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4 Ways Movies Aid Your Outreach

f Dr. Marc Newman

In a way, movie Bible studies are an outreach ''gimmick'' -- but they're no more a gimmick than Vacation Bible School or AWANA programs. All of these approaches to Bible study have some extra-added feature: a summer theme program; uniforms, patches, and camps; or -- in our case -- popular movies. These features are means of outreach designed to draw people in who otherwise might not come.

Here are 4 ways using movies can aid your ministry in outreach.

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Making Movie Nights Work: Part One -- Planning

f Dr. Marc Newman

No one doubts the entertainment value of a popular Hollywood film. Millions of people turn out every week to pay to see them. Many churches have used film as one of the lures for junior high school “lock-in” nights. But the Scriptures do not demand that we entertain our youth, we are to be equipping them for the work of the gospel. However, that doesn’t mean that we are barred from using winsome methods like movies to introduce that training.

Many youth pastors, college leaders, small group facilitators, and pastors would like to leverage film for something more than filler or a social night out. Unfortunately, there isn’t much help out there for those who want to do it. Telling pastors to “pick a film, promote the event, and do a study,” (without providing any details), leaves a lot of gaps – causing some leaders to think that they just can’t do it. Others try, but are unsatisfied with the results.

Our next series of blog posts will show you how to strategically plan for a movie-based Bible study event, how to leverage existing sources to promote the event, how to conduct a movie night that accomplishes your goal, and how to engage in follow-up to make sure that your goals were met and springboard you into an even better subsequent event. Today’s post is on strategic planning.

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Making Movie Nights Work: Part Two - Promotion

f Dr. Marc Newman

Once you have committed to teaching one or more Movie Bible studies, it is important to get the word out to your target audience. Everybody talks about "promotion," but we want to discuss seven key elements that will help you to get your intended audience to the event: prayer, coordinating your promotional team, observing promotional limitations, web landing pages, tickets, leveraging social media, personal invitations, and "save the date" cards. Not every group will need to or want to engage all of these strategies. Just target the ones you think would work best for your group. This post will take a closer look at these seven key elements.

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Making Movie Nights Work: Part Three - The Event

f Dr. Marc Newman

You paid attention to your planning, and you (or your team) promoted well. You have a houseful of people ready to watch the movie you have selected and then talk about it. You look around and see a lot of new people - some of whom may have never opened up a Bible in their lives. Many have no clue as to how the ideas they encounter in a film could have any relation to the Scriptures or the kind of worldview they embrace. For some of these folks, curiosity got the best of them. They are waiting to see if this group can deliver something meaningful.

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Making Movie Nights Work: Part Four - Follow-up

f Dr. Marc Newman

If you have planned, promoted, and produced a great movie Bible study event, it is tempting to rest - mission accomplished! Not quite. One of the reasons many people are dissatisfied by the outcome of events is that they quit too soon. They think that when the event is over and everyone heads home that they are done. To avoid that sinking feeling that all of the hard work resulted in too little payoff, you need to be willing to do the appropriate follow-up. In this blog post we'll dive into follow-up.

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125 Bible Studies and FilmTalk Cards based on these Movies
* FilmTalk Cards