Poland visits

Mastermedia CEO reveals secrets

The students, faculty and honored guests who gathered at Liberty University’s Hancock Welcome Center Thursday, Feb. 6 heard Dr. Larry W. Poland, CEO of Mastermedia International, speak on the subject of Christians in Hollywood during the 2014 Ann Wharton Lecture Series and Banquet.

stars — Poland speaks about how Christians stand out in Hollywood. Photo provided

Stars — Poland speaks about how Christians stand out in Hollywood. Photo provided

Prior to the keynote address, Ann Wharton was recognized as the founding advisor of the Liberty Champion.

Dr. Norman Mintle, dean of the School of Communication & Creative Arts, introduced Poland and said the art of a Christian is designed for God, “an audience of one,” and these artists have an advantage over all other artists.

“I would rather us be known as artists who are Christians, because Christian artist implies and suggests — and oftentimes means — you’re an artist for a Christian audience only, or you’re only painting for the church instead of reaching out into the culture,” Mintle said. “You see, our call as Christians, who are artists, who are Christ followers, who are filled with his Spirit and creativity, is to reach out into the culture and do something to engage the culture.”

Pointing out that God has never failed him, Poland began his speech describing how he gave his career over to God in 1956. Now, Poland works in Hollywood where people often tell him when they want to “be a star,” something that Poland said scares him. He said that having a career as a star should not be one’s identity.

“It’s not about achievement,” Poland said. “It’s about character. It’s about my relationship with God. Know who God made you and what he thinks about you. … If you’re secure in who you are in Christ, you will clearly stand out from the show-biz crowd.”

Poland also spoke on mediocrity, saying it is “neither memorable nor noticeable.”

“My worldview is that God never calls one-legged people to be star halfbacks in football,” Poland said. “They just aren’t equipped for it. And some people just aren’t equipped to be a star, to succeed in the field they’ve chosen. It’s sad, but it’s true. One of the important lessons in life is learning what you don’t do well.”

As he continued in his speech, Poland spoke about how truthfulness is a rare commodity in Hollywood. He gave examples of people who have stayed true to their faith and their character despite the standards that Hollywood placed upon them. According to Poland, each person was blessed by God for their obedience to Christ.

“In a business that’s sick and perverse with self-promotion, ego, exaltation, narcissism and unfettered ambition, a humble, serving person stands out like a star in the dark,” Poland said.

Finishing his speech on this point, Poland encouraged those present to believe that if God lifts someone up in the industry, nobody can thwart those efforts.

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