A while back, someone asked me why our church does a God at the Movies sermon series every year. After all, they reasoned, there are so many other good topics to cover, or we should just do another book of the Bible. The person continued, “I know we just do this because it reaches new people. I replied, “That is a good reason! And it would be reason enough because the call for every Christian is to make disciples. But there are deeper reasons, too.” I shared these reasons with this person, and I want to share them here too.
The word “media” is the plural of “medium.” The “medium” is the communication between two parties – there is always a message in the media. God at the Movies helps develop our discernment muscles so that we don’t turn off our brains when we are watching, listening, or gaming. We are called to love God with our minds (Luke 10:27), and the Lord transforms us by renewing our minds (Rom 12:2). We do not need to reject all media, but we need to grow wise filters and godly discernment. This sermon series discusses the messages in the movies, which helps people realize they are more than entertainment. This process grows wisdom.
Our world is full of stories; we are a storytelling culture. This is seen in our movies, books, news, podcasts, and even music. Our Lord is a storytelling God, and the Bible is full of stories. Jesus told many stories, and the Bible is over 40% narrative. God’s stories, like all stories, carry messages. In the God at the Movies series, we start by telling the story of the movie and understanding the messages. We then investigate how these messages compare with God’s Word. The sermons are not on movies, but the Bible. Many of the messages in movies echo God’s eternal message because the human heart longs for its Creator. This series dives deeper in the Bible, showing God’s timeless messages are very timely today. It shows how God’s Word is speaking even today – the most important Story in a world of stories.
The God at the Movies series is biblical, intellectual, and also strategic. Once we discovered that people were responding to this series – and inviting others – we continued having it. Plus it is a ton of fun! We believe that fun and hope are deeply theological – they are also what the whole world is longing for. People find it easy to invite their non-church friends to church to talk about a movie; it communicates that our church is engaged with the stories of our world in a thoughtful yet non-judgmental way. People also invite their friends to see the movies with them, which creates opportunities to share the conversation about meaning, messages, and God’s Word. God at the Movies gets people into the Bible, into church, and engaging in evangelism.
I hope this helps you see some of the reasons why we do God at the Movies every year. I hope you will take the opportunity in this series to activate your evangelism – the world deeply needs the hope and joy of Jesus right now. Most of all, I hope this series helps you grow your faith in thinking, action, and fun. Yes FUN. God made fun, and we are going to have fun together. We know how to weep together, and we also know how to blow the roof off the building with the joy of the Lord. Are you with me?