Lilies of the Field

Lilies of the field review

Sidney Poitier plays Homer Smith in Lilies of the Field, 1963

This film has been most inspiring to me as an evangelist.

The main character, a Baptist African-American carpenter, Homer Smith, (played by Sidney Poitier) reluctantly agrees to build a chapel for a group of Catholic nuns. The nuns lead a group gathered from the desert area of southwestern USA together with a marginalised Irish priest. The movie is set in the early 1960’s.

When offered help by the locals, Homer refuses it.  As a result of personal pride he and others suffer. Finally he relents, others join in the work, the chapel goes up remarkably well and all take pride in the result.

The ministry of an evangelist is critical to ‘equip the saints for the work of ministry’. The evangelist must share the role of service or ministry (just as Homer must). Other members of the church must become good witnesses, maybe soulwinners and perhaps even evangelists – otherwise he/she stands alone and everyone suffers the consequences.

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