Preaching: Movie Style (Pt. 2)

Have you ever been preparing a message and you have good content, but you’re struggling to come up with a great story to illustrate and drive home your point? You know that people connect with and remember stories way more than “content.” You’re desperate. You need a good story. But your kids didn’t do anything crazy this week, and you haven’t done anything worthy of America’s Funniest Home Videos, and you’re plumb out of Civil War stories. So what do you do? Well, probably preach the sermon without a story. It will still have the good content; people just might not connect with it and remember it so well. Oh well…

This is part of the beauty of doing a movie series. You’ve got the story to illustrate your point. And it’s a good enough story that someone spent millions of dollars to have it made. Someone else took those millions of dollars and made sure it was told in a funny or powerful, and memorable way. Sweet.

You may pick a movie based on a biblical theme or text you’re planning on preaching on. Like maybe you’re planning on preaching on the “end times” so you choose “I Am Legend.” Or it could be that you let the movie pick your text. You decide to do “National Treasure” and that leads you to do a sermon about seeking God and to your text – the pearl of great price.

And you don’t have to use some old Tony Campolo story, or force your kids to do something funny, or pretend that something that happened to John Ortberg really happened to you. Why not? Because you already have a multi-million dollar blockbuster story to tell. So just tell it well!

– featured on