Preaching: Movie Style (Pt. 1)

Forefront started in March of 1998. The second series we did was “At the Movies.” People assumed it was because we were meeting in a movie theater, but it wasn’t. If we were meeting in a funeral home we wouldn’t have done, “At the Funeral Home,” but we still would have done “At the Movies.” We now have two campuses in high schools and one in a bar and we’re still doing “At the Movies” every year and will keep doing it.

Do you do a series based on movies? You should! Why? I’ll do a few posts answering that question, and then talk about how we do a movies series.

So why? Well, first, because it’s biblical. Yes, I realize they didn’t have movies back then and an “At the Movies” series probably never happened until the 1990’s. But what did Jesus use as illustrations? Well, farmers planting seeds and women kneading dough and shepherds searching for sheep. Was that because those were the most spiritual metaphors? Probably not. Instead, I think it was because they were the most common. People knew what Jesus was talking about. It was easy to relate to the stories and to even find yourself in them.

When Paul spoke at Athens he referred to their altars (Acts 17:23) and their poetry (Acts 17:28). Why didn’t he refer to God’s altars and God’s poetry? Because he was using their art to make a connection with them. He knew the power of meeting people where they’re at, and then walking with them in the direction they need to go.

If Jesus came today I don’t think he’d talk about seeds, dough, or sheep. If Paul spoke today I don’t think he’d refer to Greek art (unless he was in Greece!). My hunch is that Jesus and Paul would talk about movies. They would use something common that connected with people, and from which they could make a powerful spiritual point. There would be a variety of options, but one of the best would be movies.

What are some other reasons? I’ll hit that tomorrow, until then have a Coke and a smile.

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