Monday, June 6, 2011

Movie Marathons

Another simple fellowship event that can be done most anytime during the Summer is a Movie Marathon.  There are a million different ways to do an event like this, but here's how I usually did it.  I would pick a date and a location (generally the youth room at the church) and announce we would be watching 3 movies back-to-back-to-back.  I liked to do it during the day, because that is when the most students are bored silly.  We would provide pizza for lunch, popcorn for a snack and plenty of beverages.  All the youth had to do was show up, no reservations required.  It was free (although you could charge if you need to).  And we saw some AWESOME movies!

Movie selection is key.  You know your kids and your church, and I would never tell you how to go about choosing which DVDs to view.  But I would suggest that they be somehow related so that you have a theme.  We did a Star Wars trilogy day (back when there were only 3); we did a Pixar movie day; we did a "Sports Movie" day (featuring Cool Runnings, Angels in the Outfield and Remembering the Titans); and we did a Goofball Comedy day with Wayne's World, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and Monty Python's Holy Grail.  We even did a Tom Hanks day, but I don't remember what movies we used. If I was doing one right now I might do Pirates of the Caribbean, Toy Story, or a Bill Murray collection.  That's just me.  You have to choose based on the taste of your group and what you feel is appropriate.

Whenever possible we also did things to make the event special.  For instance, the day we did Star Wars one of our parents (who was a sound engineer for the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular @ Disney's Hollywood Studios) brought in some huge speakers and hooked them up so that the bass from the films would shake the youth room.  It did- just ask the rest of the church staff who had offices one floor below us! :)  Or invite the students to dress as a favorite character or bring related toys.  Be creative, and the youth will love it!

One other thought- a movie does not have to be The Passion of the Christ to contain significant moments that can open a discussion about faith.  There is theology in most eveything. Perhaps the most theological movie I have ever seen is Pleasantville. So if you want the films to lead to deeper discussions, just choose wisely.

So there you go- another low preparation, low cost, high fellowship value event that will have your students buzzing and get them off their couches and into your youth room- which means more "face time" for you!  As for me, I think I'm going to have my own Movie Marathon this summer.  Lord of the Rings trilogy, here I come- AGAIN!  Be blessed my friends!

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