Eric "Doc" Benson is hoping America won't let him go without food for 40 days, but he is willing to do it if necessary to raise funds to complete a movie highlighting the struggle many small and mid-sized churches are having with change in America today.
The former pastor, now working as a filmmaker, has pledged to fast for 40 days or less, whichever comes first, until he raises $12,200 through a crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo.com to finish the movie project about a church's struggle to deal with change in its congregation. The $12,200 will be used to cover post-production expenses that Benson is unable to meet alone. Once finished, the movie will be shown at some festivals and movie theaters.
"I poured every hour, every dollar I could spare into making this movie happen," Benson explained in a release on Monday. "My wife, Annette, my boys, and I have emptied out our savings and invested our time and talents, because we feel God wants this film to be a blessing to people. Now, the only thing I have left to give is...myself," he said.
Benson's fictional project, billed "Seven Deadly Words," is a patchwork of his life experiences dealing with change as a pastor. Shot on location at the Egypt Valley Community Church in Connersville, Ind., the script tracks a conflict that erupts when a new pastor tries to introduce change at the church but one family keeps telling him the 'deadly' words, "we've never done it that way before..."
"It (the film) really hits home for a lot of people," said Benson in an interview with The Christian Post on Wednesday. "I've had a lot of pastors say to me, 'we're glad somebody is finally making a movie on this subject matter,'" added Benson.
In discussing the inspiration for the movie and his passion to complete it, he explained dealing with change is a very big problem for many churches across America today and he wanted to be a part of the solution to it by first highlighting the issue in the collective voice of "Seven Deadly Words."
"Change can bring hope or hurt depending on how it's handled," said Benson. "Change is also incredibly difficult because we are a people who like our comfort even when it's not good for us."
To explain his point, Benson points to examples of churches that have been in communities for a long time that even though the demographics of their community have changed, they haven't responded in like manner.
"What I want people to see is that real people in the church can tackle change. This is not a plastic fantastic story. No matter how painful the change is, you can come through it," he said.
Benson, who was in his third day of fasting on Wednesday, noted that it was a real sacrifice for him. "My wife is a pastry chef and culinary instructor. We are foodies at heart, so it's tough," he said.
Friends and family, however, are helping him get through it. To learn more about Benson's campaign and help him complete "Seven Deadly Words" visit his campaign page at indiegogo, or the film's website at www.SevenDeadlyWords.com.