Posted by: Ed | May 29, 2009

GOD AT THE MOVIES 6

This weekend we begin our 6th installment of our series God at the Movies.

You can see some of the listings & topic for each weekend here. We are starting with SLUMDOG MILLIONARE!

There is a lot of buzz about this series around here. It’s kind of cool to see that this year High School, Middle School & our children’s ministries are doing thier over version of GATM at the same time.

I’m copying below a post that I wrote last year laying out the vision for this series. Remember, watch the movie 1st – we will most likely show a clip that will ruin the ending for you. Enjoy!

This Weekend we begin GATM 5. We’ll start with the movie, Juno. I’m going to post some specific stuff on this message topic tonight or tomorrow, but I wanted to give a few thoughts about this series. I would encourage you to check out Rod Kaya’s (our pastor who leads weekend programming – among other things) blog as a kind of cross reference.

Rod is saying some things about the seeker church strategy that I really like & will chime in on soon.

Specifically here are a few thoughts about this series:

* CONNECTION – one of the main reasons that we keep doing this series has to do with connection. I’m thinking of the connection that the series has to the unchurched person. Movies are the “agora” of ideas in our culture. Movies are where the stories are told that we think, we would like to think or we are afraid to think reflect who we are, what our lives are. When we engage in where God might be present in these stories it helps people connect with God in their own story.

* CONNECTION – no, I’m not having a “senior” 40-something moment. There is another aspect of connection that we might overlook. It’s the connection that we who are trying to live lives in connection with God make as we begin to notice & look for God’s presence in places we haven’t heretofore. Perhaps a better term would be “integration”. I’m encouraged every year about this time & really throughout the year, when I get emails that say, “have you considered this movie for our GATM series. It would be great”. Even when we don’t end up using the movie, I love that we are looking at movies differently. This phenomena of “connection” bleeds over. I have noticed that since we’ve been doing this series I get way more suggestions about TV shows, songs, art work, commercials. Anyone who’s studied learning theory can already see where this is going. This type of connection is actually a more advanced processing of the Word of God.

* EMOTION – Art is powerful because it can speak to us at a deeper level. Films are especially powerful because they combine various arts – images, poetry, music – to help us “feel ideas”. Often in a worship service, the emotion part happens during the music, the analytical during the message, pathos and logos. For me one of the fun things about this series is how much emotional intensity happens during the message.

* MUCHO PREP – I always look back at this series when it’s over going, “dude, that was a lot of work”. Believe it or not it seems to me that these messages take more prep & discipline of my time than most.

* FUN – We have fun with this series. I don’t think “fun” is our highest values as a church or as Christ followers, but I think we should have as much fun as we can. I read a book about 20 years ago (Developing Attitude Toward Learning by Robert Mager) for some class, that had a statement in it that has stuck with me ever sense: “Things surrounded by unpleasantness are seldom surrounded by people”.

Pass the popcorn!

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Responses

  1. I first found God through art; I used to think that a theatre was synonymous with church. So the fact that I was introduced to JCC through “God at the Movies” and then found Christ equals the epitome of cool. Only God could have orchestrated that one… When I filled out a guest response, one of the questions was – what did you first notice about JCC? And I wrote – the sign out front – God at the Movies – Now Showing – 7:00, 9:00, 10:45.

    I saw Slumdog in October and fell madly in love with the movie. I gushed about it and sent you a film review. Thank you for not thinking me a loon; it was great to hear the sermon on it. I’m still smitten with the movie. God speaks through beauty and truth – here’s to art + JCC.

    And it does not surprise me these sermons take more prep; people always underestimate the muscle required for the grace of ballet.

  2. Jesus isn’t relevant enough, you have to preach on rated R movies?

  3. Keith – I think you are missing the point. If you go to Journey, you won’t need to watch any of the movies to still get something out of the message.
    Read again my point on rating.
    The relevance of Jesus is NOT AT ALL THE ISSUE. Paul quoted secular philosophers. Wasn’t Jesus relevant enough? Why didn’t he just quote bible verses? He certainly knew them. It’s because he met people at their point of interest.
    Hope this helps.
    Ed


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