Priscilla Shirer: Ministering Through Acting in Overcomer
Jo-Carolyn Goode | 9/20/2019, 3:45 a.m.
Call her an author. Call her an actress. Ask Priscilla Shirer what she is and she will say a minister, a teacher, someone trying to bring souls to know Jesus Christ. That is who she is at her core. Everything she does centers around that sole purpose. Connecting ministry to acting seems like a stretch when thinking of it in the mainstream of pure entertainment. However, changing your perspective to focus on the content of material rather than the entertainment factor and connecting the dots between the two is easy.
Shirer said no when first approached about acting. She has too much respect for the craft and those who are do it professionally. No way was she doing that. But the Kendrick Brothers weren't guys who took no for an answer. With lots of prodding and patience, Shirer came around and said yes. And she found out that she did enjoy the process.
“Acting allows me to exercise some creative muscles that I don’t normally get to use. That’s fun!” exclaimed the 20-year minister. “Gratefully, this generation is steeped with brilliant and bold Christian filmmakers.”
The Christian filmmakers of whom she speaks are Alex, Stephen and Shannon Kendrick who have chosen to honor Jesus Christ and make His truth and love known nationwide. Through various speaking engagements, books, and films, the brothers are living out their purpose. Like minds generally, flock together so their gravitation towards Shirer is natural. The brothers produced her first film War Room, a film about the power of prayer. It was a great success the four have linked up again for the new release of Overcomer, a film about finding yourself.
In the newly released film, Shirer plays high school principal Olivia Brooks who takes a special interest in one of her students, Hannah, to bring her to know God and discover who she is. The character is not far what Shirer does through her own ministry.
“Olivia is a professional and polished administrator who cares very deeply about doing her job well and encouraging those around her to do the same. Yet, she always seems to make time and find opportunities to be personal and relational with her students and colleagues." Shirer continued, "I loved the image of an older woman, like Olivia, making time for a younger woman – Hannah. The beautiful ripple effect that can happen in a young woman’s life when someone takes the time to really see her – to read between the lines and dive into the worries, concerns, and interests of her soul – is breathtaking. Olivia and Hannah’s relationship demonstrates this beautifully."
Although this is a Christian film and does have a spiritual message, one does not need to have a religious background to enjoy this film. Shirer said viewers may not connect to the spiritual elements of the film but they can latch on to the “ebbs and flows of the main characters’ lives.” Expressing their desire for audiences Shirer shared, “Our prayer, in making this film, was that the emotional experience created by the movie will serve as a catalyst for someone to begin a relationship with the Lord.”