Preaching: Movie Style (Pt. 6)

Last time we started talking about the HOW of doing a movie series and specifically how to choose what movies to do.

I also believe in choosing movies that aren’t too old or too new. Huh?

I won’t choose a movie that came out more than a year ago. It just feels kind of stale. I’d wonder if people were thinking, “Do you think this is cool? Do you realize this movie is already in the “old” section at Blockbuster, and they keep movies in the “new” section as long as they can?”

However, I will almost never choose a movie that isn’t already out on DVD. Sure, there’s a temptation to do movies that are out in theaters now, it just feels more hip and current. But we go with movies on DVD (typically movies that just came out on DVD in the last month or two). Why? So people can rent them. A lot of people don’t get out to the theater, perhaps they can’t even afford it. But the more people who have seen the movie, the better my sermon will be. Also, a lot of our small groups rent the movie and get together to watch it before we talk about it. This has been a fun night for a lot of groups and increases the number of people who have seen it.

There are several resources I use to find potential movies (other than simply watching a lot of movies). One is to Google “Top movies of 2007” and “Top movies of 2008.” This will allow you to see the top grossing movies of the past year. Typically the list will be the top 100. You don’t want to pick a movie that isn’t in the top 100.

Another resource is which tells you when a movie will come out on DVD. Once I start narrowing down the options I will (prayerfully) check out their videoeta, hoping they’ll be out before our series starts.

Another is This site has links to hundreds of critic’s reviews of movies. When I’m thinking about a movie I will read a bunch of reviews of it. This will help me to think more deeply about the themes involved.

Also, I subscribe to the movie marketing madness blog ( which will give me ideas for upcoming movies AND I subscribe to Entertainment Weekly magazine, which gives me all kinds of pop culture ideas, including potential movies to do.

There are also several Christian web sites that tell you what you can preach on for each movie, but for some reason I don’t use those. Nothing against them, they’re probably great, I think maybe I just prefer to force myself to be creative on my own?

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