Noah and ark unless He was planning some kind of flood again, which would be breaking His word (which He won’t do). About nudity, I admit it is not flagrent, but doesn’t getting caught outside naked involve nudity? Also God is not like us, He was not created in our image, we were created in His image and Adam and Eve messed that up, which is part of why Jesus had to die. Perhaps you should spend more time reading His word than going to “good time ” movies. And since we were created in His image shouldn’t we expect more, as He does? After all He doesn’t change,yesterday today and forever, or does He?

  16. Tony Arsbon Owner Station One Preschool Jul 2, 2007 at 4:16 pm

    Just found your note today July 2. Wanted to let you know that our preschool is launching the ArkAlmighty in our community not through our church but through the preschool so no one will feel like they will be pressured by any church belief or group. We will be teaching the children the need to help others and also sending info and requests home for the families….It IS time to change the world one ARK at a time!

  17. Tony, thanks for letting us know of your use of ArkAlmighty. I hope you’ll check back in a month or two and let us know how it goes.

  18. If you think Ark Almighty t is a good service, just wait for SeeTheWay.com. I have read some awesome things!

    Spread the word!
    Blessings.

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    Evan Almighty is the latest movie to be heavily marketed to Christians. In conjunction with the movie a new website has been launched called ArkAlmighty, which bills itself as a way to help churches live out Jesus’ call to love one another by facilit…

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